SKIES Unlimited classes help expand young horizons
September 30, 2013
WIESBADEN, Germany - Local Department of Defense Dependents Schools provide a host of extracurricular clubs, programs and activities. But some students and parents want even more.
That's where Child, Youth and School Services' SKIES (Schools of Knowledge, Inspiration, Exploration and Skills) Unlimited Program enters the picture.
"We're trying to provide quality, convenient and affordable programming for the Soldiers and their families overseas," said Steven Hall, Wiesbaden Morale, Welfare and Recreation partnership and instructional program specialist. "We're always looking for new ideas and new talent."
From musical instrument instruction to martial arts, modern dance to ballet -- participants are finding a wealth of opportunities to nurture talents and enhance skills.
"Our classes start as early as six months and run to 18 years of age," said Hall. "We're always trying to grow, to offer more opportunities and to keep the prices comparable, if not lower, to those on the local economy."
"We have about 37 classes on the schedule this year," said dance instructor Allison Cave, explaining that youths are learning ballet, tap, jazz and contemporary dance.
"They run all through the school year," she said, adding that nearly 300 students had enrolled so far for the classes which run from September to May.
While most students were at home finishing homework or getting ready for dinner one night last week, several young ladies were executing graceful dance positions in a ballet class at the Army Community Service cafeteria.
Cave, an experienced dance instructor with a Bachelor of Fine Arts from the University of North Carolina School of the Arts, said she loves sharing her appreciation for ballet with her young charges.
"I love so many things about dance. I love extending my physical abilities to their limit, and moving to music is one of the most enjoyable things in the world," she said.
As a former teacher for the Artists Striving To End Poverty program in the United States, Cave said teaching military youths in Wiesbaden is equally rewarding.
"It has been great," she said. "I think the students are lovely children and it's a very dedicated community.
"It's never too late to begin," Cave added, saying dance, like learning a musical instrument, is something that one appreciates for a lifetime. "Even though we don't all become dance professionals, it's a practice that will support you all through your life. You can always come back to dance, and it keeps you young."
Although classes have already started this year, Cave said there are still openings -- particularly in the Saturday programs ranging from preschool to high school.
For more information about the dance and other SKIES Unlimited Programs call Parent Central Services at civ (0611) 705-7928 or stop by Building 1215 on Clay Kaserne.