Center entertains children on base

CAMP PENDLETON — In an effort to keep the children of Camp Pendleton active and healthy throughout the year, the base’s Stuart Mesa Community Center conducts free ballet classes for aspiring young ballerinas.
The Stuart Mesa Community Center has numerous after-school activities available, such as basketball clinics, Tae Kwon Do lessons, arts and crafts and is also used to help support special events the Stuart Mesa community hosts.
The ballet classes are scheduled for every Wednesday from 5 to 7 p.m.
“We try and do as much as we can to give back to those Marines and sailors who put their life on the line every day to make our life as enjoyable as possible,” said Daisy Tate, dance instructor, Stuart Mesa Community Center. “If taking two hours a week out of my life puts a smile on a child’s face, I know that I am doing my job.”
During the ballet classes, Tate instructs children between the ages of 3 and 10 years old on the basics of dance and music by conducting the lessons in an area with wall-length mirrors so the children may watch their movements and learn from it.
“It’s important children are able to see how they look as the move,” Tate said.
“A lot of time students picture themselves as they dance and they really might not look like what they think, but seeing their mistakes first hand helps to correct them,” she said.
Throughout the class, children not only learn the basic fundamentals of ballet, but they also learn gymnastics by performing forward rolls and cartwheels.
At the conclusion of each session, the students get to show off their own moves during the freestyle portion of the class.
“I love to dance because it makes me feel pretty,” said 3-year-old Addison Brown a student attending the session. “I like coming because Ms. Daisy teaches us a lot about dancing.”
For more information about attending one of Stuart Mesa Community Center’s after school programs or events, contact (760) 725-9717 or log on to