The debut of an innovative summer program, that blended arts
with fitness, ended with the sound of drums and the sweep of dance.
In a July 2 program at the Holy Family Senior Center, the five-week
Community Moving Education. Program, under the direction of retired New York
City dancer and educator Frenchy Haynes, presented a glimpse of the array of
programs that marked this intensive program, sponsored by CareerSource Gulf
Coast, the Apalachicola Center for History, Culture and Art and the city of
Opening with a Haynes-choreographed dance that accompanied a
prayer that spoke to the Christian foundation of the community, the program lineup
presented live performance of dance and drumming, and a video presentation of
the varied activities that had marked the intensive program.
The video depicted a series of robust educational opportunities,
led by artists in residence, from visual arts instructor Patricia Smith, from
Carrabelle; to culinary arts teacher Chef Brett Gormley from Apalachicola; to photography
instructor Mark Zimmerman, from Jacksonville; to gardening instructor Sarah
Fowler, from Texas.
Plus there were photographic images of the volunteer efforts
of baking instructor Myrtis Wynn, from Apalachicola; tennis instructor Carol
Barfield, from Apalachicola; and sewing instructors Kate Clark, Gladys Gatlin
and Molly Hill, from around Franklin County. A video of the elementary and
middle-school aged youth on a fishing trip to Dr. Julian Bruce St. George
Island State Park, led by fishing instructor Adron Wynn, was shared,
And of course there was plenty of live performance, taught
by artists-in-residence Tiffani Austin, on West African dance; Leyland Simmons,
who worked alongside Haynes with choreography; and Edward Dorman, who shared his
knowledge of West African percussion.
It had been a faculty assembled by Haynes as well as HCA
Chairman Valentina Webb and Director Merrill Livingston.
The dance company comprised JaNya Bell, Maleah Bell,
Kariyanna Bell, Zariah Harvey, Wendi Bernabe, Kingston Williams, Khambrel Anthony,
Conner Lolley, Ally Francisco, Jazany Brown, Franco Francisco and Zion
One theme that emerged from the evening was the programs
focus on these boys and girls delving into their own identities, with such
works as Girls Pledge, and Pretty Hurts, a rare opportunity for these young
people to get in touch with their deepest sensitivities and struggles. The
program also include a session on making safe and healthy decisions, part of
the county health departments Choices program, led by instructors Jessie
Pippen and Talitha Lowery.
In addition to the dance company, those who took part in the
program included Caroline Sterling, Amelia Wolferseder, Loni Burke, Layla
Burke, Brysun McClusky, Micah Edwards, Tyle Morrison, Daisey Jimenez, Elisabeth
Jimenez, Kristina Strahan, Charlotte Strahan, Maddie Lolley, Ayla Miller, Keagan
Siprell, Nehemiah Robinson, Annika Jones, Wendi Bernabe, Marisol Bernabe, Bella
Polous, Kaci Harrell, Jayla Creamer, Jazmyn Fant, Carleigh Williams, Marialicia
Francisco, Rayne Watson, Maquise Penamon, Major Prince, Masijah Prince, and Maria