It’s a high energy morning at Dr. Michael M. Krop Senior High School. And Bernadette Pierre has her dance students on point, as they train for an upcoming show. And believe it or not, many of these kids have never had formal dance training.
"A lot of the students come in with just raw talent and they get placed in the beginner's class, and I work on technique with them. From there they get better and they move up into the intermediate class," said Pierre.
The skills these students are learning as part of the school’s STAR magnet program will help them throughout their lives, whether they become professional dancers or not.
"The first thing that I do when they get here is I tell them 'My job is to teach you how to prepare for life and be ready for life after highschool'. The discipline that they will learn from the arts will prepare them for the rest of their lives," said Mrs. Pierre.
Some of Mrs. Pierre’s students have gone on to careers on Broadway. And occasionally they’ll come back to work with her kids. And that’s just part of what makes this class so special.
"Ms. Pierre brings the vibrancy to the program that is completely unmatched by anything else here at the school. She shares the passion that the kids have and is really an original," said Dr. Allison Harley, Principal of Michael M. Krop Senior High School.
"What makes Ms. Pierre such a great teacher is her drive, dedication, and love for dance. She's become like a mother to all of us," said Virginia Hayward, a senior at Dr. Michael M. Krop Senior High School.
Mrs. Pierre has been teaching at Krop since it opened in 1998. And she loves it as much now as she did then.
"I love when the kids come in and they look at me like 'What is this foreign stuff you're teaching me?' and then two or three years later they are flourishing," said Pierre.
So give it up for Bernadette Pierre, the head of this dance party. She’s this week’s super teacher and the recipient of two passes to Universal Orlando Resort.
(Prizes provided by Universal Orlando Resort™)