Dancing half a century in America's Hometown

Barbara Stewart (center) in the 1950s in Hannibal.

It's the season for dance performances throughout the country, and it will be a dance performance of a lifetime for a local dance teacher.

Barbara Stewart owns Stewart School of Dance in Hannibal.

This is her 60th year of teaching dance.

She started teaching dance in 1953.

"It has really changed," she said. "It is really not like it used to be. I don't know if it's for the better or for worse, but it's different."

Watch the video above and see what Stewart thinks of the popular dance, twerking.

Stewart said the benefits that come from dance have not changed.

"It really gives them confidence and poise," she said. "They're not afraid to get on stage and perform."

Kay Latta has been taking dance from Barbara for 35 years

"I love to dance, and it's easier than exercising," Latta said. "I love Barb."

"I think it's incredible that she can move better than half of us, and she's been teaching for 60 years," dancer Emily Tate said. "She always tells us we can't give up, and we're not allowed to say 'can't.'"

"She makes you keep doing it until you get it down," Shelby Brown said. "she will help you though a lot."

And that sentiment comes from dancers of all ages.

Stewart also founded and has served as director of the Miss Hannibal pageant for 35 years.

She invites all of her present and former dancers to join her in a special celebration next month at her dance recital.

That will take place at 7 p.m. May 17th at Hannibal High School.