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Concerns about childhood obesity, bullying and lack of healthy opportunities for young people was exactly why 24 year
old Jess Booth established Ghetto Dance Academy in Hobart in 2008. Now in its fifth year, the school has 100 students
and Ms Booth is spreading her love of dance to Kingston.

A non-competitive, but technically focussed dance school, Ms Booth says Ghetto offers dance within a safe and friendly
environment.

“Ghetto for me is about making every child feel welcome, so if children or parents are looking for somewhere to get
proper training, but without having to do it competitively, they really should come along to Ghetto and check it out,” Ms
Booth said.

“There are many young people who want to dance, but unfortunately the sport has a reputation for being nasty. I want to
turn that around and bring it back to being about something people just love to do.”

Ms Booth says thanks to reality TV shows such as So You Think You Can Dance, it’s not just girls taking up the sport
either.

“Recently we have had an influx of boys join the school, it’s now cool for boys to know how to dance, especially break
dance,” Ms Booth said.

“Hiphop is the main class taught at the Kingston school, but students are able to learn everything from contemporary to
break dancing.”

Ms Booth says that dance isn’t just about learning good technique, with her students improving their confidence,
friendships and coordination.

“I think the difference between a child who dances and one who doesn’t dance is significant, their coordination improves,
as wells as their social skills and confidence,” Ms Booth said.

“Ghetto dance Academy has a zero tolerance policy on bullying as well, which means all our students have a great time
just being themselves.

“It doesn’t matter if you’re just starting or you have been dancing for decades, everyone is welcome at Ghetto.”
Ghetto Dance Academy runs classes at Kingston High School every Wednesday night.