Monday, March 30, 2015

Free Computer Classes

Goodwill offers free computer classes in Computer Skills, Office Online, Spreadsheets and Word Processing. Use our computers or bring your own. Courses last two or three weeks.
For more information call (309) 573-7186 or email PekinLC@goodwillpeo.org.

Illinois American Water Supports Work Zone Awareness Week

As the weather warms up, Illinois American Water joins federal, state and local transportation officials in drawing attention to the safety needs of people working and traveling in and near Illinois roadways.  This week, March 23 through 27, marks National Work Zone Awareness Week, an annual spring campaign held at the start of construction season to encourage safe driving through highway work zones.  

Illinois American Water serves customers in 128 Illinois communities.  Our employees work 24 hours a day,
7 days a week to ensure reliable, quality water service.  Illinois American Water employees maintain approximately 29,000 fire hydrants, plus thousands of miles of water main including critical valves and meters – much of this infrastructure is located in or right next to streets and highways. Illinois American Water crews also fix and repair water main breaks which often put them in situations where road lane closures are necessary.  


All of these tasks have the potential to put our employees in or near the roadways, and working safely is always at the forefront of our minds. When motorists see an Illinois American Water employee performing flagging duties they can rest assured knowing that s/he has been trained and certified according to Illinois Department of Transportation guidelines, and are focusing on protecting the public as well as the job site.

“As the pace picks up during construction season, we want to remind drivers that their safety, and the safety of our crews, depends on drivers’ focus and attention,” said Vice President of Operations Barry Suits.

Illinois American Water recommends the following work zone awareness week tips.  
·        Stay alert – dedicate your full attention to the roadway and don’t use your cell phone.
·        Follow signs – they’ll guide you through work zones safely
·        Pay attention – watch for flaggers, workers and equipment
·        Be patient – remember we are improving your water system
·        Buckle up – every trip and every time – safety belts save lives
·        Never drink and drive – no impairment is acceptable
·        Be nice – merge as directed, don’t tailgate or speed and don’t change lanes in a work zone

According to the State of Illinois, on average, there are over 5,900 work zone motor vehicle crashes a year in Illinois resulting in 1,850 injuries and 27 fatalities with an average of 3 worker fatalities (IDOT, 2014).  Illinois American Water believes that one death is too many and all of these accidents are preventable. Please take the Work Zone Safety Pledge at www.embracetheorange.com.

Speakeasy Art Center






We are so excited about First Fridays!







We are planning the 2nd Annual Diversity Festival! 
Mark your calendars. Its sure to be a blast!






Did you know?
kids-coloring.jpg


1.  Arts promote true prosperity. The arts are fundamental to our humanity. They ennoble and inspire us-fostering creativity, goodness, and beauty. The arts help us express our values, build bridges between cultures, and bring us together regardless of ethnicity, religion, or age. When times are tough, art is salve for the ache.

2.  Arts improve academic performance. Students with an education rich in the arts have higher GPAs and standardized test scores, and lower drop-out rates-benefits reaped by students regardless of socio-economic status. Students with 4 years of arts or music in high school average 100 points higher on the verbal and math portions of their SATs than students with just one-half year of arts or music.

3.  Arts strengthen the economy. The U.S. Bureau of Economic Analysis reports that the arts and culture sector is a $699 billion industry, which represents 4.3 percent of the nation's GDP-a larger share of the economy than transportation and agriculture. The nonprofit arts industry alone generates $135 billion in economic activity annually (spending by organizations and their audiences) that supports 4.1 million jobs and generates $22.3 billion in government revenue.

4.  Arts are good for local merchants. Attendees at nonprofit arts events spend $24.60 per person, per event, beyond the cost of admission on items such as meals, parking, and babysitters. Attendees who live outside the county in which the arts event takes place spend twice as much as their local counterparts ($39.96 vs. $17.42)-valuable revenue for local businesses and the community.

5.  Arts drive tourism. Arts travelers are ideal tourists, staying longer and spending more to seek out authentic cultural experiences. The U.S. Department of Commerce reports that the percentage of international travelers including museum visits on their trip has grown steadily since 2003 (18 to 28 percent). The share attending concerts and theater performances has grown from 14 to 18 percent since 2003.

6. Arts are an export industry. U.S. exports of arts goods (e.g., movies, paintings, jewelry) grew to $75 billion in 2012, while imports were just $27 billion-a $47 billion arts trade surplus.

