Posts Tagged ‘Dance classes’

From Super Heroes to Liturgical Dance

Tuesday, January 21st, 2014

By Alice Kenny

Looking for Super Heroes Movement classes, African Drum instruction or just good old ballet lessons?  Check out Catholic Charities Lt. Joseph P. Kennedy Center’s new Project Performing Arts dance programs for children.

Administered by Nina Klivert-Lawson, this former performing arts director worked for 26 years at The Harbor, a well-known community organization in East Harlem.  She and her instructors collaborate with Catholic Charities and the Archdiocese Office of Black Ministry to provide classes to youth registered as members of the center.

Volunteer instructors screened by Catholic Charities’ volunteer division provide skilled instruction each Saturday at Kennedy Center.  Not surprisingly, the various dance classes – that also include drama as well as modern, liturgical, jazz and African dance – have often attracted over 70 participants ages 4 years to 18.

These new classes bring added life to this already active center. They also broaden the center’s reach to middle-school-aged children and their parents, linking them to the numerous social and social service programs offered there.   Perhaps most important, the programs expose neighborhood children to the arts while encouraging life-skill disciplines that help them perform better in school and in life.

 

Dinner Theatre Morphs into Magic

Monday, May 13th, 2013

Dennis Scimone, Director of Residential Services for Beacon of Hope House with Denise Bauer Director, Beacon of Hope House

By Alice Kenny

Hosted by and for consumers with mental illness, the Catholic Charities Beacon of Hope annual talent show and dinner theatre– now in its twenty-eighth year — is always packed with creativity, comedy and fun.

But this year’s show held at the Lt. Joseph P. Kennedy Jr. Center in Harlem on May 1 went over the top thanks to a last-minute rendition of “God Bless America” belted out by the Harlem Alumni Boys and Girls Choir.

Catholic Charities Lt. Joseph P. Kennedy Jr. Center is always a hopping place.  Dance classes, music, theatre and social service programs fill this central Harlem meeting spot day in and day out from its basement to its top floor.

Sometimes the synergy morphs into magic, as it did on Talent Show night.

Ninety consumers along with family and friends from Beacon of Hope residential programs and its vocational club house had already feasted at the dinner theatre event as fellow consumers emceed and regaled them with a fashion show, songs, dances, original poetry, and outstanding music played on the guitar, drums and harmonica.

A special night like this, however, seemed to need something extra, said Damian Buzzerio, who helped coordinate a team of five volunteers that helped at the event.  That’s when the Harlem Alumni Boys and Girls Choir that had been training in their usual rehearsal room, made their surprise appearance.  As their special gift to this special group, the choir trooped on stage and belted out God Bless America.

“It is becoming more and more difficult to find such a special and safe place for events such as these to flourish,” says Debbie Ciraolo, an American Sign Language interpreter with Beacon of Hope who assisted with the show.  “I cherish this experience.”

Join us to find a “special, safe place” that recognizes your talents and creativity.

 Click here to find a volunteer opportunity tailored just for you.