Bay Path to honor South American dance

Date: 10/26/2009

LONGMEADOW -- Bay Path College invites the public to celebrate the dances of South America as it hosts the South American Dance and Brunch on Nov. 1 at noon in the Dining Hall of Blake Student Commons on the Longmeadow campus, 588 Longmeadow St. The event will feature free dance lessons and a performance.

The audience will be invited to tango, mambo, merengue and swing as they join the Over the Top: The Ballroom Dance Project for the family friendly event. Middle school students from Springfield Public Schools will perform as the Over the Top troupe and demonstrate and teach the dance skills inspired by the acclaimed documentary "Mad, Hot Ballroom."

This Over the Top session is part of the 2009 City Thinks: Poverty, Education and a Call to Action Program; one of the inspirational and pride-instilling programs running in the Springfield Public Schools.

Over the Top: The Ballroom Dance Project is in its fifth year in the Springfield Public Schools. The program, directed by Allyson and George Gouzounis, travels to 10 elementary schools to instruct fifth-graders in the art of ballroom dancing. In addition to teaching dance steps, the program's goals are to enhance self-confidence and to promote teamwork, cooperation and good sportsmanship. The dancers learn to become risk-takers and interact with one another with tolerance, respect and kindness.

Prior to the event, the public is invited to attend a Latin-themed, all-you-can-eat brunch buffet at Blake Dining Hall. The brunch will be available at 11 a.m. and costs $6.50 per person. Brunch reservations are required before Oct. 27.

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