Tuesday, June 20, 2006

Me and Julio Dancing Down By the Schoolyard

Via the New York Times, a story about how many NYC schoolkids celebrate spring by dancing on the playground.
No one is quite sure when New York City children began celebrating spring by dancing in schoolyards, their teachers leading them, often awkwardly, through the steps, their proud parents gathered round, snapping pictures and clapping along. It is a peculiar urban rite — called Dance Festival in most of the city, and May Fete on Staten Island — that has been around, it seems, for as long as the public school system itself.
And they're worried about this tradition failing? How could an enterprising company not have stepped forward already and offered to sponsor this thing citywide? Why hasn't this spread throughout the country? Couldn't you imagine a Pancake Mountain-coordinated day in Washington, DC? Chica-go-go in Chicago? Setting aside the fact that we'd have to dance around the May Pole in March here in the desert Southwest to avoid burning our hands on the May Pole, this would be great here, too.

You could play local artists -- OK, perhaps not every Prince or Replacements song would be great for the Twin Cities, but there'd be a few from each. You could play international artists, too. Oldies, new stuff, whatever.

If any of you New York readers care to describe in more detail how exactly this works (how long does this take, is this really as cool as it sounds, or is it more pathetic in execution), I'd love to hear it.

1 comment:

deb in sf said...

That is so rad! My son gets singing and dance as separate parts of the week in his public school here (we are LUCKY!), but this is AMAZING! I'm going to forward this article to his principal. Can you imagine every lower school kid dancing?! Ok, You said you can, but WOW! I'm totally blown away by the thought of it! No camcorder for me. I'm joining in.

deb in sf