South River High School Dance Director Mattie Fenton Includes All Students in Her Classes
“Whether her students have two left feet or are the next Misty Copeland, Mattie Fenton has a dance class for them.
“Fenton is the dance director at South River High School in Edgewater. She teaches a variety of classes, and in each class, you’ll find special needs students included in the mix. They also participate in the school’s dance recitals.”
“Our students with special needs, they’re up on stage, they’re performing next to their peers and the audience is supporting them,” said Fenton. “It’s a big thing at this school.”
“Fenton has been at South River High School for five years and has overseen then growth of the inclusion program within the dance department. She says it gives all of her students a boost in confidence when they walk into her dance studio.”
“They get a different experience in the dance classroom then they do in a regular classroom,” she said. She says the skills her students learn in her class, like creativity and collaboration, are ones they can take with them anywhere.
“These are the skills in the workforce they’re looking for,” she said. “This is the place where the students learn to feel confident with themselves.”
excerpted from WMAR feature by Megan Knight Jan 27, 2017
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