St. Patrick’s students are bouncing with excitement, not only for what has been happening at Maple Ridge’s only private Catholic school, but what’s still to come this month.
Coming off the success of their recent dance week, all energies are now focused on this week’s open house on Thursday.
On Monday, Jan. 14, and continuing throughout the subsequent week, students at St. Patrick’s School learned some of the latest and greatest hip-hop dance moves from Mike Figueroa of S Vibe Productions. Their dance education culminated in a performance for a full house on Friday, Jan. 18.
For those unfamiliar to hip hop, it refers to dance styles, mainly street dance styles, primarily danced to hip hop music, or that have evolved as a part of the hip-hop culture, explained school public relations and fundaiser Jacki Tokaryk.
The later styles are sometimes referred to as new school or new style while the older styles, including breakdance and various funk styles that were incorporated into hip hop, are considered old school.
This was the fifth year that Figueroa used his vast experience to teach students all the newest and hottest hip-hop moves. The performance, as always, had a theme and this year’s was the 1990s.
Students from Kindergarten to Grade 7 danced to ‘90s classics like MC Hammer’s “Can’t Touch This” and Vanilla Ice’s Ice, Ice, Baby. St. Patrick’s teachers even got into the fun and created their own routine that delighted both students and parents.
A special surprise was organized for the crowd as Mike had Now or Never (N.O.N.) Crew Entertainment perform an “absolutely amazing routine. By the end of it, the gym was a roar with cheers,” Tokaryk said.
Now or Never actually performed at the 2010 Winter Olympics closing ceremony for more than two billion viewers worldwide.
“I have such a good time when we learn hip hop at school and look forward to it every year,” said Jenna Tokaryk in Grade 6. “Now or Never Crew was awesome!”
This year’s hip-hop performance linked very nicely with the school’s regular Celtics Day.
Every month, students hold a Celtics Day to raise money for a various cause. Students are permitted to dress in their best Celtic colours (and for Jan. 18 those were ‘90s hip-hop colours) and bring in change to support a cause.
Friday’s was for Variety and students were able to bring in $3 to purchase a Variety Hearts campaign Monsters Inc. button.
“This organization is dear to St Patrick’s student and staff hearts as one of their Grade 5 students is a Variety Coin kid champion,” Tokaryk explained.
The school has an on-going coin drive for Variety, but the Friday’s Celtics Day was dubbed Gold Hearts Day. Approximately 150 hearts were sold and the money raised will be presented by St. Patrick’s student council and their Variety Coin Kid Champion live on the Variety Show of Hearts Telethon, airing on Global TV ths month.
“We want our students to understand the importance of helping others. It is all about kids helping kids,” said school principal Clive Heah.
This school year alone, students have raised more than $1,200 for charities like Variety, Chalice, Operation Smile, and Terry Fox.
So on Friday, Jan. 18, St Patrick’s students found they “can” dance and “can” make a difference.
Switching gears, the school is now gearing up for their next big event, St. Patrick’s open house being held Thursday, Feb. 7, starting at 6 p.m.
The public is invited to attend, wander through the classrooms, meet with staff, and see “all the wonderful things our school has to offer.”
St. Patrick’s Elementary School is located at 22589 121st Ave. in Maple Ridge.
For more information, people can call the school office at 604-467-1571, visit their website at www.stpatsschool.org, or check them out on Facebook or Twitter at: @stpatsmr.