Rock Point students swipe first, second place in traditional dancing division
By Shondiin Silversmith
ROCK POINT, Ariz., February 7, 2013
H aving displayed their talents, the host school of the 40th annual Diné Song and Dance Festival was able to keep trophies at home as the Rock Point Elementary School students claimed the first- and second-place trophies in the intermediate dancing division.
The four dancers who performed during the Jan. 30 to 31 event earned first place for their Fire Dance presentation.
Singers were not allowed to use a drum while they sang, but could however use a basket or a rattle. No sacred or traditional gourds were allowed and singers could only sing one song.
The dancers took center stage facing each other holding wands with various ribbons tied to it. All the dancers were female wearing black dresses and white blouses.
Dancer Chrystalana Clark, 11, said that she was glad to dance because it's an exciting dance to perform.
Ral-Shaun Descheny, 11, said he feels that it is important to learn how to dance because he acts as "a role model for the younger kids."
Clark and Descheny said they started learning how to dance this particular dance when they were in the second grade, and it took them a few years to get it down properly.
They both agreed that the Fire Dance is a fun and exciting dance to perform, and they are thrilled they were able to earn the first-place trophy.
Twelve students danced the Ye'ii Bicheii dance, which earned the school a second-place trophy. The students were not allowed to wear masks, dleesh, fox tails, or could not use sacred or traditional gourds.
The dancers had to sing one Ye'ii Bicheii song, and all the dancers had to dance and sing.
Their dance lasted about five minutes as they went through the song in sync and danced with a grace.
"I'm proud of them," said elementary and culture teacher Leatrice Attakiai of her student's performance. "It was exciting and very emotional. You can really feel the vibe of these young children."
Other participants in this category represented their school including Rock Point Community School, Rough Rock Elementary, Bluff Elementary School, Pinon Elementary, Pinon Accelerated Middle School, Albert R. Lyman Middle School, and Tse Bigi'nidzisgai Elementary School.