TAMPA, Fla. — Every week in the Mort Recreation Center, little ones are getting a taste of ballet.
- Summer camp offers classes for underserved kids
- Instructors are graduates of 'On Your Feet' program
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It's part of Tampa City Ballet's "On Your Feet" outreach, partnering with the University Area CDC's Dreamcatcher summer camp to offer classes for underserved kids near the University of South Florida.
"This is bringing the arts, in this case, the dance program, to many kids that otherwise, they wouldn't have the opportunity," said artistic director Paula Nunez.
Nunez observes every class to see who shows the most passion.
"(We) recruit the kids that you see they like it, they click. Then we offer them the scholarship to train professionally," she said.
Nunez is from Venezuela and says while there are a lot of dance scholarship opportunities in her home country, there aren't enough in big cities like Tampa.
"We believe that a scholarship can save a life," she said.
The summer class instructors are all graduates of the On Your Feet program.
Joey Bell took his first ballet class in the same rec center three years ago, and is now back helping his peers learn about the joys of dance.
"The first time that I saw them made me want to join," he said.
"It's beautiful because the younger ones see them, like, 'I want to be like them!' And it's motivation," Nunez said.