Children’s Center Kindergarten Class

The Schoolcraft College Kindergarten is a full day program providing quality education for young children. At the Center, children are encouraged to express their creativity through daily music, art, and writing opportunities. Weekly special classes in gym, music, and Spanish, are offered to expand each child’s learning and development.

Today, the children will be performing songs in English and Sign Language.

  • Smile song
  • Mr. Sun
  • Friends (sign Language)

Manoogian School Armenian Dancers

Returning this year are Manoogian High School students performing traditional Armenian dance. Folk dance in Armenia represents an ancient and rich tradition, depicted in rock paintings as early as 5000 B.C.

Armenian folk dance is characterized by holding hands and moving in unison, like a wall of defense, representing unity and strength. Stomping the feet symbolizes stamping out evil. These dances were frequently performed before and after battles, celebrating defense, unity, and pride for the soldiers.

The high school students will perform two dances. “Ov Hayotz Ashkhar,” — “our Armenian world” — a medley of three village dances with a modern twist, accompanied by modern music with a classic undertone. Female students will perform “Yaman Yar” with elements imitating traditional chores such as spooling wool or carrying water jugs from the well, as well as movements representing love, sorrow, and prayer. [unconfirmed as of 3.25]

The girls wear bridal dresses from the Lori Region where designs would be carved into a piece of wood, painted and then stamped onto the dress itself. Gold would be embroidered into the dress. Armenians have a proud history spanning 3000 years and take pride in being the first nation to adopt Christianity in year 301. Their historic homeland spanned from Eastern Anatolia (Turkey today) to the Caucasus. The most tragic event in the history of the Armenians was the annihilation of over 1.5 million Armenians at the hands of the Ottoman Turks in 1915 and the loss of their ancestral homeland. During the subsequent Armenian Diaspora, large numbers of survivors fled to various countries who welcomed the Armenians, including the United States.

Capoeira: Afro-Brazilian Athletic Dance

Capoeira (pronounced capo-ERA) is an Afro-Brazilian art form that combines martial art, dance, music and culture into a game in which two players create a conversation with their bodies by exchanging kicks and escapes, using cartwheels, handstands and acrobatic movements set to the powerful rhythm of Brazilian songs and percussion instruments.

This athletic dance form was created 300 years ago in Brazil by slaves brought from Africa. Participants form a roda, or circle, and take turns playing musical instruments, singing, or ritually sparring in pairs in the center of the circle. The origins of capoeira are debated with historians divided between those who believe it is a direct descendant of African fighting styles and those who believe it is a uniquely Brazilian dance form distilled from various African and Brazilian influences.

In the mid-1970s masters of the art form, mestre capoeiristas, began to emigrate and teach capoeira in the United States and other countries. Today there are capoeira schools all over the world and its growing popularity in the U.S. is attracting a broad spectrum of multicultural, multiracial students. Baz Michaeli is a Certified Capoeira Instructor & Certified Personal Trainer at The Michigan Center for Capoeira. For more information click here.

Tinikling Bamboo Dance

Tinikling, often considered to be the Philippine national dance, is the most popular and best known dance in that country. The dance imitates the movement of the tikling birds as they walk between grass stems, run over tree branches, or dodge bamboo traps set by rice farmers. In the Tinikling, which means “bamboo dance” in English, dancers imitate the tikling bird’s legendary grace and speed by skillfully maneuvering between large bamboo poles.