Palmer Trinity junior Alexa Tannebaum loves to dance. She’s been dancing since she was three and is a competitive dancer at Artistic Soul Studio.
“It’s something I could not imagine being without,” she says. “And I have a passion for teaching.”
Tannebaum teaches underprivileged children at the Boys and Girls Club Wednesday afternoons. On Monday nights, she teaches teens at Jackson High School.
“We’re choreographing for the Jackson end-of-the-year dance show,” Tannebaum says. “In addition to teaching we collect costumes and gently used dancewear for their shows.
Tannebaum runs a community service organization called Tap Kidz that she and Emma Dannon took over from friends at her dance studio, Meaghan Sylver and Meagan Adler.
“I started helping them in ninth grade and they graduated and so it became mine last year,” she says.
She goes to dance classes ever day after school and on weekends. This year, she’ll go to three competitions and then the end-of-the year recital with Artistic Soul. The team does well at competitions, often coming in the top three. In January, Tannebaum won a gold medal for her dance solo.
She also teaches dance at Breakthrough Miami.
“Every other Saturday. I’m an academic teacher in the morning and a math tutor, and in the afternoons I teach a dance elective,” she says.
She’s been volunteering with Breakthrough Miami since sophomore year. She’s an advisor for the seventh grade.
“Every week we have a topic we discuss with them,” she says. “We have academic blocks for an hour and a half. We watch a documentary a little each time. The documentary is Girl Rising. It is about different girls across the world facing issues. Like education opportunities. One of the stories was about Haiti after the earthquake.”
The student teachers try to make lessons interesting and different. For one lesson, they simulated an earthquake using candy bars. They taught the children about tectonics and had the children put pressure on different points so the kids could see how the plates would crack.
Afterward, they children were able to eat the candy.
Tannebaum also tutors through Mu Alpha Theta and the Spanish National Honor Society.
Among her other activities at Palmer, she is the executive treasurer of the Executive SGA, she’s a peer counselor and a student ambassador.
Peer counselors help the younger students with issues that they don’t want to talk to an adult about. They also deal with bullying issues.
“The seventh grade uses it the most,” she says.
They also go into ninth grade classrooms and talk about a variety of issues including study skills, drugs and alcohol.
Outside of school she’s on the Woman’s Fund Junior Board. The teens discuss issues around the world that women face.
Tannebaum is involved with the Palmer Trinity Haiti Partnership Program. She traveled to Haiti in February with three PTS teachers and seven peers. There they delivered supplies and donations to a small town called Lamacette.
“We did various arts and crafts and played outdoor games with the students,” she says.
When she gets out of college, Tannebaum hopes to be an engineer.
“I’m thinking mechanical but that could change,” she says. “I’m really interested in amusement parks and the ride building. My dream job would be to work for Disney and be an Imagineer.”
She hopes to continue to dance in college but on a dance team or through a dance club.
Linda Rodriguez Bernfeld