By Lisa Petrillo

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MIAMI (CBSMiami) — Welcome to the contemporary dance class of YoungArts Week taught by award-winning choreographer, dancer, and master teacher Nora Chaipaumire.

These students are just some of the 166 finalists chosen to participate in YoungArts Week in South Florida.

It’s on throughout this week in all disciplines of the arts.

“National YoungArts Foundation has been around since 1981 and our mission is to support artists in their careers, specifically focusing on teenage artists between the age of 15- 18 years old,” said Rebekah Lengel, Director of Art Programs.

These students among the others in the program were chosen from thousands of applicants from around the country.

“Experts evaluate them on their technical expertise, their artistry and their ability to have an artistic voice that’s above and beyond students of that age,” Lengel explained.

Master Teacher Nora, who will be working with the kids all week, has hopes her talented students will take home many things but most importantly something else.

“The joy of the body, the joy of the discipline of dance, the joy of the mind that is disciplined through daily practice, and that they will become amazing human beings,” said Master Teacher Nora.

Zane Unger is a high school student who started dance in an unconventional way.

“I’ve been dancing since the  age of 2.  I was a clumsy child so my mom put me into dance hoping I could get less clumsy and I just stayed in it ,” Unger said.

Elijah Muhammad is thrilled to be in the program.

“YoungArts to me is an incredible place where a lot of young artists can connect with each other: dancers, singers, vocalists and everyone in their own art can connect with each other and build off of what everybody has,” he said.

And every night this week audiences can experience the work of these next generation of artists through performances in South Florida.

“We have performances that feature the work of the students that we brought in for the program. They are featured every single night whether it’s in classical music, design, film or theater. All of them have a moment to shine,” said Lengel.

National YoungArts week wraps Saturday night at its annual YoungArts Backyard Ball which will be held at the YoungArts campus on Biscayne Boulevard .

This year they will honor the Academy Award-winning playwright Tarell Alvin McCraney who wrote “Moonlight” with the 2018 Arison Alumni Award.

For more info on the gala, click here.

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