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Hazel Elementary "Feels the Beat" at Annual Celebration

WEST ORANGE, NJ - Hazel Elementary School held its sixth annual "Feel the Beat" program, much to the delight of students, staff, and parents, who came out in force to celebrate Black History Month and enjoy an evening of music, dance, and spoken word.


Fatou Mbaye-Halsey, Mten Halsey, Principal Ana Marti, Porl Gordon, Phyllis Seibert,  Anne Betkowski, Joyce Soto, and Michelle Ledesma formed the core group organizing the evening. Students in grades K-5 contributed to the program:


Hazelette Dancers........"Lean on Me" dance

Kindergarten Poem......... “The Lion and The Mouse,” and “Beautiful Blackbird”

First and Second Grade Poem: African American History and "Hip Hop: the First Music" dance

Third Grade Poem: African Culture

Fourth Grade Poem: Sundiata Keita

Fifth Grade Poem: Africa and African American History


For the first time ever, the newly-formed Hazel Theater group performed vignettes from "The Lion King" in song and dance.


The popular Umoja Dance Group closed out the program with energetic African folk dancing. Umoja is Swahili for "unity," a fitting description of the Hazel school community.


"This is my first "Feel the Beat" and I am excited to be here," said Principal AnaMarti. 


"I'm so thankful for our parents, students, and staff for this amazing celebration," she added.


See all the photos from Hazel's "Feel the Beat" here.


See the video below.


Feel the Beat

Lion King vignette

Feel the Beat

Umoja Dance Group

Feel the Beat

Lion King performance





Cynthia Cumming
March 2,2020