This is the year of the goat — the eighth sign of the 12-year cycle in the Chinese calendar.
And to celebrate the Chinese New Year that started Feb. 19, about 60 Bellefonte Area School District students, kindergarten to 12th-grade, performed a multiact presentation Tuesday night at the Bellefonte Elementary School auditorium, after being postponed last week due to weather.
It was part of the Chinese program’s way of showing the community what students learned in class, said teacher Yingying Ding.
The program was presented by teachers Ding and Yahui Tang, and students Kayla Fleming, Andrew Hovis, Alea Wagner and Dmitry Wall, who introduced the other students who performed in each act.
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They also gave the audience facts about the New Year, read short stories, and got the crowd involved by allowing them to participate in tai chi martial arts exercises.
About a dozen Bellefonte Area High School girls also performed in a traditional Chinese dance. They were each dressed in a Chinese dress called a qipao, and choreographed their routine to traditional Chinese music using hand fans and parasols.
“We are proud of their hard work,” Tang said, who added that the dance was the highlight of the evening.
And for students, being able to perform for their friends and family was the most rewarding part.
“I just like singing so much for my mom and sister,” said first-grader Elizabeth Stack, 7. “We’ve been learning songs all year.”
The primary students sang numerous songs in Chinese about colors, numbers, animals, friendship and the New Year.
Seventh-grader Laurel Fogelman, 12, said her middle school Chinese class began to prepare about six weeks ago for the performance.
“They really wanted us to learn the correct pronunciation of the words, but also know what they mean,” she said. “It’s not as hard as it looks.”
The Chinese program is in its second year at the district.