Whether you call it football, as almost everybody in the world does, or soccer, as the game is known in the United States and Canada, the sport is followed by more than 3.5 billion people and has become increasingly popular in our country over the past 20 years. In “Goal,” the third grade musical show at Chocachatti Elementary, soccer/football was seen as a metaphor for sportsmanship, teamwork and friendship.
The students worked under the direction of Dance Teacher, Rhonda Bowers, Drama Teacher, Irmarie Kraft, Music Instructor, Nancy Kraus and Art Teacher, Marianne Poholek. The third grade classroom teachers also played a big part in keeping the children motivated and on task.
The play centered around the game of soccer and featured dance numbers and songs related to that sport. Many of the students also had speaking roles, explaining some of the history of soccer and fine points of the game.
Three boys had major speaking parts portraying three well known soccer players. Giovanni Quinones played the great Pelé; Muhammed Hamed portrayed Christiano Ronaldo; and Anthony Cook played Kevin De Bruyne. Each told a little about the player’s life and quoted him. For example, Muhammed, speaking as Ronaldo said, “Talent without working hard is nothing.” Throughout the show, the students repeated the line, “The beautiful game.” This phrase was popularized by Pelé in referring to soccer.
A number of girls portraying cheerleaders kept things rolling with dance and acrobatic moves. The students got into the spirit, as well as the theme of the play.
Annabelle Delva stated, “I like how it shows teamwork and friendship.”
Annabelle has been taking dance and tumbling lessons for several years and remarked that she would like to pursue dance when she gets older.
Alyson Skidmore, who had dancing, singing and speaking parts in the show, said, “I liked how we could sing and let everything out and I liked dancing to the songs.”
Udonis Francois stated, “I liked the dancing part because it’s fun.”
Rocco Manuele, who had a singing and speaking part, stated, “I was excited to have a speaking part because I didn’t get one last year.”
Several of the students shared the same feeling as Payton Egan when she said, “I like hanging out with my friends and having fun.”
The play was fast-paced. It featured a variety of songs and dances that exemplified the international flavor of the game. For example, “Cup of Life” had a catchy Latin beat, while “Waka Waka” had an African tempo and motif.
The themes of the show were stated in some of the speaking parts: “When we work together, none of us are the same” and “It’s not about winning but how you win it.“
Dance Teacher, Rhonda Bowers, praised the children’s efforts and their performances .
“The choreography for the show “Goal” was a combined effort to create dance moves to seven different songs that would resemble playing soccer. I consulted the experts, my students who play soccer, and asked, ‘What warm ups do you do before going on the field?’ ”
She then incorporated these into the choreography. “I have always told my students what we do in dance you can take to your other activities. The benefits of dance are monumental to the growth of a child. Flexibility, strength, teamwork, respect and commitment is what the show ‘Goal’ displays,” she added.
This show is the last of the current school year for Chocachatti. However, in the 2023-2024 school year, we can look forward to other fun and innovative performances by the students.