Students go 'old school' with 1980s-inspired performance

Local students celebrated the spirit of the 1980s at Strawberry Square in Harrisburg.


Eric Heisler

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HARRISBURG – Fifteen Commonwealth Charter Academy students partnered with students from the Capital Area School for the Arts Charter School to perform a tribute to the 1980s dance routine at Strawberry Square on Friday, Oct. 28. 

Under the direction of David Ogden, professional choreographer and dancer, students from both schools worked together to learn signature '80s dance moves to some of the decade's most iconic songs, including “Beat It,” “I Wanna Dance with Somebody” and “Girls Just Want to Have Fun.”

“Students find it so empowering and rewarding. Even those that are nervous are beaming after the performances – it’s a real transformative experience,” said Stephanie Goforth, CCA’s Arts and Humanities Conservatory manager.

The performances and partnership with CASA are part of CCA’s Arts and Humanities Conservatory program. These workshop-style events give students an opportunity to explore other fields and interests outside of their regular class schedules.  

“This partnership gives students the opportunity to serve as mentors. It’s always advantageous to collaborate with other schools and break out of your box,” said Rosemary Battista, a dance instructor at CASA. 

CCA's partnership started four years ago with the birth of their dance event. The relationship has been beneficial for both schools, and it is one they plan to continue.

"The collaboration has been great for CASA students," Battista said. 

It's the teamwork that makes the experience important for students. 

"It teaches transferable skills like collaboration, mental and physical memorization, often provides new friendships and helps to form well-rounded individuals," Goforth said.

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Tagged with cca, commonwealth charter academy, conservatory