Community News

Birch Third Graders Dance Around The World

Pictured: Papa’s class performed the cumbia.

Photo courtesy of the Merrick Union Free School District

After learning about cultures from around the world during their history and English curriculum, third graders at Birch School in the Merrick School District worked on various dances during a five-day residency with an outside arts in education program.

The Vanaver Caravan Dance and Music Company visited Birch on multiple occasions, teaching the students about their style of dance, its history, as well as some of the clothing worn. They outfitted students in traditional garb and props that really made the dances stand out.

Mrs. Millevoi and Mrs. Mastellon performed the samba, Ms. An’s class performed the Charleston, Ms. Papa’s class performed the cumbia and Mrs. Rose’s class performed a Chinese Ribbon Dance.

“When you leave here with the hope that you will take this song and dance back with you in your hearts and in your minds,” owner Livia Vanaver addressed the crowd during a March 6 dress rehearsal. “As well as appreciate the importance of and honor each other’s cultures.”

They performed the dances for an audience of parents and peers as well.

For over 50 years and through three generations, Vanaver Caravan has traveled to schools with their immersive arts-education programs that promote diversity, community-building and cultural understanding. The school’s PTA cultural arts committee sponsored the workshop.

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