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A Step in the Right Direction

Teens join REACH to learn dance, community service

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Click on the slide show above to learn more about the REACH dance program from students Julie Jean and Fernanda Novelle Ruddy of the Boston Arts Academy and Christian Allen of the Cambridge School of Weston. Photos by Kimberly Cornuelle

The beat bounces off the walls of the BU Dance Theater, and teens from greater Boston move to it with precision. But this dance camp, called REACH, is about more than movement.

REACH is a one-month summer outreach teen apprenticeship dance program for youth ages 14 to 18 offered by BU’s Department of Physical Education, Recreation, and Dance. It combines training, choreography, and performance. The dancers rehearse for two weeks and then perform in a series of 45-minute shows and lead workshops in a two-week tour through Boston neighborhoods.

“I feel like REACH is a good way to be an inspiration to people who want to express themselves, but don’t know how to,” says Julie Jean, a junior at the Boston Arts Academy.

REACH was founded by Micki Taylor-Pinney, PERD coordinator of dance. Professional dancers working with the teens this summer include Jeffrey Louizia, Sandra Shih, Stephanie Imbornone, and Christina Piscitelli, REACH program director.

Students in the program will perform a free outdoor show for the public at 7 p.m. on Wednesday, July 23, in the parking lot behind Harvest Cooperative Supermarket, 581 Massachusetts Ave., in Cambridge’s Central Square. The rain date is July 30. For more information, call 617-353-1597.

Kimberly Cornuelle can be reached at kcornuel@bu.edu.

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