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Peters Colony Elementary Second Graders Turn Mask Breaks into Dance Breaks

Creativity of Manton and Tabor has students smiling and energized.

Twice a day for 10 minutes, weather permitting, you can find the second-grade classes of Andrea Manton and Monica Tabor outside at Peters Colony Elementary. It is the 42 students’ “mask break” time. However, thanks to the creativity of their dual-partner teachers, it is now the students’ “dance break” time.

Observing social distancing guidelines, students dance their hearts out to the tunes on a portable speaker. Songs for the popular dances, such as Chicken Dance, Cupid Shuffle, Cha-Cha Slide and YMCA are played. Students have learned the moves to all of the dances, and are eager to keep learning more. All this is done with smiles from ear-to-ear.

“We wanted to use this time to really get their bodies and minds moving while taking a break from wearing masks,” Manton said. “We’ve noticed the students are more alert and ready to learn in the classroom after these dance breaks.”

Added Tabor: “Seeing their faces smiling and how much they enjoy dancing has been priceless. They are getting exercise and still learning at the same time.”

The dance breaks – one in the morning, one in the afternoon – are times the students look forward to each day. The teachers even dance, too.

“The dance breaks are some of my favorite parts of the day,” student Drew Hamilton said. “Being outside is always fun and peaceful, and we have learned a lot of dances.”

Added Lora Simpkins: “We love being able to dance and have fun with our friends. It is also fun to see our teachers dancing!”

Peters Colony Elementary Principal Rebecca Chirinos has seen the dance breaks in action – she is even known to participate when her schedules allows for it – and is proud of what her teachers have created to help bring a sense of normalcy during these times of the COVID-19 pandemic.

“The joy and happiness that Ms. Manton and Ms. Tabor bring to school each day is contagious,” Chirinos said. “I’m so proud of the way they’ve worked together to provide this much-needed downtime for their students while keeping it structured and full of energy!"

To watch highlights of a recent dance break, click here.