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IN SESSION: Students dance during free time

Students in Virginia Beach give up their lunch hour to learn a new culture and some new moves through Latin Dance.

VIRGINIA BEACH, Va. — Lunchtime is a sacred hour for most high schoolers. 

But for some students at Landstown High School, lunch hour is a chance to learn a new culture and some new dance moves.

“It’s enriching the curriculum during a time when they could just be hanging out with a friend but they chose to go to that class, so it’s a way for us to provide student choice," said Assistant Principal Wellinthon Munoz.

Alvin Taylor and Helena Wallis run the Bachata Vida Dance Company and come to the school twice a month to teach Latin Dance.

“Dancing is an art and it’s also a sport,” Taylor said. “But it doesn’t mean you have to be super athletic, or super creative. All you have to do is have a desire to learn.”

Taylor and Wallis teach about three dozen students who elect to spend their free time learning dance.

“You’re not just learning steps to dancing,” Wallis said. “You’re learning discipline, leadership, camaraderie, you’re learning to meet new people for the first time and dance with them.”

The school has also started a Latin Dance Club that meets once a week. Students say they find it easier to learn a new culture through the interactive lessons rather than a textbook. 

“It helps expand our knowledge of the culture because we just sit a classroom and learn the grammar and the language, but we don’t really know all the culture," said student Angil Lonzon. 

The assistant principal encourages other business leaders interested in getting involved in local schools to reach out and start the conversation.