New after school dance program in Petersburg tackles self-confidence, mental health

New after school dance program in Petersburg tackles self-confidence and mental health issues

PETERSBURG, Va. (WWBT) - Blu’s Dance Studio in Chesterfield is partnering with Cool Springs Elementary in Petersburg for a new after school dance program.

With any class comes a test, but instead of bringing pencils and papers, these students simply bring their feet and a positive attitude.

“We do more than just dance, and we want them to get their nurturing here,” said the owner of Blu’s Dance Studio, Aishah Ramsey.

The class not only gets students moving, but it also works to tackle self-confidence and mental health issues.

Blu's Dance Studio
Blu's Dance Studio (Source: Source:NBC12)

“We implement core values. We help them with self-esteem, motor skills, cognitive skills, social skills, through dance,” said Ramsey.

Along with the dance lessons, Blu’s also hosts an open forum of positive affirmation sessions where the students sit down and talk about things affecting them in life.

The sessions allow the students to cope with life issues, as nothing is off-limits.

"That positive reinforcement helps them know someone is watching, somebody cares what I’m doing,” said Ramsey.

“I’ve learned to express facial expressions, I’ve learned energy,” said class participant, Madison Bonseigneur.

“She taught me that not everything is going to go my way in life,” said class participant, Kaela Williams.

Blu's Dance Studio positive affirmations session
Blu's Dance Studio positive affirmations session (Source: NBC12)

With every leap, this dance floor gives the students something to look forward to as they can let down their guards.

“Even though it’s fun to them, they’re dancing and making funny or angry faces, they’re learning how to cope with a different mechanism for when they get angry,” Ramsey said.

Ramsey hopes the students take what they learn to excel in life, and most importantly, have the confidence to dance like nobody’s watching.

“A lot of kids have a lot of different stories,” said Ramsey. “It gives them hope.”

Blu's Dance Studio
Blu's Dance Studio (Source: NBC12)

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