Hub City dance academy takes students to new heights

Updated: Jun. 2, 2019 at 10:30 PM CDT
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HATTIESBURG, Miss. (WDAM) - A Hattiesburg dance academy is taking students to new heights through the art of dance.

Dance instructor and owner of Xfinity Dance Academy E.Jae James said he’s been dancing for years and wanted to share his talents with a younger generation.

“I’m trying to teach them how to fail but not show your failure and pretty much push through those issues and push through what comes on the stage, because sometimes it’s not always going to be correct, but the audience doesn’t know that,” said James.

James said the goal for his academy is not to just build up dancers but to build up confidence among his students.

“A lot of these kids probably won’t be professional dancers or they may not want to do this when they get in college, but it allows them to just have an outlook and an outlet to pretty much be able to have something like a community or family,” said James.

From performing on the University of Southern Mississippi basketball court to taking their moves to the Harlem Globetrotters, these students say it’s all about being able to express themselves.

“It just gave me a lot of balance and help me keep up with doing everything with school and dance. It helps me balance stuff out,” said dance student Alex Herring.

Several students said they’ve seen an increase in their confidence since they joined the dance studio.

“I feel like I’ve grown more confident as I started dancing,” said dance student Kaela Febenito.

Kaela’s mom, Martha Febenito, said she’s seen major improvement in her daughter since she started dancing.

“She has become very much more aware of who she is and a more confident person," said Febenito. "She’s able to express herself without feeling ashamed of who she is.”

Whether they’re in it for the long run or just the moment, these dancers said the relationships they’ve built will last a lifetime.

“So, it’s pretty much just having a sisterhood and brotherhood and just having a true family,” said James.

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