This post was guest written by Bailey Daniels, our Director of Admissions & Marketing who also happens to be one of our Rikudiyah teachers!
After a few years off due to the pandemic, the J Rikudiyah was back celebrating its 50th anniversary on Sunday, March 26. This festival, presented at the Schweitz/Reisman Centre in Vaughan, is a popular community event which showcases Israeli dance. It featured students from Jewish day schools across Toronto, as well as Tzofim (Israeli scouts) and the Nirkoda Israeli Dancers of Toronto.
Students from Grades 3 through 7 made up The Toronto Heschel School’s dance troupe. Led by Morah Sefi and me, our students and shinshinim Tamar and Tamar spent a number of weeks learning and practising the six dances that we were going to present at the show. All of the hard work paid off, as we enjoyed performing two line dances (Smachot and Israel Hi Habayit Sheli ), two circle dances (Im Tirzi and Cholem Kmo Yosef), and two partner dances (Tinshom and Trilili Trilila).
Several Heschel Grade 2 students also performed with a parent as part of the Dor Le Dor program. They danced to original choreography to a medley of popular Hebrew children’s songs.
The audience of parents and grandparents also got to take part in the action when they were called down to learn some simple choreography for the song Israel Sheli and we all danced together!
It was an amazing event to be part of and I was personally so happy to be able to share my love of Israeli dance with our students. I first learned to dance with Teme Kernerman, the founder of this event, when I was an 8-year old camper at Camp Shalom, and I hope participation in Rikudiyah will inspire some of our students to continue dancing in the future. Morah Sefi reflected, “It was a wonderful and magical event. I felt so proud to stand with so many people—students, parents and teachers from other schools—and showcase our Israeli culture!” I wholeheartedly agreed when she further noted, “the kids rocked it (or should I say folk danced it?)”!
We will have another chance to dance for the school at our Yom Ha’atzmaut celebration! Looking forward to it.