By Fantasia Hernandez

Dancing can benefit people of all ages physically and mentally. It improves muscular strength, endurance and motor fitness, muscle tone and strength. It can also give a person greater self-confidence, self-esteem, and better social skills.

At William Penn High School, there are many dancing opportunities such as dance troupe and step team, but many students seek the opportunities outside of school. One of those students is junio Dakeem Blackiston.

In the 7th grade, Blackiston was first introduced to dancing from William Penn’s dance troupe. He joined when he came to Penn, but gained more experience and became more skilled because of the dance class he teaches at Rose Hill Community Center . During these classes Blackiston makes choreography, teaches the dances, and works on his free-styling.

It’s beneficial to both the teachers and the learners. It teaches them how to dance and it makes me feel like a better person.” Without this experience and opportunity, Blackiston says he would not be the person he is today.

Those interested in dance have the opportunity to try out for the dance troupe at the end of this school year. They can also check out Blackiston’s hip hop classes Tuesdays from 7 – 8 p.m.