BALTIMORE - Students in a dance class with the Baltimore School for the Arts Twigs Program line up to learn new dance techniques. They are preparing for an upcoming nutcracker performance in a few weeks.
The Twigs Program helps students reach their dreams in the arts.
"I like participating in it because it's fun. You can perform on stage and a lot of people are cheering for you," said Zhydekyah Estuerra, fourth grade Twigs student.
For 30 years the Twigs Program has offered free classes in music, dance, visual arts, theater and stage production to students who qualify by audition. The program is for Baltimore City students in second to eighth grade.
It serves about 700 students from 120 Baltimore City and elementary and middle schools.
"When kids study the arts, they learn discipline. They learn how to solve problems and we think it's important that city kids can study the arts and it's good for the high school because we are training our future kids here," said Chris Ford, Director Baltimore School for the Arts.
Twigs is a program of Baltimore School for the Arts. It helps prepare students for admission to the Baltimore School for the Arts where celebrities like Jada Pinkett Smith have studied.
Students hope to follow in her footsteps.
"There are people who went here and now they are famous and maybe if you want to be a famous dancer you don't know if you are good enough. If you try out and you might make it," said Autumn Costley, Twigs student.
Students in the Twigs Program meet one to three times per week after school and on Saturdays. 30 percent of the incoming class at the Baltimore School for the Arts are students from Twigs.
Auditions will be held in April for the Program.