Ninja Hammer Lock and Cool Kid Handshake

It is almost time for our Dancing With Our Local Schools – Winter Showcase 2014 program to take place, and the founder of Fordney Foundation, Marilyn Fordney with her husband, co-founder, Alex Havasi, in conjunction with Maria Durant, founder and owner of Dance 4 Wellness and her dance instructors put on this local schools event every year. Please see our flyer inserted below for more details. On November 12, 2014, Mrs. Fordney and her husband Alex visited Westlake Hills Elementary School in Thousand Oaks, California, to see how the students of this school, in our program, were doing with the dances they are learning. Here is a summary of the day’s event as told by Marilyn Fordney.

“My husband Alex and I were at Westlake Hills Elementary School to watch 29 cool dancers. Maria Durant and one of her instructors, Erica Arnold greeted us. Then we met Sandra Rowlett, the teacher of the fifth graders. Sandra danced with Jeffrey, who works in another part of the campus. Sandra and Jeffrey were very good examples for the students to follow.

These fifth grade students looked confident and showed a great deal of concentration as Erica walked them through various dance maneuvers, such as the Ninja Hammer Lock and the Cool Kid Handshake. Everyone was laughing and smiling. These youngsters began dancing the Swing, progressed through the Cha Cha, rotated partners to continue with the Hustle, and ended the session with a refresher–the Meringue. The school staff teachers and a substitute instructor who had previously taught these youngsters during their beginning elementary classes came to watch and observe how proficient and sophisticated the students have become. The Principal, Somer Harding, came to see the students too, so we were happy to get a chance to meet with her in person. We learned that academically, these students have progressed exceptionally, and it seems to be as a result of learning the positive skill of dancing and exercise together.

As sponsors of the Dancing With Our Local Schools program, we felt proud of all of the students. We extend our best wishes to every one of them when they perform in the upcoming December 12th showcase that will be held at 5 PM at La Reina High School in Thousand Oaks, California.

Thank you Maria Durant and Erica Arnold of the Dance 4 Wellness dance studio in Westlake Village, California for making this happen and for preparing our next dance generation. My husband and I feel wonderful watching the faces light up and seeing how these students reap the benefits of dance.”

I hope you have enjoyed reading about the fun and excitement dance creates in our local schools, as witnessed personally by Marilyn Fordney and her husband, Alex. I also want to thank Alex Havasi for these excellent photos he took of the children of Westlake Hills Elementary School.

Westlake Hills Elementary

School – 5th Grade students

Thought Of The Week:

Dream big, dig deep, find your passion and make it happen!


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Shane Meuwissen is the Media Specialist for Fordney Foundation.  He is a former dance instructor who know works with his company Slow Motion Dance Videos capture the beauty of dancing. If you would like to learn more about Shane and his video work, visit his website