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New instructor brings new ideas

| Wednesday, March 1, 2006

Dancing is a fun activity and healthy exercise, especially for the young girls who take classes with instructor Bethany Brown at the Regional Family YMCA.

The YMCA has been offering an array of dance and gymnastics opportunities for children and adults, and Brown is the newest addition to the staff.

Dancing since a young age, Brown formally has been trained in many fields, including jazz, ballet, hip-hop and lyrical, and also is a trained gymnast.

Brown is a graduate of the University of Pittsburgh, where she received a bachelor's degree in psychology.

While she was a student at the Greensburg campus, she was a member of the dance team, an award-winning group.

During the years that Brown was a member of the team, it won several awards, including two national titles, and she served as captain of the team for three of the four years she was a participant.

Brown also won awards as part of a jazz duet, earning a first-place award and finishing second twice.

She enjoys the creative end of the field, and designed the choreography for McKeesport High School's production of "Annie Get your Gun."

She teaches 14 different classes at the YMCA and is working with students ages 2 and older.

"I use a lot of imagination with teaching the younger kids," Brown said. "I find ways to get them to do stretches like telling them that we are going to put sun screen on our toes. They then do the stretches without being bored. At that age, they become bored very quickly."

And Brown said she continually is learning as well.

"I do a lot of research and look in to how to make the classes interesting," Brown said. "I'm trying to make them unusual and different by using different techniques."

The classes with her younger students, Tiny Tots, Pre-Jazz, Pre-Ballet, Beginning Jazz 1, Beginning Ballet 1 and Beginning Hip Hop are smaller and more intimate, while her advanced classes such as Intermediate Hip Hop, Intermediate Ballet, Intermediate Jazz, Advanced Ballet, Advanced Jazz and Advanced Hip Hop are attended by more students.

"I'm pleased with the class sizes," Brown said, "and the older Hip Hop classes are the larger ones."

And Brown is having as much fun as her students when it comes to all of her classes.

"I'm always interested in learning something new and trying new techniques," Brown said, "and when I try new things, I'm learning just as well."

All of the classes are offered to YMCA members and nonmembers, and all presently have openings for new students.

For information, call 724-542-9622.

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