FULL STORY: Paine Basketball Learns Ballet Dancing

Several famous athletes like former Steelers’ wide receiver Lynn Swann have used ballet dancing to become even better athletes. Paine College took on a similar approach today, as it held a ballet clinic put on by the Augusta Ballet and the Dance Theatre of Harlem for its basketball teams at the HEAL Complex.

It was certainly entertaining to watch Lions’ players try their hand at ballet, but they enjoyed giving it a shot.

“The most difficult part was when they were trying to teach us how to spin around,” junior forward Antoine Williams said. “I couldn’t put my leg up there and spin around like that cause it was just too much for me, cause I ain’t ever did it before.”

But there was a purpose for the fun. Paine head men’s basketball coach Chase Campbell helped set up the event with the Dance Theatre of Harlem and believes the dance skills translate to the court.

“They came out and taught us some fantastic different moves that we can use before games — after games — helping us basically get fast-twitch muscles, twitching faster,” Campbell said. “Hopefully, it helps us with our endurance, helps us be much more flexible when it comes down to playing basketball.”

You can check out the Harlem, New York based Dance Theatre of Harlem perform 7:30 p.m. Saturday night at The Bell Auditorium. Click the link to purchase tickets.

Here’s the press release from the Augusta Ballet:

AUGUSTA, GA – If you think of ballet as an art form that only certain audiences will enjoy, Augusta Ballet wants you to think again. The fifty-one year old organization is concluding a season chock full of programs to pique the interest of new and diverse audiences across the CSRA.

The effort is epitomized by Augusta Ballet’s presentation of the New Traditions Dance Festival featuring Dance Theatre of Harlem (DTH), a leading dance institution of unparalleled global acclaim. Founded shortly after the assassination of Reverend Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. in 1969 by Arthur Mitchell and Karel Shook, DTH is a multi-cultural institution showcasing African-American and other racially diverse artists who perform the most demanding repertory at the highest level of quality.

The new traditions referred to in the festival title allude to the renewed effort of Augusta Ballet to encompass a wider range of CSRA community members in the ballet fold and celebrates the increasing diversity – of racial backgrounds, body types and artistic flavors – in today’s ballet world. The festival includes several free programs to enrich and inspire local students, including presentations for local schoolchildren, master classes for local dancers and an athletic workshop for two high school basketball teams. It will culminate in a major DTH performance at The Bell Auditorium on Saturday, January 30th at 7:30 p.m. followed by the After-Party, where attendees enjoy refreshments and mingle with the DTH dancers.

To purchase tickets, or for information about Augusta Ballet’s mission and programs, visit the website at augustaballet.org. Just $300 sends ten local children to the performance. Donate today!

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Augusta Ballet is a 501(c)(3) non-profit organization dedicated to fostering a culture of dance appreciation and support across a diverse audience of all ages in the Augusta community and across the CSRA.

Augusta Ballet proudly carries the torch of its fifty-plus year history, presenting world-class classical and contemporary ballet annually, as well as accessible guest lectures and demonstrations, documentary screenings and master classes. Outreach to local youth includes free dance camps and scholarship funding for local ballet students. # # #

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