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ELKO — Walk in the doorway at 600 Commercial St. and you will immediately be caught up in the contagious exuberance of young people scurrying off to multiple classes in dance, karate, acting and more.

There is never a dull moment for the kids or the parents who can watch their children learn on a live screen television in the front lobby.

The Elko Arts Academy has been a local staple for years, offering arts and activity classes and a unique pre-school program. Recently, Director Yong Pratt has introduced a delightful new dance program called Angelina Ballerina.

“Angelina Ballerina is the little star with big dreams,” said Pratt as she discussed the patented program. “We are joining a growing network of over 110 studios across North America that offer weekly classes based on the beloved, dancing mouseling star of the Angelina Ballerina book series and animated television program.”

Poised pretty in pink, the girls involved in the class are brought into a shared world along with the feisty little mouse as they learn to face challenges and accept mistakes. The narrator introduces standard ballet positions and helps them complete and understand the actions behind the terminology.

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“The Angelina Ballerina Dance Academy curriculum is designed by internationally renowned master teachers and child development experts,” commented Pratt as she led the girls through their steps. “Children are inspired to pursue their dreams of dance, just like Angelina.”

Parents can find out more about this innovative initiative by calling the studio at 753-LEAP (5327) or by visiting www.ElkArts.org.

Other new offerings at the school include a special for boys to dance free for an entire year.

“Dance is an athletic endeavor and we are hoping to change the negative stigma that exists against males,” said Pratt.

New art classes are being incorporated as well. The Fine Arts Experience and The Clay Experience are unique workshops for youngsters five years old and up. The kids can explore watercolor, drawing and making cool collectibles out of clay. I just wish I could get in there with them and get really messy making masterpieces!

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