Scholars from AF East New York Elementary School perform at The Great GoogaMoogaCategory: News, Home, Default
Fifty-two Achievement First East New York Elementary School scholars recently took to the main stage during The Great GoogaMooga Festival in Brooklyn’s Prospect Park. The third- and fourth-grade scholars premiered the “Googa Your Mooga” dance, performing to the Lee Dorsey song for which the festival was named. They were also featured in the event's music video. Achievement First East New York Dance Teacher Meghan Carter, who coached the scholars in their dance performance, explains the dance program and this exciting event.
1. How does the dance program enhance scholars’ overall learning experience?
Scholars take dance once a week as part of the music, art and dance curriculum. They are taught etiquette, choreography and technique as we study various styles of dance. They also learn about key figures in dance and about the origin of each genre we study. The dance class is an integral part of the rigorous day of academic learning at AF East New York Elementary. It gives the scholars a structured “wiggle break” and introduces the feeling and importance of regular physical activity that they can joyfully carry throughout their lives. Dance helps scholars stay alert, gives them the opportunity to exercise and enriches their knowledge of dance as a fine art.
2. Where do your scholars usually perform?
This month, the scholars performed hip-hop routines during a Reach Circle. They also showcased their dancing abilities during our musical, “The Magic 3 Train,” which featured world dance and tap routines. Our scholars are very busy entertaining the Brooklyn community!
3. How did the scholars become involved in the festival?
I work on a freelance basis for Superfly Presents, the company that produced the festival. The festival’s creator—Jonathan Mayers—learned of my work at Achievement First and loved that our scholars have a full art program in their school. He suggested the kids perform at the festival, and he asked me if I could choreograph the dance. They also decided that the scholars would perform on the main stage before major acts like The Roots and Hall and Oates and dance in The Great GoogaMooga music video!
4. How did your scholars prepare for their performance?
We rehearsed the dance for three weeks until it was perfect. Superfly Presents funded all of our preparations including costumes, transportation and vendor tickets for our scholars and their families to use at the festival! The scholars’ involvement in the festival was very special to me because the project was a collaborative effort between my sister and me. My sister, Laura G. Carter, was the awesome producer of the performance during the event.
5. What will be your most lasting memory of the performance?
The scholars were so excited to be on stage in front of 40,000 people, with their families and teachers there to see their performance! I will always remember seeing the look on their faces when they saw the stage and the crowd for the first time. I also loved all of the high fives and hugs exchanged after the scholars came off the stage. They did an amazing job!
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