Toe, heel, knee, kick, trip, kick, fall down — this was the scene yesterday where Grade 3 and 4 students from University Elementary laughed and tried to master the art of Ukranian dancing.

These students have played supervised hooky all week during the University School Week 2008, visiting different areas of the campus to learn in an interactive environment.

“We do a lot of out-of-school activities,” said Susan Ashley, the kids’ teacher. “It connects them to the real world, and that’s very important to us.”


Angela Paterson, mother to fourth-grader Bradley, says she fully supports the program and likes how that day’s class built self-confidence.

“It’s huge,” Paterson said. “For a lot of kids it’s difficult to get up and speak in front of the class, let alone move like that.”

Darya Kanevska, grade 3, who moved from Kharkiv, Ukraine a year ago, said she loved learning the new steps.

“My favourite part was to dance,” Kanevska said, while her classmate Sean Forbes said he most liked making slime earlier in the week.

About 300 kids in Calgary are involved this week, with the University of Calgary Continuing Education partnering with the Campus Calgary/Open Minds program.

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