Girls Incorporated of Worcester has announced the return of dance classes and performing arts to their daily after-school drop-in program through a partnership with Jo Ann Warren Studio.  Classes will begin in mid-September and are FREE to all girls participating in drop-in and teen programs at Girls Inc. of Worcester.  They will be offered: Thursday, 3:30 to 4:30–Dance (tap, jazz, ballet, hip hop) for elementary school girls, 4:30 to 5:30–Musical Theater and Performing Arts for elementary school girls; Friday, 3:30 to 4:30–Dance (tap, jazz, ballet, hip hop) for middle and high school girls, 4:30 to 5:30–Musical Theater and Performing Arts for middle and high school girls.

Showcases highlighting the girls’ accomplishments will be held in December and June.  Jo Ann Warren Studio will also be using Girls Inc.’s space to offer her own studio classes to JAWS students on Monday, Tuesday and Wednesday.  Registration for the studio classes will take place at Jo Ann Warren Studio on Grafton Street.  Girls Inc. will happily work with families enrolling in these classes to co-register girls in our regular daily drop-in programs as a means of assisting with child care.

WHO IS GIRLS INC.?

As the oldest and only facility based, girl-centered organization in Central Massachusetts, Girls Incorporated of Worcester has been transforming girls’ views of themselves and creating opportunities for generations.

Girls Incorporated is the leading national expert on girls’ issues and houses the largest, most comprehensive research center on girls in the country at its National Resource Center (NRC) in Indianapolis.  Because our core programs are researched, developed, and piloted by the NRC, Girls Inc. provides the highest quality, cutting edge, and age-appropriate programming available to girls in the Greater Worcester area.

With local roots dating to 1916 and national status since 1945, Girls Inc. responds to the changing needs of girls and their communities through nationally-tested, research-based programs. The agency helps build girls’ sense of self and develop their confidence and leadership skills by offering opportunities to express themselves, be heard, and explore their world in a safe environment.

“We are absolutely thrilled to be entering into this exciting and new collaborative relationship with Jo Ann and her talented faculty!   The girls in our programs, their parents, and the staff here at Girls Inc. have asked us to incorporate a dance program into our daily offerings, and we are happy to honor their wishes by partnering with such a highly respected and nationally recognized studio.  It is a win/win venture for all of us – Jo Ann needed the ‘overflow’ studio space that we had available here at Girls Inc. and we needed a quality dance program for our girls!   The biggest winners are the girls who will benefit from the opportunity to receive performing arts classes!” says Deb Hopkins, CEO of Girls Inc. of Worcester.

WHO IS JO ANN WARREN STUDIO (JAWS)?

Jo Ann Warren Studio (JAWS) is the studio choice for many of today’s finest dancers. JAWS’ mission is to continually provide a broad spectrum of dance education for dancers of all ages and of all levels, all within a nurturing and professional environment.  Beginning with “Tiny Tots” and continuing through adults, JAWS offers a variety of classes and levels in ballet, pointe, tap, jazz, acrobatics, musical theatre and hip-hop. JAWS boasts an impressive roster of dance educators. JAWS provides students with an opportunity to explore dance and enrich their appreciation for the various forms of the art.

Jo Ann Warren opened JAWS Worcester in September of 1979 at 321 Grafton Street. With over 100 students enrolled, Jo Ann began the journey…her dream was now a reality. Almost in­stantly, JAWS was a major contributor in the community. The JAWS performance group quickly became a staple at almost every local event…and so the “JAWS” Jr. Dance Company was born. The 14 members were hand-picked by Jo Ann and invited to the challenge of re­hearsing long hours, perfecting routines and sacrificing weekends to serve as studio represen­tatives, entertaining and sharing their talents throughout Worcester County. Two of the original members, Cybill Warren and Paula Hackett, were later awarded Keys to the City of Worcester by Mayor Jordan Levy for their contributions through dance to the less fortunate.

Jo Ann Warren, “All of us at Jo Ann Warren Studio are proud and excited to join creative forces with Girls Inc. of Worcester.  We look forward to a highly successful, long term partnership that will benefit the entire community.”

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