Kids move to groove at workshop

Jerzie Butcher (left), Grade 5 student, and Wifaq Alabi (right), Grade 4 student, form a shape during the Luv2Groove workshop at King George School on May 17, 2017. Lisa Goudy/Times-Herald

Luv2Groove dance education workshop Sask. tour makes Moose Jaw stop

A lot of smiling kids danced in all different styles in King George School’s gymnasium on Wednesday.

“Lots of assemblies we don’t really get to move around in,” said Ella Surtees, Grade 3 student. “It was amazing because I like dancing a lot.”

King George School was the last of 18 Saskatchewan stops on the Luv2Groove workshop tour that began April 24. It was the only Moose Jaw stop.

“It’s dance education for some introduction to dance,” said Luv2Groove dance instructor Yves Soglo. “We promote physical activity, movement, self-expression and in so doing, we motivate kids.”

Each one-hour session, held for all grades during the course of the day, featured an introduction, a warm-up dance, a follow-along dance, stretching, an activity for kids to shadow each other’s movements, choreography and an alphabet exercise.

“I play music and then I stop the music. I name objects or a number and they have to reproduce this with their whole bodies,” said Soglo. “So you have to be creative and also think fast as a team. So it encourages teamwork, which is fantastic.”

The workshop also aims to help improve kids’ self-esteem.

“Especially boys, they see that dance is a positive thing. It’s not only girls who do it. You can dance with boys, you can dance with girls, you can dance with your friends and you can have fun doing it,” he said. “In doing that, you can express yourself by listening to music you love.”

This was the sentiment expressed by Grade 2 student Brooklynn Morin after her session.

“I think it was awesome. My favourite thing is the music and the dancing,” she said. “I love to listen to music all the time at my house and dance to it.”

Soglo said when he was growing up, having dance in schools was unheard of. Now kids are exposed to all kinds of different things.

“They can say, ‘Oh, dance is not such a bad thing. I might ask my mom to take a dance class or just dance with my friends in the basement on the weekends and it’s OK to dance,’” he said.

“It’s very fun. It’s very positive. For the arts in general, it’s important that the kids know they can express themselves in different ways.”

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