By MARGARET ANDREWS
“Musicals” was the theme and the dancing to the songs from shows over the decades was what the pupils from Waitohu School did beautifully. The annual Fancy Dress night in a “jam packed” Memorial Hall was where these talented pupils enthralled their families with their creativity and skills.
Costumes covered a huge range, from the traditional princesses, fairies and witches, pirates and sportsmen to pop singers, ninja turtles and London “street urchins”, all adding to a colourful evening.
First to take the floor was the grand parade of younger siblings dressed in all their finery, parading around the hall. Then it was the turn of the youngest pupils from new entrants to year two. Their song “Singing in the Rain” was very colourful with the newest children dancing around glistening silver cardboard puddles, waving their tinsel wristband as they danced. The older group joined in dancing under their paper umbrellas, and through a “rainbow tunnel”. These youngsters had choreographed their own dance.
Years three to four, seven and eight years olds, weaved their way through the lyrics of “Staying Alive” – another stunning performance.
Parents were then invited to make their grand parade of costumes, showing their children they enjoyed dressing up too!
The next group, years four and five chose the 1970’s hit show “Grease” and quickly had their “big people” joining in the hand jive, while the years five and six pupils chose the song from the streets of London “You’ve Got to Pick A Pocket or Two” from the musical “Oliver”. They demonstrated their dance skills at the same time “picking pockets” from the other dancers!
Before each group began their dance, they paraded around the hall and afterwards brought a parent of “big person” to join them on the floor for a repeat dance.
The treat of the night were the ice creams served during the interval, thanks to the Home and School committee.
The grand finale for the evening was the massed singing of “On My Way” as the children used signing to “sing” their song. They have been learning to sign through the programme Voice Through Our Hands, which is operating in schools.
This was the 51st Fancy Dress night, just one of the activities passed down over the years from the school’s beginnings as a rural school in 1963.