Students, parents and teachers of Ridgewood’s P.S. 290Q all came together to celebrate the culmination of their Notes in Motion program with a vibrant dance showcase on Tuesday, Jan. 14.
Students — or scholars, as P.S. 290Q likes to refer to them — in grades 3 through 5 got to show off their new skills throughout the day with performances of distinct dance types, such as Latin dances (bachata, salsa, merengue) and modern dance. The Parent-Teacher Association then presented Notes in Motion’s Artistic Director Amanda Selwyn, with a $7,000 check.
PTA President Linda Byszynski said that every year, they raised funds to purchase an Imagination Playground set for recess but this year their goal was Notes in Motion.
Notes in Motion Outreach Dance Theatre offers a variety of programs and dance residencies throughout New York City. They also partner with schools to teach pre-K through 12th grade dance styles from West African to Latin to ballet to hip-hop, fostering “self-discovery, risk-taking and making connections between different topics, themes and areas of learning.”
“Through Notes In Motion, scholars learn about different cultures and means of physical expression,” Byszynski said.
PTA’s Vice President Connie Altamirano, a community and New York state activist, said a dance program like Notes in Motion helps their students “develop holistically as a person.”
“We as parents aren’t just concerned of their academics but also being involved in extracurricular activities like dance with Notes in Motion,” Altamirano said. “Dance helps bring joy and smiles to their faces. When we see them happy, we are happy as well!”
P.S. 290Q received a grant from the Department of Education for the second year in a row to give their students the chance to learn how to express themselves via dance with Notes in Motion, according to Principal José Luis Jiménez.
Assistant principal Jacqueline Bruno, who initially applied for the grant, said that in addition to the 10-week program helping the school meet the required hours of body movement, it also helps students who couldn’t afford to be in dance classes the chance to participate during school hours.
Brendaleese Medina, PTA’s treasurer said it was an “honor to present” Notes in Motion with the check.
“Never in my wildest dreams did I think I would be partnering with an amazing program like Notes in Motion,” Medina said. “They inspire children to create and perform which should never be taken for granted. Children are the future. [Notes in Motion] also believe[s] children are the future and they help them express themselves creatively.”