Ronnie Ferebee snaps his fingers and sways to the hoppin’ beat. Dozens of dance club members jump and slide with him inside Kempsville Meadows Elementary School’s auditorium.
Earlier this year, they were practicing several afternoons a week for the school’s next dance production, with everything designed by the man who fixes their Chromebooks in class and helps them with their dance moves after school.
Ferebee, the technology support technician at Kempsville Meadows, is known throughout the area as a choreographer, dance teacher and the guy to invite when you want to get the party started. He brings his deejay kit and lights to school dances and celebrations.
“I get calls from other principals, saying how great he is — and it’s all true,” said Christa Markert, who’s in her first year as principal at Kempsville Meadows. “He brought his equipment to our ‘trunk or treat’ for Halloween, and our turkey bowl. He’s amazing. Kids are drawn to him.”
Ferebee has worked more than 20 years at VBCPS, most of them at Kempsville Meadows. He started the dance club in 2011, and the crowds are so large for the school’s talent shows that they have to be held at Green Run High School. Although the talent show took a year off in 2023, the dance club hosted a smaller event at Kempsville Meadows this spring.
“I love seeing a smile on their faces,” he said about his students. “Dancing gives them self-esteem.”
Ferebee keeps in touch with his students into high school and beyond. His former dance students come back to perform at their old school, said Deanna Moretz, the school’s library media specialist.
“Pre-pandemic, students loved his dance program so much they continued through eighth grade and would walk from Larkspur Middle School across the field to Kempsville Meadows Elementary to participate with the fourth and fifth graders,” Moretz said. “ Even as high school students, they would return to Kempsville Meadows to witness events such as the Costume Ball and the annual spring talent show held at Green Run High School, where the Green Run Collegiate Drama Club would work the stage lights and sound.”
Ferebee studied technology at Kellam High School, Class of 2000. But his interest in dance came much younger.
“I’ve been dancing since I was 4 years old,” he said. “The first thing I saw was Michael Jackson doing the moonwalk, and then that was it for me. I wanted to dance.”
His parents fully supported his interests. He has fond memories of his dad moving furniture around the living room so he could practice. But Ferebee didn’t take his first formal dance class until six years ago. He also provides deejay services as part of G-Man Entertainment Music Group.
Mandy Tatum’s daughters Willow and Summer were on Ferebee’s dance team. The younger daughter, Willow, was a little shy at first, but Ferebee’s dance instruction and leadership helped her break out of her shell, Tatum said.
“For the kids, he’s somebody to go to and talk with,” Tatum said. “He is just such a lovely man.”
11 thoughts on “Born to perform: School technician uses dance to boost students’ esteem”
THANK YOU!!! Truly honored!
Lovely as Tatum said. A beautiful man with a beautiful soul touched by God to touch children life’s in these hard times. He is a joy to work with. Always always has a smile on his face with a little laugh. Always ready to help and share.
Thank you so much Nancy!!!
It is commendable to know how long he has served children along his career and how he actually cares about them and wants to share his love for music to help them. My hat’s off to you Mr. Ferebee! Thank you for loving our children! We love amazing humans like you to be a good influence for our children. Keep making the world a happy place.
This means so much!!! Thank you so much!!!!
This is well deserved! Ronnie is the best! My son is 27 and fondly remembers Mr. Ferebee from when he was at North Landing Elementary School many years ago!
My man, CONNOR!!! Thank you so much Michaela!!!
This is so awesome, Ronnie! Just don’t go setting a precedence for the rest of us TSTs!
I love this SO much!! You are an inspiration!!