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Video: 'Newsies' dancers teach Maitland students that exercise is fun

Newsies dancers visit Maitland Middle School students. Video:

About 100 seventh-graders at Maitland Middle School put on their dancing shoes Thursday afternoon as performers from the cast of "Newsies" taught them choreography from the hit musical.

The school visit was part of the "Newsies: Get Up and Go" wellness campaign, which aims to promote healthy and active living among young people, a major part of the show's fan base. The first national tour of "Newsies" is playing at Orlando's Dr. Phillips Center for the Performing Arts through Sunday.

"Newsies" cast members Nico DeJesus, Michael Ryan and Josh Burrage talked with students about healthful snacks and the importance of exercise. But the highlight of the event was a dance lesson in which students learned choreography from the show's anthem, "Seize the Day."

In the actual show, that number has a memorable sequence in which the newsboys dance on actual newspapers. The three dancers demonstrated that tricky technique; the students stuck to the bare floor but enthusiastically took part in what DeJesus called "serious fun."

During the semesterlong partnership between the school, show and arts center, the Maitland students also participated in "The Power of the Young Press" project, in which they created a newspaper, had it printed by the Orlando Sentinel, and then sold it at their school and to patrons at Wednesday night's performance at the Dr. Phillips Center. Proceeds were donated to Broadway Cares/Equity Fights AIDS.

"Newsies" is a Disney Theatrical production; "Get Up and Go" supports the "Disney Magic of Healthy Living" program, which partners with parents to inspire families to lead healthier lifestyles. The initiative is also funded in part by The Broadway League National Education Grant.


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