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Spotlight Dance Academy shines a light on books during Books in Motion program

Kern County dancers have been performing in libraries with hopes of inspiring kids to embrace reading. One dance academy with the program is stepping into the "Spotlight."
Spotlight Dance Academy
Posted at 1:27 PM, Aug 04, 2023

BAKERSFIELD, Calif. (KERO) — The Kern Dance Alliance is wrapping up their seventh annual Books in Motion program, made to improve literacy in Kern County through dance.

During the program, Kern County dancers have been performing in libraries with hopes of inspiring kids to embrace reading. One dance academy with the program is stepping into the "Spotlight."

“We are an arts academy here in Bakersfield," said Sharida Rejon-Rodriguez, Director of Spotlight Dance Academy. "We are actually a 501c3 non profit organization and what we do is we focus on providing training for kids in our community in all areas of the arts. We do dance, we do theatre, music, choir, all kinds of classes.”

Spotlight Dance Academy's Books in Motion performances have two groups. The dance department, which performs "Cindergorilla," and the musical theatre department, which performs "Goldilocks and the Three Bears."

According to Rodriguez, the yearly Books in Motion program performances are an academy favorite.

“I is our sixth year in Books in Motion," said Rodriguez. "We look forward to it every year. The first time that we were a part of it, we fell in love with the program. Our kids love to bring these books to life and we love seeing the interaction with the kids in the audience. It is a great program to be a part of.”

Interacting with the kids during a Books in Motion performance was actually what brought one performer from the audience to the stage.

“I just like dancing and when I saw them, I just started to dance," said Paula Morenom, a dancer at the academy. "Now I like signing up to do dance and stuff, hip hop and musical theatre.”

By performing the books through fun choreography and characters, the audience watching can better understand the book without the boundary of having to read the words on the paper. Meanwhile, the performers can continue to do what they love: dancing!

“I love dancing so much that I actually become a teacher at Spotlight Dance Academy," said Ashley Rejon, one of the academy's instructors.

“My favorite part about dancing is you get to show kids how to dance, bringing the books to life," said dancer Sophia Leon. "Also about Books in Motion, i love the stuff. I love the crafts, I love dancing. I love mostly everything about Books in Motion."

Books in Motion has had 29 performances so far.