7.  Arts spark creativity and innovation. The Conference Board reports that creativity is among the top 5 applied skills sought by business leaders-with 72 percent saying creativity is of high importance when hiring. The biggest creativity indicator? A college arts degree. Their Ready to Innovate report concludes, "The arts-music, creative writing, drawing, dance-provide skills sought by employers of the 3rd" Nobel laureates in the sciences are 17 times more likely to be actively engaged in the arts than average scientists.

8.  Arts have social impact. University of Pennsylvania researchers have demonstrated that a high concentration of the arts in a city leads to higher civic engagement, more social cohesion, higher child welfare, and lower crime and poverty rates. The arts are used by the U.S. Military to promote troop force and family readiness, resilience, retention and for the successful reintegration of veterans into family and community life.

9.  Arts improve healthcare. Nearly one-half of the nation's healthcare institutions provide arts programming for patients, families, and even staff. 78 percent deliver these programs because of their healing benefits to patients-shorter hospital stays, better pain management, and less medication.

10.  Arts mean business. The Creative Industries are arts businesses that range from nonprofit museums, symphonies, and theaters to for-profit film, architecture, and design companies. A 2015 analysis of Dun & Bradstreet data counts 702,771 businesses in the U.S. involved in the creation or distribution of the arts that employ 2.9 million people-representing 3.9 percent of all businesses and 1.9 percent of all employees.





Young Artis only have a couple more weeks this session and then they will have their art reception. Check them out. They have a blast. 
Email- classes@speakeasyartcenter.com for more info.




Saturday is The Spring Fever Terrarium Class!
Sign up now by emailing Shelly at

 


Beginner Cabaret Burlesque Classes in April!






We are still offering Belly Dance Lessons. They have been a hit.
If you'd like to sign up e mail Patt at odysseywmd@gmail.com




Art Market will start up in mid June. We will be joining The Pekin Main Streets Farmers Market and will be set up on The courthouse lawn on Thursday evenings. We are excited for a new season and will offer music, performance, food and arts to you each Thursday. 
If you would like a vendor space contact us at info@speakeasyartcenter.com
Vendor fees are $10 per week or $100 for the season!




Our workshops are a lot of help! Come join us next week. We are happy to say we have partnered with Tammy Finch of Web Tech Services to Present a series of Lunch workshops at The Speakeasy. Spread the word! Anyone is welcome.
 Just bring your lunch and come see how to make 
your business grow with Social Media!



We have a couple studios still available to rent! Come be a part of The Speakeasy Art Center's creative artist group! We have a fun year planned and would love to have you be part of it! 
Email us at info@speakeasyartcenter.com for more info!




Book your events now to reserve your date!



Ask us about Studio 353, 
a set photography for photographers to rent by the hour!


Illinois American Water’s Mobile Education Center

The 18-foot Mobile Education Center uses science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM) related concepts and provides hands-on water testing and learning experiences.  While the MEC travels across the state to educate Illinois school children about water quality, water treatment and the value of water service, the MEC can be seen at numerous community events to educate water users of all ages.   
                The MEC provides an opportunity to complete various lab tests, interactive learning with animated videos and a Q & A session with Illinois American Water’s water quality experts.  The MEC is equipped with similar tools to an American Water lab to allow students to experience the water utility industry and consider it as a profession.  

This week, on Thursday, March 26, Illinois American Water’s water quality team will accept the ISAWWA’s Outreach Award for the work accomplished with the MEC.  Each year, at ISAWWA’s Annual Conference – WATERCON, the ISAWWA Water Efficiency Committee celebrates the best and brightest innovations, programs and ideas to conserve and protect our most precious resource.

Since being rolled out to the public in March 2014, the MEC has impacted thousands of students and their families through educational events like the Clean Water Celebration, Illinois EPA Earth Stewardship Day, Illinois State FFA Convention, FFA Teachers Annual Conference, Lewis & Clark Water Festival, Mississippi Earthtones Festival and more.


Friday, March 27, 2015

Chamber Graduates Twenty

The Pekin Area Chamber of Commerce held a banquet on March 26 to celebrate the graduation of twenty current and future leaders from the R. David Tebben Community Leadership Academy.  This was the 17th consecutive year the chamber coordinated a leadership academy.  A total of 360 local business and community leaders have graduated from the program.  You can see more pictures from this event at http://picasaweb.google.com/PekinChamber

State Senator Darin LaHood was the keynote speaker.  He encouraged the graduates to take their academy experiences and put them into action in the community.

