Dancing for a Cause
Morgan Paige Martin ’08 (English), currently a high school English teacher in Nashville, Tenn., has accomplished quite a lot the past few years. In 2011, she graduated with her master’s degree in education from Belmont University. Following that, she joined the Peace Corps, where she was then stationed in Kocani, Macedonia. While there, she not only taught English to her local school in a small town of about 18,000 people, but she also successfully constructed a dance studio in the basement of the school, after obtaining a grant through USAID. It was a huge success.
“I wanted to take the classes a step further, so I created a 5-day intensive camp! The classes were each about an hour and a half long and consisted of: tap, ballet, Zumba, hip-hop, modern, ‘classics,’ break dancing, jazz, swing, pop, and a ‘student teacher’ class. With the help of fellow volunteers, the camp could not have been better,” Martin says.
The fifth day of camp included a day-long rehearsal, followed by a recital.
“It is no exaggeration in saying that half of the city came out to support the recital that night, and the reviews of the show were beyond phenomenal,” says Martin.
You can view the news coverage of the opening of the dance studio at: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=LQlgK3niFGM
In leaving Macedonia, Martin promised to return again this year to implement another dance camp, and she intends to do so, even bigger than last year. She has created a Kickstarter page to help raise funds for this year’s international camp, and she is looking for any help in getting the word out about the cause.
“As a local teacher who has taught abroad, I understand the luxuries we offer our children here in America,” says Martin. “The high school I currently teach at is an inner-city school where children are bussed in each morning. Although my current students may not be the most fortunate group, they still have access to many opportunities children in the rest of the world cannot imagine. I still think it is important to be able to provide similar opportunities for teenagers who are less fortunate. As an educator who follows the Jesuit beliefs, this is one of my main goals for this summer. Thank you in advance for your consideration and help.”
For more information and to donate to Martin’s dance camp, visit: http://www.kickstarter.com/projects/604889048/dance-camp-2013