The children in Jessica Rodecker's theater arts workshop run through musical scales, though they might be doing yoga moves while they do it.
They learn improvisation skills, though they'd call it dancing with ribbons.
They're learning acting skills, too, with some dramatic reading while wearing feathered masks they created.
But what Rodecker most hopes her young charges are learning at their weekly gatherings in the community room at St. Christopher Episcopal Church is confidence, teamwork and a sense of self that will carry them in good stead throughout their lives.
New student Aboud Ashab already is learning to step outside his comfort zone.
Rodecker handed him a ribbon wand, put on some music and told him she'd let him know when it was his turn to lead the dance.
"I don't know how to dance," he said.
"Yes, you do!" she responded. Aboud took tentative steps, with lots of encouragement. And his fellow students followed happily along.
Tuesday afternoons for an hour and a half, Rodecker keeps the youngest of her students engaged in a lively session that includes lots of movement, singing and some dramatic reading - last week it was the witches' scene from Shakespeare's Macbeth.
And yes, they read it in its original language, first breaking down each line to explain what all those weird Shakespeare words mean.
Children in her 6-10 age group quickly understand that "entrails" means "guts."
And lights of recognition went off when they got to the lines, "Double, double, boil and trouble, fire burn and cauldron bubble."
"I want to help them believe in themselves," Rodecker said. "Performance isn't a requirement. But by the end of a session, they will want to perform."
Rodecker also is organizing workshops for students in other age groups and even seeks adults who may want to polish acting skills or just want to be able to speak in front of a group.
Theater can be a vehicle for so much more.
Rodecker said theater gave her a sense of belonging when she was a kid who didn't fit in well. It was one place where her lifelong facial tics stopped completely. It was a place where her diabetes and immune disorders didn't really matter. As a youth in Charleston, she found complete acceptance with Dan and Penny Kehde and the Contemporary Youth Arts Company.
"We all need surrogate parents and responsible confidantes," Rodecker said.
She found she could escape into a new character when she was on stage and she loved it so much she continued to act when she was in college.