Porter Students' Dance Card Full

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BROWNSVILLE – Students at Porter Early College High School have their dance shoes ready. They’re headed to a dance competition at the Brownsville Event Center.

The Brownsville school district’s ballroom dancing program has been going strong for 10 years. Dr. Rebecca Rendon, the BISD administrator for fine arts, said the program originally focused on elementary students.

"Honestly, because of the parents wishing for this program… we expanded to middle school and high school,” she told us.

Ballroom dancing class earns students credits in fine arts and physical education, which are required for high school graduation.  "The students learn 11 different styles of dance. We've adopted the Fred Astaire dance curriculum,” said Rendon.

Porter Early College High School Principal Hector Hernandez said the program appeals to a wide range of students. “We've got regular ed kids. We've got special needs kids. We've got athletes that get involved with ballroom dancing. They love it. They do a great job,” he added.

Each student has their favorite dance. For sophomore Lorenzo Garcia, it’s the jive. “It's 100 miles an hour from the beginning to the end,” he said.

"My favorite dance is the rumba,” said senior Rebecca Franco. “Because it's a rhythm dance, but it's one of the slower ones."

"I dance with these stars every day,” said Brownsville ISD ballroom dancing teacher Caty Wantland. “They're really passionate about their dancing, and I get excited to come work with them every single day."

While students from all Brownsville ISD schools are getting ready for the upcoming competition, Wantland said, “I would really, really love for other school districts to get involved. And I would be glad to help them, because I would want our kids to compete with other school districts."

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