NewsHillsborough County


Straz Center teams with Metropolitan Ministries, Hillsborough Schools to give free ballet lessons

Straz seeking more local team-up opportunities
use for web.png
Posted at 5:21 AM, Apr 05, 2022
and last updated 2022-04-05 08:37:17-04

TAMPA, Fla. — Hannah Box is a professional ballet dancer and instructor at Tampa's Straz Center for the Performing Arts.

She works with the elite.

And yet, these days, she said the best part of her job is working with people still learning how to pull on ballet slippers.

Her students today? Third-graders at Sullivan Elementary, all of whom — boys and girls — are buying into the art of the dance.

"I want to give them the tools to use their bodies as a form of self-expression," she said. "To see them go from being shy kids to blossoming like this? It's the best thing in the world."

The Straz is teaming up with Metropolitan Ministries and Hillsborough County Schools to give free ballet lessons. Many of Box's students are residents in Metropolitan Ministries housing.

So she wants these students to be able to channel whatever they're feeling through positive expression and dance.

"The more tools you have to feel confident in yourself, the better equipped these students will be to handle what life throws at them," she said.

In May, the kids will perform a full show based on the classic children's book "Frederick," about a mouse who thinks outside the box when it comes to life.

The Straz Center is seeking more partners for its Arts Education outreach program. To contact them, click here.