W.Va. school shuffles away as part of Physical Activity Day

January 19, 2012|By MATTHEW UMSTEAD |
  • Marlowe Elementary School student Cae'Yon Conway, 7, cheers after dancing the "Cupid Shuffle" line dance.
By Colleen McGrath, Staff Photographer

MARTINSBURG, W.Va. — After making multiple box-like rounds of four steps to the right, four steps to the left, four heel kicks and as many "walk it by yourself" moves, the 20 first-graders in the Marlowe Elementary School cafeteria were a bit out of sorts, but a smiling bunch, nonetheless.

"I'm dead!" one boy exclaimed after performing the "Cupid Shuffle" with his classmates and returning to sit on the floor, which was marked with tape to space the students a part for the popular line dance song.

The youngsters in the venerable northern Berkeley County school joined near nearly 100,000 students at about 700 public schools across West Virginia who shuffled their way to a healthy heart on Thursday by simultaneously performing the dance, which coincided with the launch of the West Virginia Physical Activity Plan. 

"At this level, we still have to have fun," said Marlowe Elementary Principal Amanda Stevens.

Stevens piped the popular line dance song through the school's intercom system via telephone, which she held close to the speaker on her iPad, so all of the school's 265 students could do the exercise-friendly dance in their respective classroom at the same time: 1 p.m.

The dance performance was part of the West Virginia Department of Education's Let's Move! West Virginia Active Schools project and the national Let's Move! campaign to raise a generation of healthier kids, according to the state Department of Education.

"I could probably do the 'Cupid Shuffle' now and get paid for it," said physical education teacher Teresa Moreland smiling.

Moreland, who practiced the dance with each class all week long, said she was anxious to see if the state lawmakers took part in the event, which was to be held simultaneously Thursday, which was proclaimed West Virginia Physical Activity Day by Gov. Earl Ray Tomblin.

North Middle School in Martinsburg, W.Va., also was scheduled to participate, school officials said earlier this week.

"Any time we can encourage children to be active it is a good thing," state Superintendent Jorea Marple, said in a news release. Physical Activity Day activities also included the launch of the West Virginia Physical Activity Plan to support healthy living for all West Virginians. 

For more information about the Activity Plan, go to

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