Tuesday, June 20, 2006

Dance Festival

From this morning's New York Times:

No one is quite sure when New York City children began celebrating spring by dancing in schoolyards, their teachers leading them, often awkwardly, through the steps, their proud parents gathered round, snapping pictures and clapping along. It is a peculiar urban rite — called Dance Festival in most of the city, and May Fete on Staten Island — that has been around, it seems, for as long as the public school system itself.
My most vivid Dance Festival memories (P.S. 131, Boro Park, Brooklyn) involve crepe-paper armbands and sashes and a song called "Wind the Bobbin":
Wind, wind, wind the bobbin,
Wind, wind, wind the bobbin,
Pull, and pull,
And clap, clap, clap.
Or was it "Tap, tap, tap"?

Oh to be a city-kid again.

Link » When School Turns Into the Land of 1,000 Dances
(New York Times, registration required)

comments: 2

Genevieve said...

It sounds like fun. When I was little, I always liked the drawings of children dancing around the Maypole. We didn't dance at our one-room school in Nebraska. Well, not quite true -- we did do the Hokey Pokey. :D

Michael Leddy said...

If you look at the Times article, you'll find a number of grown-ups remembering the Hokey Pokey. I remember doing it outside of school — nothing but the purest folk dances at my Dance Festivals! : )