hiawathica hoppin'

First graders pose after preforming the Charleston.

ESSEX JUNCTION — This afternoon Hiawatha Elementary was bursting with music as the students and teachers performed the dances they’ve been practicing for the past eight days in a concert titled “Hiawatha Hoppin’.” 

Students used dance to work through concepts of identity and expression. They were led by teaching artist Karen Amirault, whose residency at the school was supported by two grants from the Vermont Arts Council.

Amirault taught all of the Hiawatha Elementary students, choreographing a unique dance for each grade. The students explored cultural aspects of jazz dance and music through genres such as the Charleston, rock ‘n roll and hip hop.

“The focus was integrating dance with their diversity goals for this year,” Amirault said. “So they studied the…American music and dance form of jazz, which has a geographical base, from Africa and from Latin America.” 

Below are a series of photos from the show. Family and friends of the students can see the dances from 6:15-7:15 p.m. Thursday during their second performance. 

Hiawatha hoppin'

Teaching artist Karen Amirault performs "If only I had a Brain," for the students of Hiawatha Elementary.  

Hiawatha hoppin'

Students of Hiawatha Elementary are encouraged to quiet down with "quiet coyotes."

Hiawatha Hoppin'

PreK students of Hiawatha Elementary join hands as they preform "Dixieland," to the music by Clarence Williams' Blues Five.

Hiawatha Hoppin'

Hiawatha Elementary Kindergarteners preform their rock 'n roll dance to music by The Contours. 

Hiawatha Hoppin'

A first grade student dances for the class performance of the Charleston.

Hiawatha Hoppin'

A second grade student inspects his tie as he waits for his class performance to begin.

Hiawatha Hoppin'

Two second grade students hold hands during their class performance of the Jitterbug.

Hiawatha Hoppin'

Two second grade students perform the Jitterbug to the music of Glenn Miller.

Hiawatha Hoppin'

Teaching artist Karen Amirault takes a bow after her tap performance to "Sing Sing Sing" by Louis Prima.

Hiawatha Hoppin'

The third grade students perform a hip hop dance to "Dynamite" a Taio Cruz song sung by Kidz Bop.

Hiawatha Hoppin'

A second grade student raises her hand in support of the third grade student performance.

Hiawatha Hoppin'

Hiawatha Elementary teachers dance to "Glad You Came" by The Wanted.

Hiawatha Hoppin'

The students of Hiawatha Elementary applaud their teachers after they finish their performance. 


Written By

Staff Writer

Kate Vanni is a staff writer and recent graduate of the University of Vermont where she worked as the editor-in-chief of the Vermont Cynic, UVM’s student newspaper. Email kvanni@orourkemediagroup.com to get in contact with Kate.


(0) comments

Welcome to the discussion.

Thank you for taking part in our commenting section. We want this platform to be a safe and inclusive community where you can freely share ideas and opinions. Comments that are racist, hateful, sexist or attack others won’t be allowed. Just keep it clean. Do these things or you could be banned:

• Don’t name-call and attack other commenters. If you’d be in hot water for saying it in public, then don’t say it here.

• Don’t spam us.

• Don’t attack our journalists.

Let’s make this a platform that is educational, enjoyable and insightful.

Email questions to bhigdon@orourkemediagroup.com.

Share your opinion


Join the conversation

Recommended for you