It’s hard to say who had more fun – the teachers or the students – last week as Swing Des Moines served as the Artists in Residence at Western Hills Elementary.
Many of you may already know that one of Swing Des Moines’ purposes is to work with area schools to educate students not only in the art of America’s Folk Dance – Swing dancing – but also in the history behind the dance. We had another chance to do just that last week.
The week kicked off with an all-school assembly featuring Capitol City Swing, our performance troupe, showing the kids (and teachers) our hour-long presentation covering the entire swing era. The kids particularly liked the Charleston, the Shim Sham, and East Coast swing (which we danced to Great Balls of Fire). We ended the assembly by letting all the kids get up and learn a few steps as a preview to what they’d learn in their PE classes that week.
Then we had each class twice over the course of the next four days during their PE time. Students learned 20s Charleston – from Kindergarten all the way up through Sixth grade. They all seemed to just love it.
And the teachers seemed to have a great time, too. The kids were just so fun to be with – particularly the littler kids. A few of the kindergarteners preferred to hold hands while learning new steps. One of the first graders took a particular interest in helping Wally to get the steps right. Some of the older students developed elaborate group poses for Posin’. It was great.
Swing Des Moines owes a huge thanks to Mike Dennis and Kevin Spencer for taking on this project. Mike was at the school all four days, and Kevin was there for three of the four. They did the bulk of the work, that’s for certain. Randy and I helped out on Thursday, but I feel like we did very little while we were there.
You can view our photo stream from the event here. I failed to take a camera to the assembly, and wouldn’t have had time to photograph anyway. The pictures show the Thursday classes, and Kevin is missing because that’s the one day he wasn’t there. I’m sorry Kevin!! If anyone else took pictures at the event, please add them!
There is also a small write-up at the Register here.
Capitol City Swing, our performance troupe, is participating in Lighten Up, Iowa! The program starts tomorrow, so if you’re interested, there’s still time to form your own team, or to join as an individual.
The goal is to increase our level of activity, so we’ll be logging our activity each week, and keeping an eye on our total minutes of activity. Perhaps this will mean we’ll each be rehearsing more and getting just that much better!
Janet is kindly leading the group, and I’ll admit that my level of awareness of what we’re supposed to be doing is really low, but I do know that I’m planning to start Yoga tomorrow, and to actually reach my goal of 10,000 steps on a regular basis. (Right now, I only hit it on Mondays when we have rehearsal and Wednesdays when we have class!)
We all will be logging quite a bit of activity this weekend – Jive Junction is Friday and we have a performance at Living History Farms on Saturday. Want to log some activity of your own? Join us for three awesome hours of activity on Friday, 8-11, at the Community Center.
January’s Jive Junction had a 50s Prom Theme and it was a lot of fun! Several of our members brought fun decorations and prizes to give away, and the 1950s theme was a fun diversion from our usual music – not something I’d want to do all the time, certainly, but fun for one month!
On Saturday, the Capitol City Swing troupe performed at a fundraiser for Living History Farms and danced to the Waukee Big Band. The Waukee Big Band is probably one of the finer big bands in the area – very smooth sound, nice for dancing!
And because I know you’re dying to know, I ended up deciding to just go casual to Jive Junction and wore jeans and a Tshirt! And like I predicted, everyone who chose to dress up was perfectly happy wearing modern dresses that looked 5oish, or full skirts with blouses, etc. And I’m jealous of that in a way!!