This Black History Month, KIPP Texas Public Schools is proud to celebrate this year’s theme of ‘African Americans and the Arts.” Join us as we continue to celebrate Black Americans’ rich contributions, from literature and music to visual arts and performance. Let’s learn more about one Big KIPPster inspiring her students to express themselves through movement.
What began as a passion, KIPP Mosaic Academy Dance Teacher Ms. Fendi Baggs is living her dream every day.
“I’ve always had a deep passion for the arts from a young age. My journey in dance started with participation in talent shows, community dance teams, musical theater, praise dance, and middle school dance,” Baggs said.
Having been the first African American girl to join the distinguished Clear Springs Silverados, she discovered her love for choreography and higher-level dance.
After graduating from Texas State University with a Bachelor of Fine Arts in dance and a focus on education, Baggs found her way to KIPP Texas through an opportunity to teach at KIPP Houston High School, where her unique style and passion for dance found a perfect home.
“It felt like a divine moment, and I was excited to share my passion and make an impact on children’s lives at KIPP Texas,” Baggs said.
Baggs blends various styles into her teaching philosophy, influenced by her Godfather, Bryan-Keith Wilson, and iconic Black dancers and choreographers like Alvin Ailey, Debbie Allen, and Phil Wright.
“I integrate Ailey techniques into my training, aspiring to develop a company as robust as the Debbie Allen Dance School, where dancers reach their full potential in various dance styles,” Baggs said.
Baggs, who currently teaches at KIPP Mosaic Academy, emphasizes the importance of affirmations in her classroom, considering them a non-negotiable element that fosters a sense of empowerment and confidence in her students. Her goal is to create an environment where KIPPsters experience a blend of discipline, joy, and character-building beyond the dance studio.
A defining moment in her KIPP Texas journey was when her dance team, KIPP Krew, became National Champions in 2019. The dance team included 26 Little KIPPsters in the seventh and ninth grades. In addition to this win, her students also surprised her with a breathtaking performance on the day Baggs was honored with the Kinder Excellence in Teaching Award (KETA). The KETA program concentrates on the Houston area, recognizing innovative and results-oriented teaching while raising public awareness of the importance of effective and committed teachers.
“It was a day I will cherish forever, symbolizing the profound impact of dance education and the deep connections forged with my students at KIPP Texas,” Baggs said.
Join us in celebrating Ms. Fendi Bagss! She brings joy and inspiration to KIPP Texas. Her love for dance and teaching fills our hearts with joy. Baggs is making a big difference in the lives of our KIPPsters, leaving memories that will last a lifetime.
KIPP Texas is currently hiring for a diverse team of dynamic, collaborative, and dedicated individuals with an unyielding belief that every child will succeed. If you want to be a part of shaping the next generation of leaders, we encourage you to apply now!