As we continue to ignite creativity, enthusiasm and an appreciation for other cultures through our ARTS BEYOND BORDERS theme, Lake Elementary School was thrilled to host Island Breeze on January 15th, 2013. Island Breeze is a community outreach organization who travels the world sharing the true essence of Aloha. The Polynesian style music and dance group deals with topics such as anti-bullying, respect for other cultures, and the consequences of our personal choices.
With supported donations from ArtsIn Stark, Mrs. Susa’s and Miss Stegner’s classes were able to enjoy a cultural presentation by ISLAND BREEZE IMPACT WORLD TOUR in the large gym at Lake Elementary. Student engagement with the group was overwhelmingly apparent to all who were able to share in the event. The student body celebrated and honored the group by participating in “Hawaiian Day” sporting colorful leis, grass skirts and bold flower prints that echo the colors of the islands.
While observing the show, students were quickly able to recognize characteristics of the Polynesian cultures because they could synthesis what the performers were presenting and attribute this to their own new found knowledge previously discovered during art class. Students enjoyed songs, stories, and dances, as well as the traditional brightly flowered, Hawaiian garb the dancers wore during the performance. Excited students and unsuspecting teachers were selected to interact and learn specific dances and chants in front of their friends and peers. Through their cultural stage production and personal testimonies, the dance group had our students thinking, talking and sharing the essence of ALOHA with one other.
To further enhance understanding of cultural differences in our world, Rudy Valle, the team leader, and Rona Malama, another member of the group, demonstrated three different personal greetings from other cultures, such as Japan, NY/USA, and the Polynesian island of Samoa. He explained that just because we are all different does not mean we are not to be respected, encouraged and supported. He expressed that if everyone in the world was the same, we would all be boring and the world would not be such a wonderful place. It is within the student who has greatness inside to make the right choices every day. Rudy, Rona, Julius and the rest of the dancers left students with the traditional Hawaiian hand gesture, “Shaka.” As teachers, it is our hope that this experience uniquely inspired and commemorated student learning of our amazing cultural journey through art. To read more about Island Breeze find them on facebook~
Members of Island Breeze were extremely impressed by the Visual Art display of Polynesian Style Dancers done Collage Style, by 4th Grade in art class this year.
Special HUGE THANKS to AIS and ISLAND BREEZE for their committment to this program and the world around us.