"Swing your partner round and round! Now Do Si Do and Promenade Home!"
Every Wednesday morning, 75 students from kindergarten to Grade 5 at Cambridge Narrows Community School are discovering how square dancing lessons can challenge your listening skills, while learning new steps and movements on the dance floor.
Square dance caller Terry Hebert, and local volunteers from the Washademoak Swingers Square Dance Club, have been sharing their love for square dancing with the students, while providing musical dance instruction.
On May 24, the students will be showcasing their skills on the dance floor during a demonstration at the school's annual Volunteer Tea event.
"We are finding it to be a very rewarding experience to work with the elementary students," said Richard Goodick, club president. "It is a pleasure to have the opportunity to participate and assist the young students as they practice and learn each new square dance call."
Teacher April Wilson said the dance lessons have been beneficial to students in a variety of ways. Kindergarten students have been strengthening their understanding of left and right, while working on movements and patterns in the dance circle. Grades 1-2 students have been learning about partner skills and non-competitive teamwork. Grades 3-5 students are learning about the ideals and foundations of square dancing and all students are gaining an appreciation for music and working together cooperatively.
"In addition, the activity relates to a number of curriculum outcomes in physical education and music, and it support elements of mathematics, language arts and social studies," Wilson explained. "It is also an opportunity for our school to strengthen its connection to the community."
The project at Cambridge Narrows School was made possible through a provincial ArtsSmarts funding grant.
Students continue to learn new calls each week and show their appreciation to their instructors with an "all join hands and into the middle" shout of thanks. Shown on the front page and in the photo below are the students working on their dance techniques with their teachers and members of the Washademoak Swingers Square Dance Club.