Other banquet speakers included the Chamber’s Executive Director Bill Fleming and Events Manager Renna Hadsall, as well as the Chamber’s immediate past president, Tom Hornstein from Excalibur Seasoning.  Class members Adrienne Southerland from Pekin Hospital and Mike Eeten from the City of Pekin shared their thoughts and experiences of the program.

The 10-week academy included classroom presentations from a variety of community leaders on education, government, recreation, courts and leadership.  The program also included weekly VIP tours of local business and organizations.

The 2015 graduates are:

Cameron Bettin, Pekin Park District
Brian Byrne, St. Paul United Church of Christ
Mike Eeten, City of Pekin
Justin Emery, Excel Foundry & Machine
Krissie Finch, South Side Bank
Royce Fults, Pekin Insurance
Sara Hamilton, Institute of Physical Medicine & Rehabilitation
Rich Jordan, River Valley Mechanical Services, Inc.
Teresa Mack, Artistic Community Theatre
Rev. Jim McClarey,  First United Methodist Church
Jacob Mills, Busey Bank
Trent Moberly, Grace United Methodist Church of Pekin
Brent Oest, Illinois American Water
Caleb Ogden, Illinois Corn Processing
Josh Parker, Pekin First Church of the Nazarene
Tyler Shepke, Excalibur Seasoning Company
Adrienne Southerland, Pekin Hospital
Janet Stevens, First Pekin Savings Bank
Al Tharp, Preston-Hanley Funeral Homes & Crematory, LLC
Brian Throener, Illinois Corn Processing

Wednesday, March 25, 2015

YWCA of Pekin Seeks Nominations for Women's Recognition Day

The YWCA is accepting nominations for outstanding leadership and achievement awards to be presented at its 34th Annual Women’s Recognition Day luncheon on Friday, May 8th at the Pekin Country Club.  The event will begin with a social from 11:30 a.m. to noon, followed immediately by the luncheon program.

Nominations to honor outstanding accomplishments and contributions of women in their careers and community service are being accepted at the YWCA office through April 22nd.  To qualify, nominated women must have residence or employment in Tazewell County and meet specific criteria for the nominating category.  Women may be nominated as outstanding employee or for contributions to the arts, business, professions, sports, or community service.

The arts award is given to a woman displaying skill in drama, dance, music, painting, literature, sculpting, the graphic arts, or other artistic endeavors.  An accomplished banker, realtor, agent or other businesswoman, business owner or partner will receive the business award.  The professions award is bestowed on an outstanding educator, lawyer, doctor, aviator, social worker, or other professional with special licensing or training.

Sports award nominations may include women who either pursue sports as a hobby or a career, or promote sports in the community. A volunteer or community leader for a nonprofit agency or other community organization will receive the community service award, and the outstanding employee award will be presented to a woman who has exhibited on-the-job excellence and loyalty to her employer.

The YWCA Board of Directors will also select the Mission Award recipient for dedication to achieving the YWCA’s mission of eliminating racism, empowering women and promoting peace, justice, freedom and dignity for all. In addition, Tazewell County schools will have the opportunity to honor a female student for outstanding academic, extracurricular, and volunteer leadership. Winners will be recognized at the luncheon.

Women’s Recognition Day was established in 1982 to honor the outstanding accomplishments and contributions of women in their careers and community service. Luncheon reservations are open to the public and must be made by Friday, May 1st. Nomination and luncheon reservation forms are available at the YWCA during regular business hours or on the YWCA website. For more information, call the YWCA at 347-2104 or visit www.ywca.org/pekin.

Rotary Friends Social

Pekin Rotary Club will be hosting a special event:  "Rotary Friends Social"  at 6 pm on Tuesday April 21st at Mashie's Pub and Grill.  This cocktail social is an opportunity to learn more about Pekin Rotary and the benefits of membership.  They invite business professionals who are willing to put "service above self"; people who desire a better community; and individuals looking to build lasting friendships.

There will be light hors d'oeuvres and a short program on the club's fund raising activities and the impact it has on the community. 

I-74 Lane Closures

The Illinois Department of Transportation announces that the right two lanes of eastbound I-74 between I-474 and I-155 will be closed from 5:00 a.m. to 7:00 p.m. Saturday, March 28th.

All eastbound I-474 traffic will be required to merge into one lane of I-74 traffic. Significant travel delays are possible on both eastbound I-74 and eastbound I-474 during this time. Motorists should plan accordingly.

The lane closures are necessary for striping work to be completed in preparation for the upcoming construction season.

