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Academy teaches kids to give back

HPAD dancers spent Saturday packing backpacks for underprivileged middle and high school students of Roswell. Tanya Herrera, left, Fantasia Morgan, Natalie Herrera were among the students working hard that afternoon. (Curtis Michaels Photo)

Copyright © 2021 Roswell Daily Record

Teaching kids the value of service and of generosity is one of the most valuable life lessons adults can impart. The folks at HPAD (Haley’s Powerhouse Academy of Dance) Dance Team know this, and with parental help, have been giving their young dancers a reason to hold their heads high.

Rena Reynolds, one of the dance team boosters, said they enjoy the relationship they have with the community and want to nurture it.
“We often reach out to the Roswell community,” Reynolds said, “to help support our team in regional and national competitions. Last year, the Roswell community helped us attend five regional competitions and our national competition.”
They felt it was time to give back.
“Each year, there are many students that go without the proper supplies to meet the needs in each of their classes,” she said. “Without the supplies needed, many teachers try to fill the gap out of their pockets. We have gathered our resources, and are putting together 168 backpacks full of supplies for the RISD middle and high school students.”
Each backpack is loaded.
“We have chosen the middle schools and high schools because many other organizations have already supported the elementary schools this year,” Reynolds said.
“We purchased 168 backpacks in various colors.
“Each backpack will have one pencil sharpener, five No. 2 pencils, two pens, one yellow highlighter, two pocket folders, one ruler, one composition notebook, three single-subject notebooks and three sporting goods coupons for sporting apparel and shoes.”
The backpacks were distributed, 28 each to every middle and high school in Roswell.

“Although we cannot help all the students that require help,” Reynolds said, “the HPAD Dance Team hopes that these backpacks and supplies close the gap a little.”
The national competition this year was in San Antonio, Texas in the middle of July and the kids had a blast.
Addison Edmondson, a sixth-grader who is moving out of town said, “It was really fun, especially hanging out with the team and seeing all these other dancers dance, too.”
Edmondson said most of the money for the backpacks came from a performance.
“We had a dance recital in June,” she said, “and for every ticket someone bought, $2 was donated for kids who don’t have enough money for school supplies. We sold out, so it was 500 tickets.”
Kyra Daniels, a seventh-grader at Mountain View Middle School, said they all enjoyed the national competition.
“Nationals was so much fun,” Daniels said. “The first day was for qualifications. Our group got first place. Sunny’s solo got third place and my solo got third place, and the jazz duet and jazz trio both got second. Our group did an acrobatic hip-hop dance routine. It was like hip-hop only really intense.”
Natalie Herrera of El Capitan Elementary School, Ashlyn Montgomery of Del Norte Elementary School and Madeline Blanchard of Valley View Elementary School were excited to meet Ty Riley, a nationally renowned hip-hop choreographer, to compete in front of professional judges and to celebrate with their team.
HPAD can be found online at hpad.weebly.com.
Features reporter Curtis M. Michaels can be reached at 575-622-7710, ext. 205, or at reporter04@rdrnews.com.

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