Editor’s note: This story has been corrected to reflect dance class times. We apologize for the error.
WEST BATON ROUGE PARISH, La. (BRPROUD) – This summer, West Baton Rouge Parish is hosting events for people of all ages, including a storytelling session and dance classes.
Susie Shepherd teaches free community dance classes at the parish library.
“I teach hip-hop and R&B line dancing,” she said. “We’re called Life of the Party Line Dancers, and anyone 18 and up can attend. Children are welcome too, but they have to attend with their parents.”
Shepherd added that a special children’s line dancing class is in the works.
She loves to teach the classes because of the positive effect dancing has on her students.
“It makes them happy and gives them energy,” Shepherd said. “They’re all excited to learn new dances. So, when they go to weddings and parties, they’re able to get up and dance and have a good time instead of standing there thinking, ‘I wish I knew how to dance!'”
Enjoy a free dance class
Shepherd encourages everyone to give dancing a try. She said, “It’s a natural mood-booster. It’s great exercise, it’s good for the heart, body, and mind. And it relaxes you. I even find that after dancing, you’re a little bit more creative, your creative juices get going. So, it helps creativity too.”
If you want to make dance class a date night or try it out on your own, Shepherd says you must first RSVP via the WBR Parish Library’s website. The next class will be from 11 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. Saturday, June 24.
Shepherd says future classes will typically be twice a month from 6-7:45 p.m. Thursdays.
This performer bridges innovation with tradition
Kuniko Yamamoto transports audiences from the present and into a land of illusion. A professional storyteller who brings ancient Japanese myths to life, Yamamoto will inspire audiences with her Magical Mask, Mime and Music performance at 9:30 a.m. Tuesday, June 27 in the Port Allen Community Center (749 N. Jefferson Ave., Port Allen). A second show will take place later that afternoon at 12:30 p.m. in the Addis VFW Hall (4453 Myhand St., Addis).
Audiences will watch Yamamoto add a dash of magic to her use of traditional Japanese music, specialized masks, and choreographed movements. Judy Boyce of West Baton Rouge Parks and Recreation said, “Kuniko Yamamoto has many talents. One of them is captivating her audience with her dramatic performance of Japanese folktales and fables. Kuniko makes her performance appealing to all ages by enhancing it with traditional Japanese music and dance, mime and magic, and her intricately folded origami objects and hand-crafted character masks.”
The performance also is educational.
“As she entertains, she also informs her audiences about fascinating aspects of Japanese culture,” Boyce added.
Watch Crescent Circus dazzle with stunning feats
Families are invited to West Baton Rouge’s Crescent Circus Wednesday, July 19. A husband-and-wife team who specialize in performing fascinating illusions and dangerous feats, they’re bringing their act to Port Allen audiences this summer.
Boyce said attendees can expect to see lightning-fast illusions, interactive magic and amazing physical feats.
She added, “Their act is so much fun.”
The team will perform twice Wednesday, July 19. First, at 9:30 a.m. in the Port Allen Community Center. The second is scheduled to begin at 1 p.m. in the Erwinville Recreation Center (5110 Rougon Road, Erwinville).