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Cultivating Creativity, Expression Through Fine Arts

“I love to dance because it makes me feel powerful,” says Northside High School junior Jesus Juarez. He is studying all types of dance, but it’s through jazz that his personality shines, says instructor Sandra Reyna-Urbina: “Jesus dances with such passion that you can’t keep your eyes off him.” Juarez has always been strong in the arts, studying choir in elementary school and theater in middle school. But after watching the Northside Pantherettes drill team perform, he knew dance was next. HISD wants to nurture that passion for the arts in all students under the guidance of its new K-12 Fine Arts Department. Exposure to fine arts not only improves academics and promotes better attendance, but it helps students develop a nonverbal language that makes them more effective communicators. Last summer, after Reyna-Urbina took him and 11 other students to New York City to take dance classes and see a Broadway show, Juarez could see the possibilities of a career: “Eventually, I want to move to New York to dance professionally.”