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School steps up for holiday

Montgomery middle school teacher Anders Nordby with some of the Grade 6 students practising their line dancing for the holiday hoedown, which takes place today (Friday).  - DIANE STRANDBERG/THE TRI-CITY NEWS
Montgomery middle school teacher Anders Nordby with some of the Grade 6 students practising their line dancing for the holiday hoedown, which takes place today (Friday).
— image credit: DIANE STRANDBERG/THE TRI-CITY NEWS

Montgomery middle school students and teachers will be donning cowboy hats and boots today (Friday) for a holiday hoedown that has become a school tradition.

This is the 15th year for the event, which takes place on the last day of school before the winter holiday, and for the last several weeks, students have been perfecting their brush, sweep and turns to country music tunes.

Some of the dances they’ll be doing include the “Rockabilly,” the “We Like to Party” and the “Chattahoochi,” according to teacher Anders Nordby.

“It’s the perfect way to finish off the first few months and go on to have an enjoyable holiday,” Nordby said.

The dance steps and music have been handed down through the years since the event was started by then PE teacher Don Hutchinson, who is now a principal at Ranch Park elementary.

Every teacher gets a CD and a video of the dance moves, then attempts to teach them to their students, with some surprising success.

On the day The Tri-City News visited the school during a practice session, a group of Grade 8 students demonstrated a few dances that required some intricate dance moves.

“It’s fun,” was all one student could manage after the strenuous workout.

Laura Mitchell, another teacher at the Coquitlam school, said she has been amazed at how the event continues to generate excitement year after year, and some graduates return to have a look at the newest generation of hoedown dancers.

“We have to shoo them away,” she said.

By the end of the day, a hoedown king and queen will have been crowned and the students will heel stomp their way home for the Christmas holidays.

dstrandberg@tricitynews.com

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