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Kent State University

Art Sparks: Getting a leg up academically through dance

AKRON, Ohio _ Sixteen Harris Elementary third-graders spun around on their bottoms on the gym floor last week as music director Ron Hazelett played along on the keyboard. When lead dance teacher Shauna Conzaman yelled out stage directions, the kids stopped, with their bodies facing upstage, downstage, downstage right, downstage left and more.tmpplchld "Ooh, you learned quickly," Conzaman complimented the kids.tmpplchld "They're a smart group, Miss Shauna," said teacher Erica Piper, who was doing the exercise with the kids on the floor with fellow teacher Courteney Thornton. tmpplchld The dance teachers were from Art Sparks, a nonprofit based in Cuyahoga Falls,...