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Dance Program Includes A Focus On Girl Empowerment

A dance performance scheduled for Saturday at SUNY New Paltz showcases the work of young students from a private dance center in Ulster County. This year’s performance includes a focus on empowering girls, a theme that grew out of, in part, the presidential election. WAMC’s Hudson Valley Bureau Chief Allison Dunne spoke with Founder and Director of Barefoot Dance Center Jessie Levey about the annual performance.

Levey says one of the pieces on the program, “Like a Girl,” explores sexism that girls encounter in their daily lives. She says it grew out of a project a few years ago called “The Importance of Taking up Space.” It examined how teenage girls felt about being girls. Fast forward to November 2016, when Donald Trump was elected president.

Barefoot Dance Center’s annual student dance concert is Saturday at 5 p.m. at McKenna Theatre at SUNY New Paltz. The students performing range in age from 3-18 while the girls in the “Like a Girl” piece are 10-13. 

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