Northwest School of the Arts (NWSA) dance students participated in National Dance Day a little differently this year. In the past, they conducted flash mobs during lunchtime. Due to COVID-19 protocols, about 150 students from grades 6-12 gathered outside to record their performance. Teachers will receive the video to share during homeroom, and it will be displayed on the digital marquee in front of the school.
National Dance Day celebrates dance in all its forms and is held annually on the third Saturday in September. The American Dance Movement and Congresswoman Eleanor Holmes Norton established the day in 2010.
"It was important to me to continue a tradition that the students look forward to and one that promotes community, wellness and the importance of dance in education. National Dance Day comes at the end of National Arts in Education Week. It's a time to advocate, educate and celebrate the impact and power of the arts in an educational setting," said Chandra Glover, a dance teacher.
The students rehearsed and choreographed distinct dance sequences that will also be featured in the video. The group routine is the one that everyone in the nation performs. Brian and Scott Nicholson choreographed the national dance, which they adapted from their tour with Ariana Grande. It is set to her song "Break Free."
Tenth-graders Kenny Crawford and Constanza Martell-Cote were excited to perform with their peers.
"Dancing at home is different than sharing a stage or, in this case, the school's parking lot, with other dancers. Shared movement is how we connect and communicate," said Kenny.
Constanza, who has been attending NWSA for two years, finds self-expression through dance.
"I express my emotions through modern dance or tap them out. I play the piano, too. I am so glad my mom found out about this school. Performing with my friends gets me more hype. Much better than a Zoom," said Constanza.
To watch the video, click here.