The overall project is the complete reconstruction of I-74 from Pleasant Hill Road to Morton Avenue in Tazewell County.

Please slow down and use extreme caution while driving through all work zones.

For more information on this project, visit http://www.idot.illinois.gov/projects/i-74-and-i-155-improvement-project

Tuesday, March 24, 2015

ICC Showcases Pekin Campus with Open House on April 22

Illinois Central College will host an open house on Wednesday, April 22, from 4 to 6 pm, at the ICC Pekin Campus, located at Riverway Business Park, 225 Hanna Dr., Pekin. Visitors may tour the nursing and welding labs, as well as view all classrooms located at the facility. Refreshments will be provided.

ICC Pekin offers core general education courses on a four-semester rotating basis for the convenience of Pekin residents and surrounding communities, as well as courses in non-credit Adult Community Programs. Students attending the ICC Pekin location benefit from smaller class sizes, “smart” classrooms with state-of-the-art technology, free academic placement testing, and convenient, free parking. Enrollment services and student accounting services also are available at the Pekin campus.

Courses for the summer 2015 term include communication, English composition, nursing assistant (CNA prep), and math, all of which have sections offered during the day. Fall 2015 courses include English composition, communication, preparation for college reading and writing, math, art appreciation, introduction to sociology, medical terminology, nursing assistant (CNA prep), and GED preparation. Most classes for fall are offered in the evenings, but additional daytime sections also are available.

Enrollment for the summer 2015 semester begins March 30, and enrollment for the fall 2015 semester begins April 6. Students must first apply to ICC by going online to http://icc.edu/admissions/enrollment/apply-now/. Class schedules for both semesters are available online now at http://icc.edu/academics/class-schedule/. The schedule for Adult Community Programs is available online at http://cce.icc.edu/acp/.

For more information, call Illinois Central College’s main information line at (309) 694-5-ICC or ICC Pekin at (309) 642-6601.               

Monday, March 23, 2015

Chamber Members Save Money

As a chamber member you can enjoy exclusive savings on all of your office supplies.  Just visit the Staples Advantage registration page and start your savings!

http://www.staplesadvantage.com/chamber/

March Biz Barometer






Welcome To Our Newest Member

C.T. Gabbert Remodeling & Construction
1323 SW Adams St.
Peoria, IL 61602
309-637-2110
Chuck Gabbert, President
www.ctgabbert.com 
C.T. Gabbert Remodeling and Construction Inc. of Central Illinois is a professional home remodeling and home building firm based in Peoria and servicing all of Central IL. They have been a full service remodeling company since 1978.

PCHS CAREER FAIR

Pekin Community High School
Wednesday, April 29, 2015 – 6:00 - 7:30pm 
Bringing Pekin area businesses together to meet with students and their parents to explore career options and connect the pieces to educational opportunities for success.
Sponsored by Pekin Community High School Dragon Pride Committee

Pekin Community High School invites area businesses to participate in the 2nd Annual PCHS Career Fair, held in conjunction with our Dragon Pride event, on Wednesday, April 29, 2015 from 6:00 to 7:30pm.  The Career Fair will be held in the area around Dawdy-Hawkins gymnasium at Pekin High School with Pekin area businesses invited to participate.  The Dragon Pride event, including student-based classroom projects displays, will be held within Dawdy-Hawkins gym.

The event is designed to showcase area businesses and provide information about all career opportunities in each respective business.  Students will gain valuable insight on college and career opportunities and businesses will benefit from connecting with potential employees.

Who Should Participate?  Business representatives from all career areas are invited to showcase their company and bring information about specific career opportunities within their business.  Virtual tour videos and hands-on samples for students and parents to view are also encouraged.

Who Will Attend?  Students from PCHS will be invited to attend along with their parents.  Information will be shared with students in the counselor’s office and 4th hour classes, as well as distributed through the Pekin High newsletter.  Announcements and posters will also be used to promote the event.

This is an excellent opportunity for students and parents to talk with local business representatives about potential career opportunities and the educational requirements to be successful in that field in an informal setting.


To participate and showcase your company, complete and submit the information below.
Registrations required to: Priscilla DeLaere, pdelaere@pekinhigh.net; FAX to (309) 477-4377
Cost: FREE
So we may plan and promote effectively: Registrations are required by March 27, 2015



 
PCHS Career Fair – Wednesday, April 29, 2015 from 6:00 - 7:30pm
Yes! We want to participate and showcase our company to students and their families.

