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The Jig is Up – Or is it? A Look Into a Great Credit Opportunity

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The Jig is Up – Or is it? A Look Into a Great Credit Opportunity

Photo courtesy of Our Pastime

Photo courtesy of Our Pastime

Photo courtesy of Our Pastime

Photo courtesy of Our Pastime

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      Tired of sitting around all winter and looking for a creative way to get in shape? Ms. Kean’s “Get Your Jig On!” seminar was perfect for just that! The seminar ran from January 22nd to February 12th, and was recommended for students in need of competencies in Physical Education, Advanced Topics in P.E., World Cultures, World History, English, and more. The seminar has already ended for this year, but there will still be an opportunity to join next year.

Every day, the class started off with a basic warm-up that included walking, jogging laps, and stretching. Students were encouraged to take their time and go at their own pace, but to also challenge themselves to get their heart rate up. Then, the students were taught basic steps of Irish jigs and reels. The Irish reel is very similar to a jig, but both of these dances have different rhythms and styles. This process usually consisted of Ms. Kean demonstrating the dance moves to the class slowly, then gradually speeding up as students caught on. When asked about her interest in Irish culture, Ms. Kean explains, “I am 50% Irish, with strong Irish lines from both my grandfathers. My family has always celebrated our Irish connections and I grew up going to Irish Fest every year and hearing Irish music played at home.”

Exercise and personal development aren’t the only benefits from taking the “Get Your Jig On!” seminar. There is a wide variety of credit that can be awarded to students who conduct in-depth research, such as Humanities, US History, or World Cultures. Foundations in P.E. and Advanced Topics in P.E. can also be given to students if they participate well in class. “I’m going for Advanced Topics in Physical Education, as it’s one of the final courses I have to finish to graduate,” Max Andrews, a senior in KM Perform who participated in the seminar says. “I’ve become more motivated to pursue a healthier lifestyle. I always pictured it as this unattainable dream, but this seminar helped me realize that small steps are the best way to get started! Even if it’s just Irish jigging.”  

     Not only did the seminar allow for students to pick their own competencies, but each student was able to learn about other cultures and learn different dances. The most common reason students joined was to exercise more. However, some students have used this seminar series as an opportunity to research dances from their heritage. Many students in Ms. Kean’s seminar researched and demonstrated various social dances from different cultures because the dance was significant to their family’s background. According to Ms. Kean, “ethnic dance is a great way to experience a culture with multiple senses because there is a story behind how and why the dance developed and you hear the music. Plus, it can be a fun way to get moving.”

     Although the wide variety of opportunities and project ideas may seem daunting, the “Get Your Jig On!” seminar helped students gain self-confidence, physical fitness, and understanding of other cultures. This class was ideal for anyone looking to get in shape during the frigid Wisconsin winter months. But don’t worry, Ms. Kean hosts this seminar quite often, so be on the lookout next time seminar registration rolls around!

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