Students hone their summer act

Rosette Gonzales

The music started, stopped, then started again. After practicing

their dance routine repeatedly, the students finally began to move

more in tempo.

"You're still a little off but that was better," said Gina Bishop,

a 21-year-old dance instructor who performed on Broadway as a child.

"Try it again."

For the next seven weeks, Bishop will help train 130 children and teens at show camp, a summer enrichment and performing arts camp, as

they rehearse and hone their dance, vocal and acting techniques in

preparation for their August performance of "Goosed: A Politically

Incorrect Musical Featuring the Nursery Rhymes of Mother Goose."

"Show camp for me is a wonderful thing," said Ona McDonald, 10.

"It's just something you can do when you're feeling blue. And I do

what I like to and that's dance."

Directors Darrell and Jenny Bishop started the camp in Burbank six

years ago.

An artistic family, the couple felt their son wasn't getting

enough exposure to the arts in school, so they decided to create an

outlet for children who felt their lives were lacking without the

arts.

"The kinds of kids we deal with, it's something they need,"

Darrell Bishop said. "They have to have it in their lives."

Show camp has grown in popularity each year, with many returning

students.

Some of them have learned most of what they know about performing

arts through show camp.

"They taught me how to dance," said Caitlin Ary, 16. "Without them

I really wouldn't know how to sing, dance or act."

Starting next week, the camp will begin its morning and afternoon

enrichment classes in addition to continuing its performing arts

instruction. Students can create their curriculum by choosing the

classes they're interested in, including ballet, computers,

photography, comedy and many others.

The program gives them a chance to try their abilities at several

different art forms.

"In other schools you can only pick dance or drama ... ," said

Mohamed Yahoum, 18. "It's just a program where people have the

flexibility to do whatever they want."

Performing arts has also helped the students gain confidence.

"I've learned how to face my fears onstage," Alyssa Gonzales, 9,

said. "When I get onstage I know what I'm supposed to do."

Through her instruction, Gina Bishop has seen several students

grow both physically and emotionally at show camp. At show camp,

everyone is treated equally as an artist which gives the children a

sense of belonging, she said.

"This brings out a creative side in them that allows them to

express themselves," she said. "There are no boundaries here. They're

allowed to be whatever they want."

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