Phillips County News - One Nation, Under God

By Pierre Bibbs
Sports Editor 

Malta Parks and Rec offers tap and cheer classes


November 28, 2018

Malta Parks and Recreation has started a pair of new classes this fall under the direction of dance instructor Sheena Dorak.

Around 30 girls aged seven and up take over the Malta City Hall building every Tuesday at 4 p.m. for youth cheerleading an event started by in response to high demand at local basketball games.

“I went to a Mustangs game and I saw all kinds of little girls running around wearing their spirit gear and some little girls were practicing some things that they had probably learned at a cheerleading camp,” Dorak said. “So, I just threw the idea out there to Julia Tatafu and she thought that it would go over and there are 34 girls signed up for it.”

Though Dorak had previously taught ballet, hip-hop, tap, jazz, swing, and salsa, cheerleading has been her largest class under Malta Parks and Recreation.

“I offered it for just seven years old and older, so one could imagine I had lowered the age,” Dorak said. “We would possibly have more girls, but I wanted to be able to do some basic stunting.”

At the conclusion of this fall’s dance sessions, Dorak will not field a new class until February of 2019, but one new addition may be that of a cheerleading class for younger girls.

“I have had quite a few people ask me already, not to mention my own daughter, who wants to take it,” Dorak said. “I will probably have a younger girl’s class but it just wouldn’t include the stunting aspect and it will be a little less complex.”

Like cheerleading, the local community has taken an interest in the art of tap-dancing.

“I had taught a swing-salsa class for adults and one of the participants asked if I was the one who taught tap for kids,” Dorak said. “She mentioned that she always wanted to take a tap class. She said that she kind of wanted to sneak in and take the class with the kids.”

Dorak responded with an ultimatum, that if there was enough interest, she would add a class for adults.

“We had a few more from the swing-salsa class that said they had interest as well,” Dorak said. “So, we offered it.”

Classes for Adult Tap started on Wednesday, November 7, and have been going on every Wednesday from 7 p.m. to 7:30 p.m.

The students have been learning the basics of tap dancing. Dorak explained what the group focused on during their first two classes.

“What I started them with was warming up their feet and getting used to the movement that their ankles, knees, and legs had to do,” Dorak said. “I started off by teaching them the fundamentals that are the building blocks to more complex steps. The shuffles and hops and steps and stances and stomps. There are all kinds of small steps that you can build upon to create more complex steps.”

Dorak explained where she would like the group to be by the conclusion of their final class on Wednesday, December 5.

“By the end, they will have a good understanding of all of the basic steps in tap,” Dorak said. “I have already given them quite a few more complex steps and we just make different combinations. This way they should be able to create their own combinations.”

Dorak explained the difference between youth tap and adult tap classes.

“With the adult class I get to teach at a faster pace and also you don’t have to wrangle the adults like you have the wrangle the kids,” Dorak said.

For those interested in taking adult tap, prices for classes are $9 apiece. For those interested in joining Youth Cheerleading the cost in $30 a child, though the price has not been released for future sessions.


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