WAYNESBORO — “Kids on the MOVE!” is the theme for Renfrew Institute’s 26th annual Youth Festival on Sunday, May 24 from 12:30 to 5:30 p.m. at Renfrew Park in Waynesboro. The event is free and open to the public.
The festival features a variety of hands-on workshops and fun-filled activities geared for kids of all ages (details below).
“We have a great lineup of entertainment and activities that will get kids moving and excited to join in,” said Tracy Holliday, the institute’s associate director.
At 12:30, Spirit of Dance Studio dancers from Carlisle, Pa. will perform some advanced hip-hop routines to entice kids of all ages to learn some dance moves of their own during afternoon jazz and hip-hop workshops.
In keeping with the theme of movement, the featured guest entertainment is Lesole’s Dance Project, who will present Dancing Through South Africa at 2:15 p.m.
The dance company, based near Washington, D.C., introduces students to South African cultural dance and storytelling. The goal of Dancing through South Africa is to develop creative potential through three dance experiences: Ndlamu, a traditional Zulu/tribal dance; Gumboot, originating in the gold mines in South Africa during the oppressive Apartheid years; and Pantsula, a modern social/hip-hop dance.
“The experience encourages audience participation and promotes an appreciation of dance as a means of recreation, cultural expression, and even a possible profession,” said Holliday.
The program also emphasizes the role of dance in promoting a deeper understanding and acceptance among people of different backgrounds and cultural traditions.
Dance director Lesole Zachariah Maine was born in Sebokeng, South Africa. Rich in culture and tradition, the area inspired Maine with a love of dance and appreciation for the many ethnic customs around him.
The award-winning company has performed nationally in Philadelphia, Miami, Cincinnati, and Chicago. Washington D.C. area venues include the Kennedy Center Millennium Stage and the Wolf Trap Foundation for the Performing Arts.
Internationally, the company toured in Chile, and in 2009, they launched an International Edu-dance Program in Sebokeng, South Africa.
At 4:30 p.m. the Waynesboro Children’s Theatre Troupe will perform “Show Tunes,” a program including favorite music from Broadway musicals.
Special Workshops—Lara Graham of Spirit of Dance Studio will conduct two dance workshops for kids:
1:00 p.m. Jazz Workshop: Kids learn some jazz moves in a fun and upbeat session for beginners to intermediate level dancers. Basic techniques, a quick stretch, and great choreography!
3:30 p.m. Hip-Hop Workshop: Kids of all ages can learn hip-hop, even with no previous dance experience! After a quick warm-up, dancers begin learning an energetic combination of moves. Hip-hop brings together many different dance styles and techniques, and various aspects of this ever-growing genre will be discussed as steps are taught.
Additional workshops for kids beginning at 1:00 and 3:30 p.m. provide a variety of fun activities (pre-register to ensure choice):
- SIT LIKE YODA, STRETCH and BEND like Gumby with yoga guides Jennifer Jones and Willow Wier.
- BOOGIE into your creative zone with Tom McFarland as you craft a personal art project. (all ages)
- CHEER and SHOUT with Andrea Flook of Infiniti Elite Cheer Gym.
- SHIMMY AND SHAKE as certified “HIP” Zumba instructor Nicola Sussman leads a kids Zumba jam.
- WADE IN THE CREEK and check out tiny moving water creatures with “Earthwalker” (Melodie Anderson-Smith) and “Great Blue Heron” (Kathy Seiler), along with student scientists WaterStriders. 3:30 only.
Other attractions throughout the day include:
- PADDLE IN THE CREEK with Mr. Mike and Valerie, who will share their kayaks and paddling skills! (Bring water shoes, dry clothes, and a towel.)
- SPIN ON THE WIND! Make a flashy pinwheel to spin in the breeze with Cookie Beck and Jill Morningstar.
- CRITTERS that WIGGLE and HOP! Join Sheila and Brian Eyler for an “up close” peek at tadpoles, frogs, and other favorite “backyard critters.”
- LEARN SOME HOOP MOVES with veteran hula hooper Cherry Snyder.
- Beats and Twirls! Make a drum or ribbon wand in vibrant South African colors with Cheryl and Gabrielle Mankins. (Bring an empty soup can to recycle. All other materials provided.)
- SPIN and GLITTER with Kim Sheffler and Traci Walizer as they help you make a flashy spinning top from recycled CDs. (Bring a CD to recycle. All other materials provided.)
- Blowin’ in the wind! Make a windsock to display on our clothesline, then take it with you to enjoy at home. Tiffany Sheffler will be your guide.
All activities are free, but space is limited for workshops and pre-registration is suggested. To register for a workshop, please contact the institute at (717) 762-0373. Flyers and more information are available at www.renfrewinstitute.org.
Youth Festival is underwritten in part by Susquehanna Bank, and by contributions to the Today’s Horizon Fund by The Nora Roberts Foundation, APX Enclosures, Inc., and The Carolyn Terry Eddy Family: Carolyn, with daughters Connie Fleagle & Kim Larkin. Facility support is provided courtesy of Renfrew Museum and Park.
The event was organized by co-chairs Kim Sheffler, Jessica McCleary and Cheryl Mankins. Parking is available behind the visitors center, with additional parking in Renfrew’s lower lot off Welty Road.
Rain location: Hooverville Elementary School.