South Side H.S. Dance Program May Be Cut

By John W. Davis

April 28, 2011 Updated Apr 28, 2011 at 11:20 PM EDT

FORT WAYNE, Ind. (Indiana's NewsCenter) - "Sadness for the kids. There are kids of which I can't explain on the television, who have home lives and situations where dance is there greatest out and their greatest way to escape," said South Side High School Dance Instruction Brittney Coughlin.

Coughlin and her co-teacher Kelly Holt are South Side High School's Dance Artists In Residence.

They have been with the program for seven years.

They started with one class and 20 students.

Now they have four classes and 120 students in their program.

Coughlin and Holt said the free program is about more than dance.

Students learn life skills, art, history and proper nutrition.

However, teachers and students recently learned the program may be cut next year.

Coughlin told Indiana's NewsCenter it takes about $20,000 dollars for Fort Wayne Community Schools to fund the program.

Teachers have not received the official word from district officials but South Side students are not being allowed to sign up for dance class next school year.

They feel with late notice of the program being cut, it is probably too late to apply for grants.

"The Fort Wayne Dance Collective has offered to help us and to accept donations from people in the community. We are seeking out funding from grants and other sources," said South Side Dance Instructor Kelly Holt.

Community members and corporate sponsors who would like to donate should call the Fort Wayne Dance Collective at 260.424.6574, who is accepting donation on behalf of the program.

Meanwhile, the South Side High School Dance Program will put on what could be their final concert Friday, April 29, at 7 p.m. at the South Side High School Auditorium, on 3601 South Calhoun Street in Fort Wayne.

Tickets may be purchased at the door for $5 adults and $3 for students and children.

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