In years past, it had been tradition for students to sing songs of the season. However, the arrangement had practical disadvantages due to the lack of space in our multipurpose room for the community to attend. We would alternate from year to year with K-3rd and 4th-6th performing in this season. Though the music was beautifully enjoyable, not everyone was able to participate and exercise their talents.
With this in mind, we did what we always encourage our students to due: Think outside of the box! We invited Vic and his dance crew to lead in choreographing an area of the arts that is not too commonly taught in South Monterey County: Dance. It was "out of the box" indeed; many students were hesitant. They were not used to hearing or moving to music as an expression of art, especially that of a variety of genres. Anxiety prodded at many of our students at the thought of dancing with a partner. Yes, even we teachers became worried at seeing their initial dismay.
Yet, we thought of what we had always taught our students. We had always set high standards and goals for them, not to be discouraged, but because we knew they had the capability of attaining them! Why would participating and demonstrating their learning in this essential human expression be any different? We chose to persist in this new endeavor for our children; we knew they would overcome their own fears and feel the exhilaration of doing what was at once thought impossible.
Through the use of those dances, our students exercised a skill in the arts that is a whole-body learning experience. Not only was spacial awareness developed, an essential skill for mathematical visualization, but social interaction, physical education, organization and planning, social-emotional awareness, persistence in overcoming fears, and many other essential life skills were taught.
We do realize that there were some aspects of the performance that could have been made better in retrospect. The crowds of community members could have been regulated. Teachers could have been more visible. A more efficient system of locating students after their performances could have been established. Perhaps we could have foreseen the power outage! We have taken note of these, and rest assured that we are as motivated to make next time a smoother experience for everyone! We thank the community for understanding that with any worthwhile endeavor there are "hiccups" along the way. The road to mastery in any educational experience is cramped and bumpy. But how worth it it was to see our children have so many memories made in spite of those challenges!
We would like to thank everyone for their participation and understanding. And thank you students for making our year end something to dance about! 😉🕺💃