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Teens can "Get Down to Dance" at the library

Local teens can “Get Down to Dance” this summer with the guidance of an experienced and energetic Modern Dance instructor.

Rachel Hendricks, who has about 10 years teaching across a range of ages and ability levels, will work with teens at PLS hometown libraries this summer to instill a few things they can quickly learn and handle.

The program takes place at 2 p.m. Monday, July 8, at the Southwest Oklahoma City Public Library.

“We’ll work on how to isolate different parts of the body in dancing, things they can take to social settings,” Hendricks said. “We do it in a way of seeing what dance is and what it can be. Dance can be a real confidence builder.”

And that confidence can come even from just an hour or two, which is what teens will have during their programs this summer at the library. She recalled a story from one of her classes last summer when she was instructing children and teens at the Chickasaw Summer Arts Academy in Ada.

“I had a girl this past summer who had never exercised at all,” Hendricks said. “And by the end of the week she was just excelling. Dance is tapping into a side that people may be too scared to even try.”

And while she is an accomplished dancer and instructor today, she knows how those who may be hesitant feel.

“I was really, really shy as a child – I talked to trees,” she said. “But I was really imaginative. My mom thought I needed a hobby and she started me in dance when I was 5. And it really worked out.”

In addition to teaching at the Summer Arts Academy, Hendricks is an instructor at Modern Dance Arts in Norman, where she teaches 19 classes a week. She also has done choreography for several theatrical productions and for pom teams during the summer.

She is a native of Ada and a graduate of the University of Oklahoma in Modern Dance.

This year’s Summer Reading Program is presented with the support of the Oklahoma Department of Libraries, the Institute of Museum and Library Services, Oklahoma Arts Council, Hitachi Computer Products of America, The Anne and Henry Zarrow Foundation, Sonic, Kirkpatrick Family Fund, the Pioneer Library System Foundation and Friends of the Library groups throughout the Pioneer Library System.

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