Performing arts school opens in South Shore

Some children just need an outlet to shine, and performing arts is sometimes the answer. They express themselves and their talents are nurtured, the founder of a South Side performing arts school said. Rhea Henderson said the arts is an important avenue i

Some children just need an outlet to shine, and performing arts is sometimes the answer. They express themselves and their talents are nurtured, the founder of a South Side performing arts school said.

Rhea Henderson said the arts is an important avenue in helping today’s youth find their footing in the world, and she set out to provide the services.

“Our youth are trying so desperately to find their own way and have their voices heard. The arts are an integral part of helping them find their way,” Henderson said, adding that the school is another alternative for parents and their children once they get out of school each day.

With so much mayhem going on in the city and with children oftentimes the victims of violence, Henderson said she is happy to provide parents with another option to help keep their children out of harm’s way while they are at work and in the evenings.

About two years ago she had a vision to use her talents as a dancer and model to help train the next generation of expressive youth and young adults. Two months ago, her dream became a reality.

“The school will empower youth through discipline and creativity of dance and modeling, as well as encourage academic growth. We will also highlight the importance of teamwork, social etiquette and building selfesteem,” Henderson said about the RH School of Performing Arts at 2542 E. 83rd St. that opened in August.

The school features classes in modern, jazz and hip hop dancing, and modeling.

There is also a combination dance class for beginners consisting primarily of creative movement, with a little ballet and jazz infused into it.

And while the student population is mostly female, she is hoping to attract more males to the school.

Henderson, an avid dancer as a child, has trained with renowned instructors Sadie Bruce and Sammy Dyer.

She also attended the Mayfair Academy on East 79th Street and danced with the Joel Hall Dance Company on the North Side.

She later became a choreographer for the Gwendolyn Brooks Dance Troupe, and was a Chicago Bulls’ Luv A Bulls cheerleader.

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