Company Name: _________________________                          Contact name: ____________________

Contact E-mail: __________________________                           Contact phone: ____________________

Primary Company Product or Service: ______________________

We will need access to:
Electricity:  ___ yes  __ no      WiFi __ Yes  __ No         Other:  _________________
One (1) 4 ‘ Table and two chairs will be provided.  Business should bring their own extension cords.
 

Pekin Community High School, 1903 Court St., Pekin, IL 61554 / (p) 309-347-4101/ www.pekinhigh.net

Friday, March 20, 2015

Kiwanis Grants Available

Grants from the Kiwanis Club of Pekin are given for direct services and programs that align with our 3-year mission: “Help Improve the Wellness of Children”.

Each year has a different focus and the grants will be given out based on that years focus.
o Year 1 (2015): Focus on children’s physical health
o Year 2 (2016): Focus on children’s mental health
o Year 3 (2017): Focus on maintaining wellness throughout the life of the child and building a healthy family environment.

Grants amounts generally range from $100 to $1000. This year's grant applications must be received by the executive board on or before July 31, 2015. Grant applications must be emailed to the Kiwanis Club of Pekin (pekinkiwanis1@gmail.com) and the subject line needs to read "2015 Kiwanis Club of Pekin Grant Application" to insure it is identified properly.

Thursday, March 19, 2015

Pekin Business Showcase at Pekin Kids' Festival 2015


Kreps Joins Savant Capital Management

Savant Capital Management, a nationally recognized fee-only wealth management firm is pleased to announce the addition of Derek Kreps as a financial advisor in the Peoria office. In his new role, Kreps will be responsible for managing all aspects of the financial planning and investment process for Savant’s clients. He will work with clients, advisors, portfolio managers and planners to determine and coordinate effective planning, investment and tax strategies.

Prior to joining Savant, Derek worked as an investment consultant. He earned his bachelor’s degree in business administration from Monmouth College and is currently enrolled in the Master of Science program in finance at Webster University.


About Savant Capital Management
Savant Capital Management offers investment management, financial planning, and family office services to financially established individuals, trust funds, retirement plans and non-profit organizations.

For more information on Savant Capital Management, log on to www.savantcapital.com.

Tuesday, March 17, 2015

SHOCK NAMED LIFE AGENT OF THE MONTH FOR PEKIN INSURANCE®

Bill Shock, an owner of James Unland & Co., Inc., in Pekin, Ill., has been named Pekin Life Insurance Company’s Life Agent of the Month for February 2015. He earned this honor by going Beyond the expected® in the field of life insurance sales to make sure his clients are protected.

Pekin Life Insurance Company is proud to be celebrating 50 years of providing financial protection and peace of mind for its policyholders. With assets of over $2 billion, the company offers a variety of life and health insurance products in 16

states through its network of over 1,500 independent agencies and 8,000 independent agents. For more information, visit www.pekininsurance.com.

Speakeasy Art Center Featured Artists

We are excited to announce First Fridays in Downtown Pekin. Come mingle with creative people at The Speakeasy Art Center.

Featured artists at The Speakeasy Art Center 

Susan Carson-Multi Media
Jamie Lovell-Multi Media
Danny Rohr- Sculpture
Vin Luong- Exhibit on 2nd Floor 
Pekin Community High School Student Art
Broodmoor Jr High School Student Art
Edison Jr High Student Art
Wilson Intermediate School Student Art
Washington Intermediate School Student Art
Patt Schnieder-Belly Dancing Demos
Jay Zentko-Magic
Mural Painting-Darren Cox
Velvet Crush - Music 5:30-7:30
Taste of TCRC-Coffee & Refreshments
Nacho Mamas Grilled Cheese
The Smokers Blues-8:00PM
Rhythm & Blues-Alcohol Sales

Big City Shuffle to shuttle from Peoria to Pekin throughout the evening for donations from 5:30-9:30.

$5 Cover charge for Entertainment after 8PM

Illinois American Water Partners with EPA During Fix a Leak Week

Illinois American Water has partnered with the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) to promote the seventh annual Fix a Leak Week, which runs from March 16-22. The national campaign, part of the EPA’s WaterSense program, is designed to raise awareness about small leaks and other water waste that may be occurring within homes. Considering there are more than 110 million households in this country, a seemingly minor leaky faucet or running toilet collectively results in a tremendous amount of wasted water -- more than a trillion gallons of water are lost annually nationwide through leaks occurring within our homes, with the average residence losing 11,000 gallons a year this way. However, through initiatives like Fix a Leak Week, local companies like Illinois American Water, are hoping to significantly reduce that amount.

