Forest Road Students Explore Korean Music and Dance

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Forest Road Elementary School students kicked off the school’s annual International Week with the Spotlight Korea Program on Jan. 21. The program brought performers from the Korean Traditional Music and Dance Center to the school to educate students on Korean culture, traditional dances and music. 

On Kyung Joo, Forest Road’s library media specialist, applied for the assembly program last fall and was instrumental in coordinating the visit. Forest Road students experienced the program back in 2016 and Ms. Joo wanted to bring it back due to its success. Yoon Sook Park, director of the Korean Traditional Music and Dance Center, along with performing artists Jihwan Choi, Young Hee Lee, Yusun Kang and Hannah Kim, performed in colorful costumes for the students. They taught students how to say hello in Korean and performed traditional dances such as the Korean Fan Dance and Janggo Chum, an hourglass-shaped drum dance.

Several Forest Road students volunteered to join the performers on stage to learn the Korean Fan Dance and Assistant Principal Michael DeBlasio and Ms. Joo helped demonstrate a Korean rhythmic pattern on the drums with the guidance of instructor Mr. Choi. 

“I am glad that through this Spotlight Korea program, sponsored by Korean Cultural Center New York, our students, faculty and staff were able to taste Korea’s rich and vibrant culture through music and dance,” said Ms. Joo. “I hope our students will grow up to be global-minded citizens who appreciate other cultures as well as their own.”

Throughout the rest of the week, students continued to learn and embrace different cultures from around the world. The week concluded with Forest Road’s annual International Night, allowing students and their families to gather and share their culture with others.