Student leads elective on Tahitian dancing

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For the first time in the history of electives at Media Academy, a student has taken charge and is teaching her own elective class: Tahitian dancing.

When Media Academy junior Aleanna Santos asked advisory committee leader Lisa Shafer for permission to teach her own elective class, Shafer was more than willing to help Santos promote her request.

“This is exactly what I think electives should be,” said Shafer. “Student driven, student focused, student taught. I cannot think of a better person to pilot this than Aleanna.”

On the first day of electives, Santos along with her students came unprepared to the class, dressed in jeans, with no comfortable attire to be able to dance in. So instead of jumping into dancing, Santos taught the class of 10 students the basics and history of Tahitian dancing.

Since a student has never taught an elective class before, Santos agreed with Shafer to keep the class small. The class is hosted by ELD teacher Jeanette Bell, who agreed to switch her elective from study hall to accommodate the Tahitian dancers.

The dance room is already taken due to the elective Rebekkah Ford and Darlene Miller are teaching, which is line dancing.

Santos’ other option was to teach the class in Bell’s classroom. Although, Bell has offered to request to use a portable so there aren’t any disturbances and peepers. (Bell said that on the first day, boys from other electives were peering in the window to watch the all-female class learn Tahitian dancing moves. The class requested the windows be covered, and Bell honored that request.)