The East Falmouth Elementary Dance Program was established in 2001 by Alison (MacDonald) Brubaker, a high school student at the time, and her mother Wendy Scholes, a third grade teacher at East Falmouth Elementary School since 1992. Ali was seventeen years old when she started volunteering her time for an hour after school each week to teach dance to a group of interested fourth graders in the East Falmouth Elementary gym. The program grew quickly and she enlisted the help of two more high school students: Sheena Harper and Kellie Doherty.
Ali, Sheena, and Kellie started dance classes in childhood and had worked to become Advanced Dance students under the direction of Irene Merrill. When Mrs Merrill heard about the program, she invited the East Falmouth students perform in her annual spring recital. The volunteer high school students choreographed a dance routine and bought materials to make costumes with funds provided by the East Falmouth Elementary PTO. The East Falmouth Elementary Dance Program students where such a success in the spring recital that, after the performance, Mrs. Merrill decided that one of the East Falmouth students would be awarded a scholarship to continue dancing under her direction.
The East Falmouth Elementary Dance Program has been a huge success for twelve years now! Thanks, in great part, to Wendy Scholes for volunteering her time after school each year as the Program Mentor and helping the high school teachers become confident, organized class leaders. The Advanced Dance students who have stepped up to take on the role of the East Falmouth Elementary Dance Program dance teachers by volunteering their time each week for a year (or more!) have included: Alexis Olsen, Shannon Dale, Sara Trowbridge, Anna Trowbridge, Jill Moore, Jordan Walsh, Annmarie Silva, Lian Folger, and Nicola Ferraro. This year, the volunteers are Beatrice Zaw, Eliza Davern, Abbie Dougherty, Annie Yakovleva and Isabel Davern.
Beatrice Zaw and Eliza Davern actually started dancing in the East Falmouth Elementary Dance Program as fourth grade students! Now, they are excited to pass on their passion for dance to a new generation of dancers. Many of the East Falmouth Elementary Dance Program students have continued their dance education and can’t wait to be old enough to volunteer their time to teach with the program.
We are so proud to have the East Falmouth Elementary Program dance students performing in our annual Harper Dance Center spring recital this year! Once again, the volunteers have choreographed a great routine and have created gorgeous costumes. Harper Dance Center is going to provide three East Falmouth Elementary dance students with scholarships this year to continue their dance education. The scholarships are chosen by the Advanced Dance student volunteer teachers. We look forward to watching the program continue to grow and thrive in the coming years. If you have any questions or would like to volunteer your time or make a donation, please contact Harper Dance Center.
"Sheena Harper from Harper Dance Center is the most supportive, encouraging, and inspiring dance instructor and studio owner. Because of her, and the East Falmouth Elementary mentor, 3rd grade teacher, Wendy Scholes, this program has been running for TEN YEARS! Over a hundred kids have had the opportunity to dance in a professional recital and thousands of East Falmouth Elemenary students have seen the dancers and the high school dance teachers perform on their stage each spring. Ms. Harper is an incredible asset to the local community and a true inspiration to elementary schoolers, high schoolers, and their families."- Alison MacDonald