The Rising Stars dance club composed of 30 students from Booker T. Washington Elementary and William Henry Middle schools practice hard twice a week on their eclectic mix of dances that span from hip hop to ballroom.


The Rising Stars dance club composed of 30 students from Booker T. Washington Elementary and William Henry Middle schools practice hard twice a week on their eclectic mix of dances that span from hip hop to ballroom.

On Tuesday, the Capital students got a chance to show off some of the moves they have worked on with  Booker T. Washington teacher and choreographer Erika Caldwell.

Rising Stars members vary from third and fourth graders from Booker T. to fifth and sixth graders from William Henry, Caldwell said. They perform from time to time not just in school but out in the community as well, she said.

Monday afternoon was reserved for Booker T. Washington students and staff as well as any parents who were able to come in during the day for the “red carpet” show. Those who could not were able to attend Monday afternoon Tuesday evening show.

Caldwell performed the lead in the opening sect with students to “Just Dance” by Lady Gaga.

The Rising Stars dance club is great extracurricular activity that supplements children’s lessons during the day, Caldwell said.

“First of all, it’s a motivator,” she said. It teaches teamwork, commitment and perseverance. These students have to be role models. They have to keep up their grades and be good  citizens.”

Among the William Henry students in Rising Stars are sixth grader Charise Lewis and fifth graders Zyaheem Stratton and Crystal Solomon.

“I’ve learned many new dance styles and made great friends,” William Henry Lewis said.

“I like dance because it’s fun and energetic,” Stratton said.

Among the Booker T. Washington students are third graders Mykala Freeman, Sydney Pitts, Aniyah Elzey and Jayla Pitts.

“I really like to dance and I’m happy that I’m here,” Freeman said. “All my friends are here. I just love it.”

“It’s pretty cool for the older kids to show us moves we didn’t know,” Sydney Pitts said.

“They’re like a sister or brother to us,” Elzey said. “When they have a move, they come and show us.”