Empowering a Change

Chance+Anding+and+Kaylee+Collins+working+on+the+choreography+for+the+song+%22Speak+Life%22+by+Toby+Mac.

Meghan Herrington

Chance Anding and Kaylee Collins working on the choreography for the song “Speak Life” by Toby Mac.

Meghan Herrington, Staff Writer

Confidence building. Lifelong friendships. Leadership skills. These are the drivers behind Empower Performing Arts.

Amy Hogue is the director of this new performing arts school. Her goals are not to make kids sing, dance, and act better; her goal is to empower the youth, so they can go out and empower others.

Kaylee Collins is the choreographer for Empower. Meghan Herrington, Patricia Curran, and Chance Anding are the student assistants.

There are four different groups based on age: Mini-Movers, Empower Kids, Juniors, and Seniors.

The Mini-Mover group consists of children in kindergarten for three-year olds through kindergarten for five-year olds; Empower Kids has first through third graders.

Juniors contain fourth through sixth graders. Lastly, the Senior group has seventh through twelfth grade.

Mini-Movers come together on Tuesdays from 5:45 p.m. to 6:30 p.m., while Empower Kids come together 6:30 p.m. to 7:45 p.m. on Tuesdays. The Junior group meets on Monday from 5:45 p.m. to 7:00 p.m., and the Senior group meets from 7:00 p.m. to 8:15 p.m..

The Senior members of Empower working with Kaylee Collins and Chance Anding on a dance to the song “Revolutionary” by Josh Wilson. (Meghan Herrington)

Members of Empower especially enjoy Empower because they find it exciting.

“I joined Empower because I really like Mrs. Amy. And when I heard she was doing a group thing, I thought it would be a lot of fun,” Mary Francis White excitedly explained to me. White is an eighth grader here at Pelahatchie High School.

Participants also love Empower because of the many things they learn, and the friendships developed.

“Because I get to learn, sing, act, and dance,” said KatieBelle Herrington, a fifth grader who attends Pelahatchie Elementary.

“I have so many friends who I only get to see once a week. I would not have all these amazing friends without Empower Performing Arts,” Herrington continued.

“I am so grateful to have all of this,” Herrington smiled.

The Fall Showcase for these Performing Arts Groups is scheduled for November 21. However, due to Covid-19, the performance is not open to the public, only family and friends. Each child will be provided with four tickets to invite four people to the showcase.