Features — 14 January 2014 — by Kareem Clarke
House of Shotokan opens ballet institute

While celebrating the successes of several of their students today, the House of Shotokan Karate Club simultaneously inaugurated a ballet institute which is aimed at contributing to the personal development of young women in Belize.

The karate club – which also celebrated four years of existence – held an award ceremony for some of its most promising students, who were recognized for their hard work and determination, and were each rewarded with a new karate belt. The students all got new belts signifying various levels of accomplishment based on the results of their qualifying exams.

Sensei Master Ray Kelly – who is an 8th degree black belt karate instructor – has been coordinating karate classes at the House of Shotokan Karate School since its inception in 2010. The school started with 10 students and has since expanded to 150. Kelly emphasized that karate sharpens the mental and physical skills of individuals, and that the school teaches students to work together as a family.

Guest speaker and Assistant Headmaster at St. John’s College, Ms. Sol Yam, who is also a yellow belt karate student, told Amandala about the significance of the ballet institute, which has a separate location. She said that the institute will not only promote the confidence and health of its students, but it will also prepare them to be future leaders, since they will be taught by qualified choreographers. She emphasized that the facilities are “superb” and that the classes will help the young ladies to be assertive, well-rounded individuals with enhanced social skills.

The institute has been opened since January 6th and caters to girls who are 3 years and over. It is located adjacent to the karate school at 5757 Princess Margaret Drive in Belize City.

Apart from engaging in their normal training activities, the House of Shotokan students are also involved in community projects that assist the less fortunate.

As part of that effort, the coordinators have pledged to organize more community outreach programs during the course of this year.

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