Today, more than 9,000 local elementary students danced their way to better health during a virtual Celebration of Dance event. The event, held annually at Fort Henry when we’re not in a pandemic situation, is part of the health and physical education curriculum for students in both the Limestone District School Board (LDSB) and the Algonquin and Lakeshore Catholic District School Board (ALCDSB).
During a “normal” school year, students would learn new dance routines throughout the year to participate together in this event; however, this year’s event was virtual as students are currently learning remotely. The Celebration of Dance was held at 11 a.m. today, Thursday, May 6, 2021, and students were invited to dance along to the PL3Y’s YouTube video.
“Being such a stressful year, it was important to give kids the opportunity to dance along with others,” said Lara Pat
terson, Physical Activity Specialist at KFL&A Public Health and the Limestone District School Board. “Celebration of Dance inspires kids to get active and promotes a healthy mind and body–and dance has the unique power to make you feel relaxed, happy, and positive.”
Students were led in dance by Melanie Levenberg, who created DANCEPL3Y. “We have an opportunity to help students boost their physical and mental health and feel connected to one through a fun and playful event like Celebration of Dance,” said Levenberg. “The focus of this initiative is to help teachers infuse fun and playfulness into their lessons, while helping students connect with themselves, each other, and their community. This supports a quality physical education program by building positive experiences for students through movement, physical activity, and being part of a global-wide initiative.”
With only 35 per cent of individuals 5- to 17 years of age in Canada meeting the recommendation of at least 60 minutes of moderate to vigorous activity per day, KFL&A Public Health said this event encourages kids to get active. Evidence suggests that children who become physically active at an early age, are more likely to continue to be physically active later in life. The school boards are hopeful that this amazing event will return to an in-person celebration next year.