Students have fun and learn through Dance About Anything

Published 10:00 pm Monday, February 29, 2016

Instructor Sonya Monts is pictured with Ms. Constance’s second grade at Tryon Elementary School.

Instructor Sonya Monts is pictured with Ms. Constance’s second grade at Tryon Elementary School.

Students at Polk Central and Tryon Elementary Schools are having a great time this winter turning topics that inspire them into educational dance performances. The program Dance About Anything, made possible through two separate grants awarded by The Western North Carolina Community Foundation and Stuart and Margaret L. Forbes Foundation, is sponsored by Tryon Fine Arts Center in support of its Arts in Education initiative.


“We are honored to have the backing of these two important foundations as we move forward with our goal of supporting arts in the local schools,” says Marianne Carruth, executive director of Tryon Fine Arts Center.

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Dance About Anything, led by Sonya Monts, R.D.E. and owner of The Dancer’s Extension in Saluda, was developed by the National Dance Education Organization (NDEO). Monts, trained by NDEO to teach Dance About Anything, says, “The program uses dance to make the connection with what students are learning in the classroom and movement.”


Each class selected a topic they find inspirational, ranging from birthdays to weather to forces and motion to money and banking. Throughout the 12-week program, students are learning about their topics through research and group discussions and ultimately each class will express this information in a performance of their own choreographed movement and dance.


Dance About Anything exposes children to the art of dance and stage performance and like other arts education programs promotes additional benefits to students, fostering creativity, building collaboration, communication and critical thinking skills.


Seventeen classes across pre-kindergarten, kindergarten, first, second and fifth grades at Tryon and Polk Central Elementary Schools are involved in the program this year.


“I feel Dance About Anything could make subjects more interesting and relevant for our elementary age children, exposing these children to yet another art form. Polk County Schools strive to provide a well-rounded curriculum for all students,” says Bill Miller, superintendent Polk County Schools.


Tryon Fine Arts Center, located at 34 Melrose Avenue, is a nonprofit organization that makes the arts accessible to local students young and old through its education and outreach programs in music, dance, theater, opera, as well as visual and literary arts. TFAC is used by local arts organizations to present a variety of performances from Community Youth productions to international classical musicians.


For more information, contact Susan Brady at 828-859-8832 or at


-Submitted by Susan Brady