Every few days during the school year, a class of MPS 4th graders spills into the lounge of the Milwaukee Ballet School.
They drop off their backpacks then hurry to change clothes. In a few minutes, the 20 students reappear- the girls dressed in leotards and tights, the boys in white t shirts and shorts- and all are wearing ballet slippers.
Nine-year-old Karena Hurtdo-Reyes explains the program’s name.
“Relevè means to rise up,” she says.
After translating the French word, she demonstrates “relevè” by pressing up on her tiptoes and holding her balance.
The program aims to “raise” students’ self-esteem and their appreciation and access to the arts.
The students file into rows on the studio floor and halt their chattering when teacher Lori McNichols raises the volume of classical music. They begin stretching.
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