Reach for the SKIES Unlimited Program

| March 25, 2016 | 0 Comments
Susan Klejment-Young, SKIES dance instructor, leads her beginner dance class in floor stretches for their arms and legs. (Photo by Christine Cabalo, Oahu Publications)

Susan Klejment-Young, SKIES dance instructor, leads her beginner dance class in floor stretches for their arms and legs. (Photo by Christine Cabalo, Oahu Publications)

Christine Cabalo
Staff Writer

Unleash the inner artist and uncover new skills with youth classes available through the Schools of Knowledge, Inspiration, Exploration and Skills Unlimited program.

The SKIES Unlimited classes feature a wide range of creative arts, including dance, crafts and other skill sets.

Instructors teach at various Army installations on Oahu, and most classes begin new enrollment monthly. There are classes for all ages of children, from infants to 18 years old.

Susan Klejment-Young, SKIES dance instructor, assists her student in performing the arabesque ballet position. (Photo by Christine Cabalo, Oahu Publications)

Susan Klejment-Young, SKIES dance instructor, assists her student in performing the arabesque ballet position. (Photo by Christine Cabalo, Oahu Publications)

“The younger you start children, the more they’re able to develop and learn their interests,” said Kristine Tabbal, director for SKIES Unlimited and a Child, Youth and School Services instructional program specialist. “It can be more difficult when they get older and have more commitments.”

Tabbal said, for performance classes, there are several opportunities for groups to show their talents, including recitals or a theater program showcase. The groups are also able to perform at special annual events, including Winter Wonderland and upcoming FunFest at Schofield Barracks.

“It’s a great experience for them as children since they travel around a lot,” said Susan Klejment-Young, a SKIES dance instructor who has taught in the program since 2008. “When (children) get to a new location, sometimes they can’t get into to civilian studios because they can’t sign up until a new school year. Our programs are more flexible, beginning monthly, and we have two shows a year.”

There are several new SKIES Unlimited classes currently available, including en pointe ballet class, tennis lessons and a Korean language class. To sign up, parents need to register their children with CYSS and prepay for classes by the 30th of the month before starting.

Klejment-Young said she takes inspiration from her students. She said she is impressed by how they are resilient in dealing with changing situations and potentially inconsistent family life.

SKIES Unlimited tae kwon do intermediate level class members open their session Tuesday with stretching and motion exercises. (Courtesy photo)

SKIES Unlimited tae kwon do intermediate level class members open their session Tuesday with stretching and motion exercises. (Courtesy photo)

“I think (SKIES Unlimited classes) are a good way to build up resiliency and learn how to handle things,” Klejment-Young said. “Students learn they are capable in new situations.”

Some classes are offered seasonally and last for several weeks. Among the newer classes in this format are a driver’s education class, offered off-installation and taught by Jeff Wong. He said he stresses the importance of responsibility and making good decisions.

“In our classes we cover a lot of topics, including road rage, alcohol and peer pressure,” he said. “Our books are about 18 chapters. The major topics we focus on are intersections, freeways, road rage and alcohol, because they effect all drivers one way or another. If students aren’t directly impacted by it already, then they will come into contact with another driver who is.”

Young SKIES Unlimited dancers dazzle parents and onlookers with their ballet form during the 2014 Family Fun Fest public performance on Weyand Field. (Courtesy photo)

Young SKIES Unlimited dancers dazzle parents and onlookers with their ballet form during the 2014 Family Fun Fest public performance on Weyand Field. (Courtesy photo)

Wong said he realizes how it might be difficult to get good instruction, especially after new regulations were put into place for younger drivers in Hawaii since 2001. He said, like other SKIES Unlimited mentors, he is interested in the safe growth of his students.

In April, SKIES Unlimited will host more than 100 class sessions each week, with several instructors whose biographies and credentials are available at the program’s website.

“The program focuses young children to explore their interests,” Tabbal said. “(Students) can try any class out. If they do want to continue, there are different levels of development.”

SKIES Unlimited

Join in on any of the SKIES classes taught six days a week at Schofield Barracks, Aliamanu Military Reservation or Tripler Army Medical Center. Several new classes are available, including tennis, Middle Eastern dance, driver’s education and Korean.

For additional information, call 655-9818.

Find the full list and locations at www.himwr.com/skies.

Susan Klejment-Young, SKIES dance instructor and her beginning dance group practice dancing like different animals from one end of the dance studio to another. (Photo by Christine Cabalo, Oahu Publications)

Susan Klejment-Young, SKIES dance instructor and her beginning dance group practice dancing like different animals from one end of the dance studio to another. (Photo by Christine Cabalo, Oahu Publications)

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Category: Community, Education

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