Martinsville, Virginia


Dance Espanol in Henry County Schools

By: Lauren Brooke Ellis | Programs and Public Relations Coordinator

August 29, 2023


On the morning of Aug. 25, two area elementary schools performed dance pieces choreographed by Pedro Szalay, the artistic director of Southwest Virginia Ballet. In a long-standing partnership with Piedmont Arts, students performed for audiences made up of their classmates, teachers, and families. The participants, all fourth graders from Campbell Court Elementary School and Meadow View Elementary School, spent this week working with Szalay on physical movement and spatial awareness, building healthy relationships with their bodies and minds, learning to respect themselves and others, and Spanish vocabulary. Szalay has been teaching this weeklong workshop in Martinsville and Henry County schools for over 17 years.

With 41 participants from Campbell Court Elementary School and 103 from Meadow View Elementary, students took to the dance floor early Friday morning. Excitement and pride were high as the students, led by Szalay and accompanied by Ashley Cundiff on piano, sang songs in Spanish and ran through the dance they spent all week learning. Their daily 45-minute sessions were designed to teach discipline, dedication, and self-awareness through dance.