CRESTVIEW — Jasmin Roser believes that dancing is necessary these days.
“The need for self-expression is crucial now, with the amount of testing going on," the Northwood Arts and Science Academy dance teacher said.
'Never stop dancing'
Teachers helped students with costuming and, in some cases, makeup, but students choreographed the moves and chose the music, Roser said.
Each student contributed a move of his or her own creation or adaptation to the class’ routine, resulting in about 20 moves per class, said Roser, whom the kids call “Miss Jazz."
Getting the Cougars to embrace dancing was a challenge at first, but students quickly discovered it's fun and definitely “not a girly thing," Roser said.
For Dance Day, kids made motivational posters to encourage classmates and cheer on other classes.
“We believe in you. Never stop dancing!” read one poster held up by third-grade teacher Christina Barrett’s students.
'We were ready'
“I was smiling the entire time,” Ashton Mobley, a third-grader in Tricia Wise’s class, said after his class defeated Christina Barrett’s third-graders to win the Cougar Cup.
The moment followed a year of preparation; "we were ready," he said.
Principal Donna Goode and Dean of Students Delilah Lewis judged first, second and third-place routines from each of two performances that featured eight or nine classes. Judging categories included team participation, spirit, synchronization, respect for other teams and the audience and overall effect.
The audience chose the winning class by standing and cheering for their favorite; but first, Wise and Barrett’s students showed sportsmanship by exchanging handshakes, back slaps and hugs.
The real winners, Roser said, were the dancing Cougars as a whole.
“It takes a lot of guts to get up in front of others, especially when you might be a little scared about what others think,” she said.