Willow Brook kindergarten teacher Anise Glenn (seen on the left in the image) will welcome her new class of kindergarten students on Aug. 21, and they might want to think twice about throwing away that hall pass that has her signature on it. It’s technically an autograph. Glenn got into the back-to-school groove earlier this summer by being a part of a video with Microsoft Education that can be seen on streaming and online services.
“Microsoft Education wanted to do a back-to-school promo and they wanted some real educators in the video,” Glenn said. “The whole thing was super fun and it was the most amazing experience.”
Glenn, a 2015 Pattonville High School graduate, has more than 10 years of competitive dance team experience. She was a member of the Pattonville varsity drill team and then attended Lindenwood University, where she was a four year member of the Lionettes Dance Team and became a three-time NDA Collegiate National Champion.
She was also a professional company dancer with Ashleyliane Dance Company; that’s where she met the marketing executive that worked on the Microsoft Education video.
“The project served as a way to motivate teachers and thank them for what they do and she invited me to be a part of it,” Glenn said. “It was such a joyful thing to be a part of."
Glenn is the Pattonville High School varsity drill team coach and showed members of the team that a passion for dance can lead to success and opportunities.
“It was kind of cool to show them that it’s possible to do what you love after high school,” she said. “You don’t have to go and be a professional dancer, but you can still have a chance to do things like this.”
To some of the varsity drill team members, Glenn wasn’t the person they idolized the most in the video. KayCee Stroh, an actress and dancer known for her role as Martha Cox in the High School Musical franchise, was also part of the project.
“They were really mostly excited about the fact that I got to meet her,” Glenn said. “I got to hang out with KayCee and dance with her, but the best thing was being able to share that, yeah, I’m a teacher and a coach, but with dance and dedication, I get to do these types of things as well.”
Glenn did not travel to New York or Hollywood to make her acting debut.
“We did it all in a school in Webster Groves,” she said. “We had about two weeks of rehearsals where we came together to learn the group dance and spent time learning our separate parts. Then for two days, we recorded the video from about noon to 8 p.m.”
But Glenn is now getting prepared to return to the life of a teacher.
“We’re participating in personalized learning and MySci professional development this week and I’m getting some help setting up my classroom today,” she said. “I’m looking forward to the first day next week.”
And maybe you'll catch her students dancing down the hallways at Willow Brook. Quietly, of course.