Harlem Prep Elementary Arts teacher, Ellen Brown knows a good opportunity when she sees one.
KidSmartz, a child safety program that educates families about preventing abduction and empowers kids in grades K-5 to practice safer behaviors, launched a call for submissions for their “Safety Dance” contest in January. To enter, elementary school teachers had to submit a video of their students replicating the Safety Dance, and adding in their own choreographed moves. The school with the most votes will be awarded $10,000.
“As soon as I watched the music video Kidsmartz created for their safety dance, I thought, ‘our scholars can do that too!’ she says. “I saw the contest as an exciting opportunity to showcase the talent at HPE and also to connect with the families at our school in enlisting their support with voting.”
The scholars, excited to show off their dancing chops to the world, came up with ideas to put their own spin on the KidSmartz pre-choreographed moves. “We’ve always found that choosing to incorporate the ideas of students results in a stronger performance that they “own,” because it’s their creation,” says Brown.
The video contest inspired over 50 schools across the nation to produce videos of their interpretation of the Safety Dance. Voting ended March 16, and the winners will be announced on April 16.
Democracy Prep teachers, staff, and HPE parents rallied to get in votes before the deadline. “I still have parents texting me about updates or feelings of anxiety about the result of the contest,” says Brown. “If we win, it will be because of their support!”
Check out their moves!
Update: The HPE dancers placed as finalists in the contest! We’re congratulating them on a job well done!