Drummondville Elementary School rainbow dance celebrates the good times

By Gordon Lambie

The students and staff of Drummondville Elementary School laced up their dancing shoes on Tuesday morning for a physically distanced performance meant to reflect the changing seasons of this unusual pandemic-shaped spring. The “Rainbow Dance” brought all 125 students who have returned to the school and their 20 teachers out onto the schoolyard for a four-song medley during which they waved streamers of every colour of the rainbow and showed off their knowledge of just how far two metres is.
The dance played out over just a few short minutes, but according to sixth grade students Savannah Mace and Samuel Thibert, it was the result of more than a month of work.
“First we had one song that we had to practice for about a week and they would show us the moves in a video,” Thibert said, with Mace adding that, “at the beginning it was everyone individually, and then we practiced the whole school together.”
The instructional videos were created at home by Cycle two teacher Nancy Catchpaw and her husband, choreographer André Boissoneault.
Asked about what inspired the project, Catchpaw said that the suggestion came from a colleague
“She said why doesn’t your husband create a choreography for us? So I asked him, and he is always up for a challenge.”
Boissoneault said that he took two days off work to put the project together, but beyond that most of the preparations were in the hands of the school, since no visitors are allowed at the moment. On that, Catchpaw said the students and staff really got on board even if not all of them really feel like dancers most of the time.
“We helped each other out and it went well,” she reflected.
The four songs of the medley were meant to represent different stages of this past spring. The students began the dance by walking into the schoolyard to the mournful rhythms of “Conquest of Paradise 1432” to represent how the world “went to war” against COVID-19 at the start of the pandemic. This transitioned to a modified version of the BeeGee’s “Staying Alive” that changed the lyrics to “Staying Inside” in recognition of the weeks of confinement that followed. The third song was a parody of MC Hammer’s “U Can’t Touch This,” relating to the near-constant reminders of proper hygiene measures, and the final song was Kool & The Gang’s “Celebration” to mark the progressive deconfinement period.
“This was a great opportunity to enjoy our last year and finish it off by celebrating all together, even though we’re apart,” Mace said.

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