EDUCATION

Alpine School District program teaches students about Native American culture through dance

May 10, 2018, 12:32 AM

LINDON, Utah – Turning a school cafeteria into a dance floor is just one of many talents dance instructor Patrick Willie has. The nationally-recognized performer is one of a handful of instructors who meet with dozens of Alpine School District students Wednesday nights for a cultural lesson. Willie instructs hoop and fancy dance style classes, passing down his knowledge to the next generation.

“We are trying to reach the students with Native American culture and teach them about their roots so that they can ultimately teach others,” Willie said.

The District’s Title VI Indian Education program aims to support and empower American Indian/Alaskan Native students by embracing positive native values. Program instructors believe the weekly events help honor the culture’s past, present, and future contributions to our society.

“I feel like I not only teach them dance, but I teach them the importance of the dance,” Willie said. “For them to be able to come here to dance, I think it helps them connect even more to their culture because they understand there is so much to learn.”

That was the case for student Emo’onahe Youngbull, who said she did not have much knowledge about her culture before these classes.

“I knew a little bit, but once I started hoop dancing and doing all the other dancing, I learned a lot more,” Youngbull said.

Through the program, she along with her peers are given access to experiences they would not normally have.

“We want our students to have as many experiences as they can since we are in the city and not necessarily close to a reservation where they would get many of these opportunities,” said Jeanie Groves, Title VI coordinator for Alpine School District.

The goal is to get these students to perform their newfound talents in front of classmates at school assemblies, something Youngbull has already accomplished this semester.

“My classmates got really happy and excited that they were seeing a different dance from a different Native American culture.”

Along with the weekly dance lessons, the program offers other activities like Native American weaving and teaching students about Native American art.

KSL 5 TV Live

Top Stories

Education

...
Shara Park

How a Utah bill would put cell phones, smart devices on hold in the classroom

Utah could soon be the first state with a law restricting cell phone and smart watches on students in K-12 classrooms. KSL spoke with teachers and students at a Utah high school with a no-phone policy already in place to see what they think.
1 day ago
Outside of the Cache County School District building. (KSL-TV)...
Madison Swenson

Box Elder, Cache County, Logan school districts on two-hour delay Tuesday

Schools in the Cache County School District will start two hours later than normal on Tuesday, Jan. 31, due to a wind chill warning in the area.
1 day ago
FILE: Box Elder School District offices. (BESD)...
Josh Ellis

Box Elder County schools move online due to snow, extreme cold

The Box Elder School District announced classes will move online Monday due to drifting snow that has closed roads throughout the county.
1 day ago
Students at Juan Diego Catholic School (KSL-TV)...
Michael Locklear

Private schools celebrate state funding, expect ‘significant uptick in enrollment’

Utah’s private schools are celebrating that they’ll receive state funding for the first time through a new school choice program.
3 days ago
$400 million set aside for tax cut...
Brooke Williams and Larry D. Curtis, KSL TV

Gov. Cox signs controversial bills on trans surgeries, student vouchers

Gov. Cox signed two bills Saturday morning and released statements regarding each.
3 days ago
...
Shara Park

All students contacted following shooting incident in Taylorsville High parking lot

Police said they have identified and made contact with the six teens involved in a shooting that took place in the parking lot of Taylorsville High School Thursday.
4 days ago

Sponsored Articles

Fiber Optical cables connected to an optic ports and Network cables connected to ethernet ports...
Brian Huston, CE and Anthony Perkins, BICSI

Why Every Business Needs a Structured Cabling System

A structured cabling system benefits businesses by giving you faster processing speeds and making your network more efficient and reliable.
notebook with password notes highlighted...
PC Laptops

How to Create Strong Passwords You Can Actually Remember

Learn how you can create strong passwords that are actually easy to remember! In a short time you can create new ones in seconds.
house with for rent sign posted...
Chase Harrington, president and COO of Entrata

Top 5 Reasons You May Want to Consider Apartment Life Over Owning a Home

There are many benefits of renting that can be overshadowed by the allure of buying a home. Here are five reasons why renting might be right for you.
Festive kitchen in Christmas decorations. Christmas dining room....
Lighting Design

6 Holiday Decor Trends to Try in 2022

We've rounded out the top 6 holiday decor trends for 2022 so you can be ahead of the game before you start shopping. 
Happy diverse college or university students are having fun on their graduation day...
BYU MBA at the Marriott School of Business

How to Choose What MBA Program is Right for You: Take this Quiz Before You Apply!

Wondering what MBA program is right for you? Take this quiz before you apply to see if it will help you meet your goals.
Diverse Group of Energetic Professionals Team Meeting in Modern Office: Brainstorming IT Programmer...
Les Olson

Don’t Let a Ransomware Attack Get You Down | Protect Your Workplace Today with Cyber Insurance

Business owners and operators should be on guard to protect their workplace. Cyber insurance can protect you from online attacks.
Alpine School District program teaches students about Native American culture through dance