Local Student Receives State Reflections Award


By Natalie Palmer, Region Reflections Specialist

On May 15th, Castle Heights 2nd grader, Blake Hansen, received an Award of Merit at the State level for his Dance Choreography entry in the PTA Reflections program, entitled “Reach for the Stars”. Reflections is an annual art competition with categories in photography, film, literature, 2D and 3D visual art, music and dance.

Blake finished in the top 5 of 209 other primary-level dance choreography entries in the state of Utah. This year’s theme was “I am Hopeful Because…” The Reflections rules state that dance choreography is “the act of creating movement” and that entries “will be judged primarily on how well the student uses his or her artistic vision to portray the theme, originality, and creativity.”

Blake’s entry is definitely creative! He enlisted the help of his little brother, Skyler, and father, Brian, to put together a fun story about his goals and hopes for the future.

First, Blake appears on a stage decorated with construction paper stars and moons, dressed as an astronaut while the song “Reach for the Stars” by S Club 7 plays in the background. He holds a poster that says “My Younger Self.”

His brother Skyler appears on stage (also dressed as an astronaut) and attempts to jump on a pogo stick without much luck. Then Blake holds up a poster that says “My Current Self.” Blake successfully does tricks on his pogo stick, including jumping over the moon props and showing his “no hands” skills. He then holds up a poster that says, “My Future Self.”

His dad Brian enters at the opposite side of the stage on a unicycle, jumps over a star prop and then jumps off the stage, all while managing to stay on the unicycle. To wrap up his space-themed adventure, Blake completes several bike tricks and finishes it off with a string of cartwheels and spins.

The entry is not what one might typically think of as dance choreography, but Blake managed to put together the “act of creating movement” to music in an amusing, original way that is a delight to see.

Blake’s artist statement states: “I am hopeful because I can become an astronaut and reach for the stars. A few of my goals are that I want to become an astronaut and be as good as my Dad on the unicycle and be better on my pogo stick and bike. I can become an astronaut because I can do difficult and uncommon things; like pogo stick and unicycle.”

Click here to view Blake’s entry: www.utahpta.org/ref/gallery/66657

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