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East Aiken brightens holiday with disco, dance and ‘Moosic’

December 17, 2016 GMT

Like disco queen Gloria Gaynor, the No Boundaries Boys Singers of East Aiken School will survive.

The young performers again proved their popularity will be long-lasting at the school’s Winter ArtsFest 2016 with a cover of Gaynor’s disco anthem, “I Will Survive,” on Thursday at Cedar Creek Church.

The annual holiday performance showcased not only the vocal group’s talents but also dancers and musicians from the school’s After School Arts Program and third-graders, who presented “A Holiday Moosical.”

“We’re always so excited about this event as we go into the holidays because it’s such a celebration of all that our kids have learned and accomplished during the fall semester,” East Aiken Principal Lisa Fallaw said. “It’s always a wonderful school event and a wonderful community event for us to give back at this time of year.”

Before getting down with Gaynor, No Boundaries, directed by Tom Calhoun, fired up the audience with their choreographed version of “Disco Inferno,” as performed by The Trammps. The song’s infectious beat and the choir’s dance moves had the audience clapping along and cheering.

The After School Arts part of the program also featured the orchestra and guitarists, who performed holiday classics, including “Jingle Bells” and “Jolly Old St. Nicholas.”

Little dancers in tiny tutus performed a ballet to a string version of Lady Gaga’s “Poker Face,” and dancers in the jazz class got down, like No Boundaries, to a cover of “Word Up,” originally recorded by Cameo, by Little Mix.

Third-graders presented this year’s musical, “A Holiday Moosical,” about Martina the Moose, played by Destany Trowell, who dreams of flying like Santa’s reindeer. The show also featured a snow bird, played by Maddie Cushman, who can’t sing.

On Christmas Eve, however, Martina and the songless bird fulfill their dreams and learn that the holidays are the season for miracles to come true.

Christian Sturgis, who teaches theater directed the musical; Adrienne Robinson, the dance teacher, choreographed the production; and Morgan Hanna, the music teacher, was the musical director.

At East Aiken, the arts are incorporated into classes across the curriculum, and the school’s teachers are trained in arts integration.

“At any given time, you can walk into a classroom, and the students could be in the middle of a science lesson, but they’re singing, or they’re dancing, or they’re making a painting to illustrate the land forms or rocks,” Fallaw said. “It’s throughout our culture.”

The After School Arts Program allows the students to specialize, said Fallaw, adding that the program soon will expand.

“In the spring, we are adding visual arts to the program, allowing our students to study advanced art,” she said. “We also hope to add ceramics and creative writing. We’re excited.”