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Children of various ages get a chance to explore music, dance and theater through hands-on workshops at “Youth in Arts.” Courtesy photo
By Deborah Sullivan Brennan
Kids with an interest in performing arts can try their hand at new, creative experiences during the “Youth in Arts” interactive weekend in Balboa Park.

The first-ever event allows kids and teens to sample diverse disciplines of music, dance and theater through hands-on workshops and live performances.

“We want to inspire them to join one of the organizations, get involved in the arts some way, if they’re not already involved in one,” said Lucy Coker, communications coordinator for the San Diego Youth Symphony. “We’re showing them a little taste of what they could be a part of, every day or every week in Balboa Park.”

Kids can register in advance for workshops with the San Diego Civic Youth Ballet, San Diego Civic Dance Arts, San Diego Junior Theatre and San Diego Youth Symphony. Between them, the various organizations have more than 3,600 students and decades of history.

Through crash courses in the various arts, students will learn a theatrical scene, short dance or musical piece. Then they’ll perform for their friends and families onstage at the Casa Del Prado Theatre.

Afterward, advanced students in the various organizations will perform, offering before-and-after perspectives on how far students can go with training.

“The performing-on-the-stage part of it is kind of cool,” Coker said. “They’ll perform what they learned in the last 45 minutes, and then after that, some of our top musicians will perform, and they’ll see, ‘Wow, if I joined I can become that.’”

Prospective students can also experience student-led backstage tours of the theater to learn what it’s like behind the scenes. They’ll end in an “instrument petting zoo” where guests can try out violins, violas and cellos.

Guests can also view a photo exhibit of the different arts organizations and their past performances.

Participants can register in advance for the following workshops:

San Diego Civic Youth Ballet Workshop: (Ages 8-14) Participants will learn a piece set to the famous ballroom scene music from Prokofiev’s “Romeo and Juliet” and then perform it onstage. No previous ballet experience is required.

San Diego Junior Theatre Workshop: (Ages 5-18) Students will join original cast members from Junior Theatre’s premiere of “Mary Poppins” to learn the music and choreography from the popular number “Supercalifragilisticexpialidocious.”

San Diego Youth Symphony Workshop: (Ages 7-14) Students will learn from San Diego Youth Symphony Community Opus Project students how to hold and perform on a string instrument and explore the sound of Boomwhackers. At the conclusion of the hour, all students will perform onstage.

San Diego Civic Dance Arts Workshop: (Ages: 6-17) Students will learn hip-hop, jazz and rhythm moves and then combine those movements along with the students’ own movement vocabulary into a unique dance performance piece to be presented onstage.

San Diego Youth Symphony