Every once in a while there is a special moment that happens while I am out covering events.
Take the week before last, for instance.
It was homecoming week at Blue Earth Area High School. After 38 years of covering a homecoming event at one school or another, I’ve become a little jaded, I guess. Oh, I still enjoy going and covering the events, but it sometimes seems like a type of ‘Groundhog Day’ experience.
You know, the Bill Murray movie where he experiences the same day – Groundhog Day – over and over.
So it is when you go cover the same type of event year after year.
With any high school there is almost always certain dress up days, a coronation, pepfest and football game.
There might be a parade, a dance and a bonfire, but not always.
At BEA this year, there wasn’t a parade. It didn’t have as much to do with the potential bad weather, as the logistics and liability of getting all the kids to it, and in it.
But, there was a pepfest. And, it was at this pepfest that something pretty special happened.
After the usual events of introducing the king and queen, having the band perform the school song, and the cheerleaders performing a routine or two, BEA Activities Director Rob Norman took the microphone.
He called on soon-to-be-retiring teacher Steve Fredrickson to come forward.
Norman asked Fredrickson if there was anything he had always wanted to do before leaving the BEA school system this coming November.
Fredrickson responded that he had always wanted to dance at a BEA homecoming pepfest. Norman invited him to do so – and he did.
The music started, “Mr. Fred” began to dance, and then the rest of the staff at BEA started to come out on to the gym floor from the bleachers and join in.
They performed a series of ‘line dances’ to a variety of recent popular songs.
In perfect unison.
The students loved it. They roared, they screamed, they sang the songs and danced the dances in the bleachers while the teachers did the same routines on the gym floor.
The kids could not believe what they were seeing.
It turns out that this ‘pepfest dance’ has been performed at several schools. Several versions have been posted on YouTube, the video sharing web site.
That is where some members of the BEA staff first saw it. Some of the teachers thought it would be fun to do.
(My guess is it was the younger teachers, but that is only an assumption.)
The staff even spent several Wednesday evenings during the past month ‘rehearsing’ the dancing. They chose Wednesdays because no student activities are scheduled that night of the week. They didn’t want to ‘get caught.’
They wanted it to be a surprise, and it was. The students were shocked – and in disbelief – but loving every second of it.
Obviously, this bit of entertainment probably went a long ways to cementing student-teacher relations. I would think the kids saw a different side of their teachers, actually seeing they could loosen up and have a little fun.
The teachers related to the kids in a way that was on their level, and showed they were not afraid to try something new.
If you are wishing you could have seen this event for yourself, you actually can.
It seems a student in the front of the high school section recorded it on their cell phone or camera.
And, they have posted it on the internet – where else but on You Tube.
You can go to the You Tube website and find it under ‘BEA teachers dance.’
If you are not computer–internet-website-YouTube savvy, just have any kid age six or older show you how to do it.
Likewise, if you can’t figure out what songs are playing, or what the names of the dance moves are, ask your kid. Or your grandkid.
Then practice a little booty shaking of your own.