“If you can picture a hole the size of the period in this sentence, it may not seem like much, but in your water system, it can waste more than 4,000 gallons a month—enough for a shower every day. Being proactive in checking for leaks, and fixing them in a timely manner not only makes you a more environmentally conscious consumer of one of the world’s most valuable resources, but also saves money on your water bill,” said Bruce Hauk, Illinois American Water President.

To assist customers with at-home leak repairs and prevention, Illinois American Water has produced a helpful infographic as a quick guide for finding and fixing common, and some not-so-common, indoor and outdoor water leaks. A downloadable leak detection kit is available in the Learning Center of American Water’s website, www.amwater.com.

About Illinois American Water
Illinois American Water, a subsidiary of American Water (NYSE: AWK), is the largest investor-owned water utility in the state, providing high-quality and reliable water and/or wastewater services to approximately 1.2 million people. American Water also operates a customer service center in Alton and a quality control and research laboratory in Belleville.  


Founded in 1886, American Water (NYSE: AWK) is the largest and most geographically diverse publicly traded U.S. water and wastewater utility company. With headquarters in Voorhees, N.J., the company employs approximately 6,400 dedicated professionals who provide drinking water, wastewater and other related services to an estimated 15 million people in more than 45 states and parts of Canada. More information can be found at www.amwater.com.

Chamber Connection

Check out your Weekly Chamber Connection here!

Monday, March 16, 2015

Welcome to Our Newest Member

Kellem & Kinzer Electric
213 Dogwood St.
Pekin, IL 61554
309-241-7787
Ken Kellem, President
Tom Kinzer, Vice President 
Kellem & Kinzer Electric specializes in generator sales, services, and instillations in both residential and commercial.

First Fridays at Speakeasy Art Center


Artist of the week at Speakeasy Art Center








Patt Schneider

As a child, Patt always wanted to be a ballet dancer; even going so far to learn ballet from a book from the library! Aside from a stint on a pom squad and a PE dance class, studying dance-ballet & jazz-just didn't seem to be in her future. One day, many years later, while browsing through a parks district course catalog, the title, "Middle Eastern Dance" caught Patt's eye. She could not bring herself to sign up for the class right then; she worried that she was "too old" to be a dancer. Finally, in the summer of 2004, she made what was to be a life-changing decision and registered for her first belly dance class.
Worried that she wasn't coordinated enough, not skinny enough and possibly was too old, she took a deep breath, walked through the classroom door and met Babs, her first instructor. Babs' supportive teaching style and encouragement for all the students in the class gave Patt the courage to continue the study of Raqs Sharqi, not realizing at the time how belly dance would eventually shape the next ten years of her life. She went on to study raqs sharqi/fusion style belly dance with Sahira Zedare, joined the studio's professional dance company and began teaching.
In 2013, an opportunity to operate her own dance studio presented itself and Patt, along with her husband, Darin, opened Odyssey World Music & Dance . Patt had long recognized her students loved learning about belly dance, but many were intimidated from beginning to dance because of preconceived notions of having to be a certain size/age or the misguided ideas that belly dance is overtly sexual and done to please a "sultan". She works tirelessly to overcome these outdated and incorrect assumptions by reassuring her students that belly dance is for all women (and some men!), only becomes better with age and there is no perfect size for a belly dancer. She encourages her students to dance to please themselves, discover the strength and beauty in the body that they are in and to express happiness and joy.
She includes any and all who have an interest in discovering Raqs Sharqi and what studying this ancient folkloric dance will do for their lives. She encourages every student to embrace the dance and have the dance fit them....not to try and change to fit a narrow parameter of what a dancer "should" be. Some of her students have had extreme limits on range of motion in limbs, scoliosis, and limited vision--all are encouraged to fully join classes and work within their physical limits and they have become beautiful dancers.
Patt teaches and performs American Cabaret/Egyptian raqs sharqi style but also enjoys mixing other styles of belly dance and traditional dance into her personal and class choreographies. As a native of Pekin, she is excited to be teaching in her home town at the Speakeasy Art Center. In addition to the beginner level classes, she is excited to be forming a student-based dance company in conjunction with the Speakeasy Art Center, featuring her students.

 
Patt will be a featured performer during the inaugural First Friday event on April 3 at the Speakeasy Art Center.

 
 Beginner classes are open to anyone; to inquire about joining a class, please e-mail odysseywmd@gmail.com. More information about belly dance classes and performances are at her website: www.odysseywmd.com .