Tahlequah Public Library Receives Health Literacy Grant, Offers Dance Classes

The Oklahoma Department of Libraries and Institute of Museum and Library Services recently awarded Tahlequah Public Library a grant to fund dance classes for all ages presented by the Tahlequah Academy of the Performing Arts.

The library is supportive of the CDC’s Active People, Healthy Nation initiative which promotes increased physical activity to reduce obesity. By offering a variety of dance classes, the library hopes to bring all music-loving patrons into the library to increase physical activity as a means of decreasing obesity.

Classes are taught by Elena Gladkova-Huffman, who began dancing at age 7 in Volgograd, Russia. She studied Irish dance in the US at McCafferty School, has been teaching the Vaganova-style ballet since 2008, and founded Academy of Performing Arts-Tahlequah in 2011, and, in 2012, the non-profit, Encore Performing Society, which is dedicated to immersion and art through education and participation.

Gladkova-Huffman said she will adjust what she teaches each class based on participants’ level of dance experience. Participants in the first class practiced beginner and basic ballet movements and poses, for example.

Registration is required for the classes, which continue at 10 a.m. Thursdays through November 30. Call 918-456-2581 to register.