Dance teaches focus, respect, teamwork, discipline

February 15, 2013 3:43:47 PM PST
Dance instructor Pierre Lockett of the Joffrey Ballet looks for students with natural ability.

He's in charge of 100 dance programs at 40 schools and parks.

"We go out and find students who have that natural talent, who have that interest in dance, and hopefully help them realize they can take that and make a career with it, or at least use it right now to help them improve certain components of their life,' Lockett said.

Lockett gives his students the tools necessary to be a good dancer- and student: focus, discipline, respect, and teamwork.

"If it wasn't for him, all of these programs would not be available," Rebecca Aleman, instructor, Joffrey Ballet, said.

Lockett spent 20 years as a professional dancer. The award-winning dancer appeared in a number of productions with various dance companies, including Joffrey. In 2004, Lockett, joined Joffrey's administrative staff and began creating dance programs for students of all ages.

"We developed this program to really target children of color from Chicago, so we can start training them at a very early age," Lockett said.

The students have the chance to learn rigorous technique and dance with the Joffrey, and even become part of the company as professionals.