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YMCA Essence Legacy Performing Arts program expands, aims to keep kids safe

YMCA Essence Legacy Logo.jpg

The YMCA Essence Legacy Performing Arts program is growing.

The Essence Legacy program started six years ago with 16 kids.

Now, it has about 90 performers being introduced to the arts and performing arts - including adding step, majorette, color guard and cheerleading into the percussion and drill team mix.

Matesyn Skinner is a majorette. She calls it a privilege to participate in the program.

“Because after school you come here (to the Walnut Street YMCA) and you get to practice really hard and have fun, you get a little workout and it’s a really nice program because it can also go on your resume; it goes on your resume and it benefits your for future years f you got to college and want to be in marching band - so you already have experience,” she said.

Gua-Wan Smith is the teen program director of the Walnut Street Y. He calls the program important.

"It’s an opportunity to - first - get the students exposure, give the students an opportunity to grow together and give them an outlet of different situations they may have going on - either at home or at school,” he said.

Smith says he sees the difference in students participating in the program over the years - many becoming more outgoing.

The Essence Legacy Performing Arts program has upcoming performances in the Wilmington area, including at the Riverfront Bright Festival on Saturday, December 10, 2022.

Delaware Public Media' s arts coverage is made possible, in part, by support from the Delaware Division of the Arts, a state agency dedicated to nurturing and supporting the arts in Delaware, in partnership with the National Endowment for the Arts.

Kelli Steele has over 30 years of experience covering news in Delaware, Baltimore, Winchester, Virginia, Phoenix, Arizona and San Diego, California.