Thirteen-year-old Tia Lewis is teaching a free dance class for beginners on Friday, Nov. 17 from 4pm to 5 pm at the St. Anthony School Café. The class, part of Lewis’s eighth grade community service project, is open to beginning dancers ages 7 and above. Lewis is also holding a clothes drive so her students will be able to get dance wear.
“I am teaching a dance lesson for kids and young adults that are not able to afford dance or buy dance attire,” Lewis said. “I know many kids are not able to take dance classes because their parents cannot afford it.” Lewis has been able to take lessons at Maui Academy of Performing Arts (MAPA) but she knows many kids who are not as fortunate. Some parents want to give their kids lessons, but they can’t afford it, she said. “I also know kids that are able to dance but cannot afford the proper dance attire,” she added
Lewis’s drive and dedication to the project is evident. She has contacted local media and recently secured a guest spot on The MauiZan talk radio show to spread the word about her class. She has personally found a location for the class, and has arranged for MAPA to donate snacks and water to give her students during class breaks. She also arranged for Dance Wear Maui to donate to her clothes drive. Lewis is also selecting the music, and is the sole choreographer for the class.
“When I read an article about how kids can benefit from dance but how some can’t afford it I knew I wanted to teach a class and donate dance clothes to the unfortunate,” Lewis said.
Photo courtesy Tia Lewis