By Tara Cavanaugh
At Dicken Elementary’s Community of Cultures event on Friday, it was clear that dance is an international language spoken around the world.
From Ireland to Indonesia, Dicken students showed off the dances, desserts and traditional dress that makes their culture proud.
“One of the many great things about Dicken Elementary is that we have families from all over the world as part of our community,” said Dicken Principal Mike Madison. “And when I say all over the world, I’m not exaggerating. We have just about every continent represented here.
“And after Dicken students speak English at school all day, they go home to their families and speak languages like Somali, Japanese, Spanish, Armenian, Greek, Arabic, Polish, Hindi, and many, many more. We have over 30 languages in our school.”
The video above highlights the wonderful dance performances. The Irish dance was choreographed by two students, Brooke Rafko and Sydney O’Connor.
The Indian dance, performed to the title music of the Indian movie, “Rang De Bastani,” which means “color it saffron,” was choreographed by Apoorva Asthana, a former Dicken student who is now a Pioneer freshman.
The Balinese dance was performed by Mira Collins, a Dicken second-grader’s mother. Her dance tells a story of a princess who disguises herself as a man and goes on a series of adventures, all in search of her prince. Collins began learning the dance when she was just five years old. After her performance, she taught the audience about the male and female ways of standing and walking, as well as the shoulder, finger and eye movements.
The video also highlights a performance of The Recess Singers, singing Ben Harper’s “Own Two Hands.”
The Community of Cultures celebration also included visits from University of Michigan cultural groups, the Arab American Museum of Dearborn, displays of desserts and posters made by families posted in the hallways.
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