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St. James students learn Tarantella polka

By WALTER DOERSCHUK The Press-News Published: September 9, 2016 10:00 AM
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WAYNESBURG -- Eight St. James students lined up in two rows across from each other in a grassy area outside their school last Thursday.

They received the instructions from their principal, Kathy (Untch) Kettler.

"Five, six, seven eight," Kettler counted.

At the count of eight, the students pointed their toes out on their heel and brought them back together in time. They would eventually come together, in step, to join hands with their partner in front of them in a high five motion.

They also joined arms with their partner to swing around similar to a square dance and later formed one big circle to move in step.

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It was all part of learning the Tarantella Polka, an authentic Italian folk dance which the students will perform during the St. James Italian Festival on Sept. 10.

Kettler explained the purpose of learning the dance was a cross curriculum motive. Students had a chance to learn social studies skills.

They found out that a lot of people who may have first arrived in Waynesburg were Italian.

They worked in brickyards and settled their families in the town.

The students also had a chance to learn physical education and music skills in the dance. On Saturday, they will be in costume to perform.

The St. James Italian Festival will also include games other children's activities during the event from noon-9 p.m. It will also feature a wine making contest, a bocce ball tournament and a DJ.

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