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BRE 5th grade students rewind to the 1990s

Fifth grade students at Buffalo Ridge Elementary school recently performed their annual show during an all-school assembly. The 95 performers have been practicing song, dance, and art together since December to prepare for their performance.

Students at Buffalo Ridge Elementary (BRE) witnessed a “90s Rewind” featuring top musical hits from the 1990s, when the entire fifth grade class performed its yearly show. The fifth grade show is three-fold, with aspects featuring music, physical movement and art.

Preparations began at the beginning of the school year when music teacher Cathy Deneault and fifth grade students brainstormed themes for the show. “Nineties music was one of their top choices,” Deneault said. From there, she, art teacher Tim Ryckman and PE teacher Kelli Weinreich created the main structure of the show, and collectively they worked with the 95 students for the past four months to perfect their performance.

“They only got to rehearse each element of the show for one week per month, so we started in December in order to be ready for the beginning of April,” Deneault explained.

Students learned and practiced 18 top hits including songs from artists such as Blink-182, Cher, Backstreet Boys, Will Smith, Santana, MC Hammer, No Doubt and Hanson. The students’ favorite song this year was Ice Ice Baby by Vanilla Ice. “They loved doing ‘Ice Ice Baby,’” Deneault said. She loved seeing the kids progress and do things they’d never done before.

Each yearly show provides students an opportunity to learn or perfect a physical skill to perform as part of the show’s overall choreography. The options this year included gymnastics, rolling globes, hula hooping, pogo balls and sticks, jump rope, juggling, spinning plates, dance, diablos (Chinese yo-yos) and hockey – a nod to our hometown team.

The students enjoyed the finale dance best, which was patterned after a Six Flags amusement park commercial. Weinreich, who helped students narrow down their performance choices and guided the overall flow of choreography, is always amazed at how the students work together to create a cohesive performance. Her favorite aspects this year were watching “each group’s creative twist on their performance and watching it all come together and seeing the kids perform.”

Ryckman worked with students to create backdrop and hallway art to coordinate with the theme. This year the art transported the audience back to the 1990s before they even got to their seats. “The students came up with the idea of a time portal taking you back through time as you walked through the hallway into the gym,” Ryckman explained. After removing the regular light bulbs and replacing them with black lights, the students used fluorescent paint to create glowing posters depicting events from the years 1990-2023. “Students did research on things that happened each year and we printed them out. Students made paintings and put them up so the visitors could walk back, year by year, through time,” Ryckman said.

BRE PE, music and art teachers Kelli Weinreich, Cathy Denault and Tim Ryckman caught the spirit of the show’s “90s Rewind” theme with their M.C. Hammer pants and gold chains. The themed show featured several top music hits, including “Hammer Time” from the earlier decade.

The overall effect of pop music, choreography and art created a dynamic show for all BRE students in an assembly, and for fifth grade parents at the evening production. “We got rave reviews! With a standing ovation at the night show!” Deneault exclaimed.

By Celeste McNeil; photos courtesy of Tim Ryckman



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