Wednesday, May 20, 2009

High School Arts

One of my best friends from high school, Jill, is the dance teacher at Annapolis High School. Jill and I danced together since we were 6 years old and some of my best life memories were when we danced together in our high school dance company. Two weekends ago, I went to her end of the year performance. She has done an amazing job working with her students and developing a dance program from nothing. Annapolis High School pulls from some of the low income neighborhoods in the area. It is not easy to get students involved in arts in any high school let alone in an area where the families can not always financially support extra curricular activities. She not only got students involved, but motivated them to excel and choreograph their own pieces in the performance. She has been there for four years and now has a company, junior company and dance classes during the school day. To me, the most amazing part of the performances was the end, when her group of seniors got to the microphone to say their goodbye. They thanked her for inspiring them and said that they will always remember what they had learned from her. She is really making an impact on those girls’ lives. She is just like our high school dance teacher who will always have a place in our memories of someone who inspired us to be more than what we were.

This past Saturday, I went back to Annapolis High School for the Drama Club’s Murder, Mystery Dinner Theatre. It was so great! The students worked the crowd, improvised their lines and had a super fun time. It was three hours long and they served a salad, hot dinner and dessert. The drama teacher, Eddie, also a good friend of Jill’s, did a spectacular job putting on a really fun show for the actors to play and for the audience to enjoy. Here is the description that was on the invite, so clever:

Rich (and slightly evil) hotel entrepreneur Ricardo Gough cordially invites you to the grand opening of the “Gough Hotel & Restaurant”. He promises you a night of food and fun, but after a murder happens nothing will ever be the same. Come join the colorful cast of characters in this musical interactive murder mystery– dinner theater show. Featuring songs from musicals and pop culture this show is sure to get you on your feet and dancing and begging to solve the whodunit of the night!!!!

When I was in high school, it would have been crazy to think about going to an arts event at Annapolis High School. That school had a really bad reputation for violence, drop outs and low rates of kids going on to advanced education. Now there are talks about it becoming a magnet school for the Arts and a big part of that must be from the success and great press they have received because of these two amazing teachers.

It is so important that we have arts in our schools. It completely changed my life and the lives of every person who performed on the Annapolis High School stage and in the Annapolis High School Cafeteria.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

such a nice tribute.. j~