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from Carol Oriold

I walked into my room early from lunch, and there was a group of ten Grade 12 students dancing. Not dancing as in "at the Friday night dance", dancing as in Express Dance. There were females and males and they were polishing their choreography. Now you have to understand that my school is in the heart of rural Ontario and Junior B Hockey country. Contemporary dance is not an adolescent male pastime here. Yet hockey players were among the participants who were trying to perfect a dance piece that they had created.

Why?

We were nearing the end of a unit of Express Dance and students were soon going to perform their dances which had evolved from a recipe I had given and thematic intentions that they had chosen. A boy in this group had composed original music on guitar after they had created the movements. "How conscientious of them to put in some extra rehearsal time outside of class," I thought.

That same day as I worked in my room after school, the group came in again, this time another group who also wanted to use the space to rehearse their dance. Rehearsal times were negotiated. I headed for the photocopy room. They kept rehearsing.

The next day during lunch in the staff room, the phone was for me. It was the first group of students, calling from my room. "We're sorry to bother you, but could you come down and watch our dance and tell us if it's good enough?"

Bother me? Good enough? The dance was amazing. The theme was DISEASE. How could such commitment and pursuit of perfection bother me? And to think, it had all started just a few classes ago with my leading a warm-up and now these students were pouring everything they had into perfecting their creation. They felt the stakes were high.

Education doesn't get better than this!

If you would like to add your own Express Dance anecdote, please fill in the form below. (Note: your submission may be edited for length and content)

 

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