Celebrating Community Diversity
John and Trish like working with Middle School and High School Students! Sharing dance & music traditions with them is an exciting approach to studying multiculturalism. Songs that tell of immigration struggles, racial conflicts and finding a place for free expression in America are the focus in this presentation. “Live” music, played by the artists on acoustic instruments, enhances the experience and earns attentiveness to the presentation. Student participation is an essential part of the program, from a hambone (clapping rhythm) routine of African origin to an Irish chorus on a ballad about escaping the potato famine. American heritage folksongs are presented with insights into their ethnic origins. Contemporary songs written in traditional folk styles bring the material up-to-date. These songs address current issues; open mindedness, having respect for different cultures, and understanding economic differences, as well as racial diversity. Dance adds visual excitement to the show. Step-dances and figure dances, such as clogging, circle, line, and square dances, have multi-cultural origins that have come together to create new, uniquely American styles of dance. English clog & country dancing, Irish hornpipes, French quadrilles, African rhythms, and Native American footwork are among the dances used to illustrate these diverse influences.