By (Miss) Jennifer Ferren
Kinderdance Atlanta Instructor
When I was a young girl, I have really fond memories of my grandmother taking me to special events in downtown Atlanta. I remember going to the Fabulous Fox Theatre each holiday season to see The Atlanta Ballet’s “The Nutcracker”. The theatre itself was impressive enough, but then the lights would go down and the dancers would come out and MAN! The costumes, the live orchestra, the dancing; it was simply magical. Good times!
My other grandparents were co-owners of an art gallery in the original Underground Atlanta. On the weekends when we stayed with them, we were whisked away into the heart of downtown and thrown head first into the diverse culture and rich artistry that the local Atlanta artists had to offer; the wax museum, the various unique shops and galleries, the food, the music coming from the clubs and restaurants. If not Underground Atlanta, it was various art festivals and music performances around town.
I strongly believe that exposing young children to many various forms of art helps spark their imagination and opens them up to the magic of creative expression. It teaches them invaluable lessons in culture, diversity, artistry and beauty. As a parent, through the years, I have taken my daughter Kelsey to MANY shows, museums and concerts. As a result, she is now about to embark on a phenomenal study abroad trip with Syracuse University to study the first semester of her junior year as a Musical Theater major in London. She will be studying at Shakespeare’s Globe Theatre, one of the most legendary meccas of drama in the history of mankind.
Looking back on my childhood, I am sincerely grateful to my family for exposing me to the possibility and wonder of the arts. I am a thriving professional musician, a dance instructor and have even had a blast volunteering at Cobb County’s Pebblebrook high school as a costume mom for 4 years. I may not have considered a career in the arts had I not had those special and magical opportunities, as well as lots of support, provided by my family. As a Kinderdance instructor, I am constantly amazed at how quickly the students learn and how much fun and joy is created in the classroom. Thank you, parents, for sharing the arts with your children though Kinderdance. Don’t stop there, though. Take them to the ballet, to musicals, to concerts and festivals. Encourage them to love and appreciate the arts in every form, then sit back and watch them unfold as gracefully as beautiful little lotus flowers!