Students Transform into Broadway Stars During Black History Month

Photo of students practicing
Photo of dance practice
Photo of students together
Photo of students practicing together
Photo of Alvin Ailey dancers and Faison with Principal and Assistant Principal
Students waiting to perform during celebration
Second-grade students at Clear Stream Avenue Elementary School recently participated in a week-long dance residency program with dancers from the Alvin Ailey American Dance Theater and showcased their skills with a culminating performance during the school’s annual Black History Month Celebration on Feb 28. The students performed “Ease on Down the Road,” from the Broadway musical “The Wiz,” for loved ones in honor of George Faison, famed choreographer of “The Wiz” and Tony Award winner. 

Alvin Ailey dancers David Robertson and Morgan Thweatt practiced with students once a day to teach them techniques and styles of modern dance. This was the second year that the dance company has visited the school to give students the opportunity to build their confidence while trying something new. Alvin Ailey’s belief, “dance is for everybody,” was evident as second-graders worked on perfecting their steps and collaborating with their peers to learn proper dance techniques.  

Students performed during the Black History Month Celebration for Faison, who worked with talented figures such as Michael Jackson, Stephanie Mills and Patti LaBelle. 

“As part of the District’s ‘Show Your Character’ theme, we highlighted the achievements of African Americans on Broadway,” said Principal John Singleton. “Throughout the month, we celebrated the contributions of African Americans to this country by participating in various activities and events both in the classroom and schoolwide. This year’s Black History Month Celebration did not disappoint! In fact, many people have stated that this was the best Black History Month Celebration ever.”

During the celebration, Faison addressed the audience by thanking the families for their commitment to their children’s education. Faison also stressed the importance of students being able to express themselves through multiple levels, especially the arts. The Clear Stream PTA honored Faison at the end of the night with the “Show Your Character Award.”