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In Burnt Hills, students dance with the pro

To the beat of bongos and rattling maracas, the group quickly mastered the sweeping movements mimicking animals in the African plains. Brendan Charles is used to the leaping and jumping: in last spring's musical production of "Peter Pan," he played the lead role and learned to fly.

"I've always been interested in dance since a young age," said Brendan, an eighth grader who has studied tap, jazz and ballet. "I know guys don't always do it, because they're afraid, but I think they should break out and try it."

Brendan said he hopes to one day be on Broadway, and try out for the TV show "So You Think You Can Dance."

Sara Mahar, also in eighth grade, said the summer program is a great vacation from her regular dance classes during the school year.

"Where I dance, you can't take modern dance until you're older, and so I've only done ballet," said Mahar. "This is all new for me, and it's challenging and fun at the same time."

Dancers in the summer class and Friday's performance are Natasha Hale, Sarah Felano, Kelly Cousins, Abby Goudey, Brendan Charles, Julia Sell, Sara Mahar and Lynsea Hensel.

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