Actor teaches Bronx kids about debate, public speaking, and improv

Ashley Morgan Bloom's Bloom Performing Arts, which initiated in Riverdale has transitioned to virtual programming.
Photos courtesy of Ashley Morgan Bloom

In 2018 actress Ashley Morgan Bloom launched Bloom Performing Arts, a private performance coaching company for children, teens, young adults and educators.

Bloom taught her first set of classes at the Fieldston School in Riverdale and has since expanded to a few other private schools in the city. Students learn about public speaking, improve, debate and more.

The initial concept for the company began when she was the middle school debate coach at Fieldston. Eventually she realized she wanted to do more for the youth.

Bloom teacher Conner Hefner

“I’ve always loved kids,” Bloom commented. “I think it’s important for children to develop their voice.”

However, since the pandemic arrived the 34-year-old has transitioned to virtual programming and it has been a big hit. For families new to Bloom Performing Arts, their first online class is free.

The class begins with a physical warm up exercise and then improvisational games. Bloom noted that often with online learning kids often lose learn interest quickly, but with teachers that are trained actors the students have been having a blast.

“Our online classes are interactive, creative, educational, and captivating and are thoroughly engaging for students, allowing parents a well-deserved rest from their kids,” Bloom said to the Bronx Times. “In a time where there is great sadness, our highly motivated staff brings joy, love, and creativity to every single child we teach. We shower our students in love, giving them the individualized attention they need to academically soar.”

Bloom explained that this doesn’t just help the kids become better at expressing themselves, but also provides respite for the moms, who may be overburdened during the pandemic.

Bloom teacher Maddie Booth

“Here at Bloom Performing Arts, we help mothers and parents with a break, giving them an hour off of childcare, responsibility, or worry,” Bloom stated. “While parents are being offered relief, children are learning collaboratively as an ensemble, being socially active with classmates, and most importantly, having fun.”

Their signature class, “iImagine Storytelling,” combines improvisation, debate, public speaking and acting.

Keeniun Brumskill, after-school programmer at Fieldston, praised Bloom for the impact she has had.

“Speech and debate with Bloom Performing Arts is one of the most popular programs we offer,” Brumskill said. “Ashley Bloom has an amazing ability to connect with our middle and lower school children. Ashley is always on time to prepare the classroom for her students. She instructs with passion, energy, and clearly takes joy in seeing their skill development. The children gain self-confidence as they learn to express themselves, research, and flex their analytical muscles. We enjoy having Bloom Performing Arts work with our students.”

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