Our Islands, Our Future

Thanksgiving, the kick-off to the holiday season, might look a little different this year because of the pandemic. Nevertheless, it still remains a time to give thanks for all things good and beautiful. Danelle Watson, director of Alexander Academy of Performing Arts, an upcountry Maui dance studio and performing company, and her students are grateful that the Academy was able to open its doors with COVID-19 guidelines, as well as online classes.

“Re-opening our doors has been so positive,” said Watson. “There is a sense of community back and I can see joy and appreciation in all the students and their families. Dancing has been a great help through the pandemic: we move our bodies as we tackle those difficult 2020 obstacles life threw at us. We have an amazing team of teachers working hard to bring the love of dance to so many. For our current students, whose training was disrupted by the onset of COVID-19, or for the adults who are looking for a way to release the stress of the day, we are also continuing virtual classes.”

Ballet and contemporary dancer Moorea Feliciano, 8, noted, “It is that time of year to reflect and give thanks. Dancers have a lot to be thankful for. We are able to do what we love and have a family that supports us. Dancing keeps our bodies happy and healthy, which is truly a great gift. We are constantly working together to reach new goals. When we work as a team in dance class we accomplish many achievements, and we gain confidence that we can do what we set our minds to. I pour my heart into dance. It is my passion and form of expression.”

Ballet dancer Kestrel Marshall, 11, added, “Sometimes dancing goals do not come easy and there is a lot of hard work that must happen first. I love this about dance because it translates to outside the classroom as well. Dancers have the confidence to set big goals and the perseverance to see them through. I love dancing and I am so thankful for Alexander Academy!”

Our talented hard-working students ‘wow’ us every day! We hope to produce a Christmas performance in a theater or outside venue to be shared virtually with the community.

Danelle Watson, Director, Alexander Academy of Performing Arts