Steamboat Springs The 12 girls at this summer's Kaleidoscope program will dance like pioneers, make African masks and construct ornaments for the Tread of Pioneers Christmas tree.
The 10-year-old summer arts program, which emphasizes theater, dance and writing, has changed its format a bit this summer.
"We're taking a thematic approach," Kaleidoscope teacher Peggy Warren said.
She said that for the first part of the program, which is broken into two, two-week sessions, the children are living the "Steamboat Centennial" through arts, crafts and dancing.
The students made patriotic bandanas that they wore in Tuesday's Fourth of July parade and constructed ornaments that will be hung on a Tread of Pioneers tree in this year's Festival of Trees.
The students also are learning dance. Robin Getter and Wendy Smith Mikkelson of Children's Danceworks will teach the children African steps in coming weeks. Getter has already taught them line dancing and square dancing, complete with traditional square dancing costumes.
"The kids were really good at learning it," Getter said. "I had to educate myself and take out books and records."
The children are also painting murals and getting ready for an African dance performance at Art in the Park, Warren said. Most of the work is crafts and the students stuff socks for puppets, sew on button eyes, glue burlap and cut felt.
This year, there are fewer students than usual, Warren said, and they are all girls. They also have fewer teachers, although Kaleidoscope alumnus Lisl Pearson is helping this year. The usual location at the Depot is booked this summer, so Kaleidoscope moved to the Steamboat Springs Middle School.
Kaleidoscope is a program of the Steamboat Springs Arts Council, which wants to involve young people in the arts. Warren said it fills a need for those who aren't involved in sports and those who are.
"We have two kids in the program who can't do other programs because of allergies," Warren said. "We're more of an indoor program and we're sympathetic to their needs."