Saturday, January 17, 2015

Everybody dance now.

If you ever have a chance to visit our school, come on a Friday. And wear your workout clothes, please. Yes, that includes running shoes and comfy pants. You'll usually find me wearing some kind of running pants, my running shoes, and a t-shirt of some kind. My shirts vary: a long-sleeved school tee, book related shirts, even a Minecraft shirt. Anything to get the kids talking to me! But I won't be the only one wearing casual athletic gear-- because it's Fitness Friday every Friday at our school and everyone participates! 

Up first, we have our Friday walks consisting of 30 minutes of jogging, walking, and talking to the beat of our sound system. Once, the neighbors complained about the music being too loud. Me, I think it's really that they don't like Kids Bop! We moved the speakers a bit and cranked it up. The kids love it, and it's one of my favorite things each week- the kids sing out loud and smile and they look happy. Unless it's raining hard, you'll find us out there in the parking lot moving and grooving.

Later in the day, our second grade team has a grade level wide workout and they alternate weekly between Zumba and Boot Camp with the help of a few parents accompanied by music. Can you just picture 53 kids doing squats and high knees? It's awesome!

Of course, Fridays aren't the only days where you'll find kids getting fit together. Our third grade team has a cross-fit style workout and art rotation during the week, and you'll find games and circuit training and more going on throughout the week. 

Some days I'm lucky to join in for a bit, but unless it's a Friday I'm usually wearing a dress and boots-- something not so workout-ish. I always enjoy watching the kids, but secretly I've been wanting to join in.

Lucky for me, our 4th and 5th grade team has a totally awesome elective-style block of time where kids choose an enrichment activity that the teachers lead--something the teacher is passionate about. This round, kids chose from Knitting and Crocheting, Newsletter, Digital Photography, Minecraft, and Zumba. 

Yes, Zumba. 

Everybody dance now!
Friday I joined in. For a whole hour. It was AMAZING! A mix of boys and girls dancing, clapping, stomping, smiling for a solid hour. It's hard to even describe what it was like to dance with the kids, to see the sheer joy on their faces, to see everyone try even when the steps were tricky. I felt awkward but I kept on dancing. Kids from other grade levels came through the gym and some of them started dancing on their way through. The teachers were dancing. The kids were speechless, mostly, and I imagine I was a sight. 

What would you think if you saw your principal doing...

My FAVORITE dance of the day. Try it!

That hour of dancing changed my whole feeling for the rest of the day. I can't help but think that we have to find a way to move, to dance EVERY day. I can't wait for next Friday! 

In the meantime, if you'd like to join us and dance your heart out, here's Petra Luhrsen's playlist of YouTube videos for her Zumba time. With most of the dances chosen by the kids in the class. 

Everybody dance now!

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