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Haisley Elementary teachers in Ann Arbor use dance video to connect with students

A screen capture of Haisley Elementary School teachers dancing in their video to students.
A screen capture of Haisley Elementary School teachers dancing in their video to students. (Ashley Wight via YouTube)

ANN ARBOR, Mich. – A video made by Haisley Elementary School teachers has lifted the spirits of students stuck at home during the COVID-19 pandemic.

Organized by first-grade teacher Ashley Wight, the video starts with drone footage of empty school grounds around the elementary school. It transitions to a video call between Wight and Haisley Principal Dante Watson who talk about missing their students and the Haisley community.

As they talk, Watson suggests the school have a virtual dance party. Suddenly the video changes tone to become upbeat and lively. Haisley teachers can be seen dancing by themselves and with family members to “The Git Up” by singer-songwriter Blanco Brown.

Over the phone, Wight said that most of the Haisley teachers and teacher’s assistants participated. Once she laid out a plan for the video, she sent participants a how-to video on the song’s accompanying dance.

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Wight chose the song because it was a favorite of her first-grade students who would regularly listen to it in class. She was inspired by similar videos done by other schools and volunteered to spearhead the video during a discussion with other teachers about how to help their students.

All of the work that went into creating the video has clearly paid off. Wight said she receives daily emails or messages about the video.

“So, I’ve had students that I have in class currently or former students reaching out and just saying how much they loved it. Parents loved it -- just so many positive responses,” said Wight. “It’s been so much fun.”

Wight and her boyfriend, who shot the opening drone footage, regularly make videos for friends and family.

Watch the video below or on YouTube.


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