Valdosta Daily Times

Local News

January 24, 2008

Rhythm Team

Clyattville Elementary performers stepping out

CLYATTVILLE — Balls fly in the air as more than 40 youngsters move in unison below. They catch the colorful balls then step into the next part of the routine. Each student mirrors the movements of the others. Each step is the echoed step of more than 40 feet or the clap of more than 80 hands.

This is the Clyattville Elementary School Rhythm Team. Forty-six students working together, filling the school gym, adding great stomping staccatos to the thumping beats of rock music and hip-hop.

The routines include the bouncing balls, as well as tinikling sticks made of PVC pipe, small drum sticks, Frisbees. In unison, the youngsters jump, hop, run in place, dance, step, slap Frisbees like tambourines, tap out beats with the tinikling sticks.

After several months of rehearsal, the CES Rhythm Team is presenting its routines as performances. Team members performed for fellow Clyattville Elementary students, faculty and family last week. This weekend, the team travels to Jekyll Island where it will perform as part of the Share the Wealth Physical Education Conference. Next week, the team performs for Lowndes Middle School.

While the majority of the third-, fourth- and fifth-grade students are in their first year with the CES Rhythm Team, P.E. teacher and team coordinator Jennifer Vinge has been doing this for 17 years, seven of which have been spent with Clyattville Elementary.

Vinge’s interest in this extracurricular activity started during her student-teaching with teacher Renee Califf, who still leads a tinikling team at Parker Mathis. Developed in the Philippines, tinikling has several performers pushing together formations of sticks on the floor while others dance in and out of the opening and closing stick formations. The slap of the sticks creates a rhythmic beat. Tinikling routines resemble jump-rope formations as some people work the sticks and others dance while not stepping on or tripping over the moving sticks.

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