LOS ANGELES – Seventeen students from Antelope Valley Adventist School were among the more than 2,500 Los Angeles County students who danced their way to a Guinness World Records title Thursday for “Largest Ribbon Dance.”
The record-setting event took place at The Music Center Plaza in downtown Los Angeles as part of the 45th annual Blue Ribbon Children’s Festival.
The local students received a coveted invitation to take part in the event thanks to their teacher, Lisa Ruebush.
“I received a letter in the mail about it and so I filled out the information, sent it in and then they contacted me,” Ruebush said. “They sent us all the information, all the DVDs, and then we started practicing.”
The Antelope Valley Adventist students practiced the choreography for about two weeks and did so as part of their physical education program, Ruebush said. “We had never done a dance routine before for PE, so I thought it would be something fun and different for them to do,” she said.
Under the Guinness World Records rules, the “Largest Ribbon Dance” record is for the greatest number of people at a single venue who simultaneously perform the same choreographed dance for a minimum of five minutes using handheld sticks with attached ribbons.
The choreography for the students’ performance was inspired by the work of Montreal-based circus troupe Les 7 Doigts de la Main (7 Fingers) and its creation, Sequence 8, which blends dance, acrobatics and theatre. Students Thursday morning enjoyed a performance by 7 Fingers in The Music Center’s Dorothy Chandler Pavilion before gathering on The Music Center Plaza for their own moment to shine.
The record-setting dance was officially verified by a Guinness World Records adjudicator, who acknowledged the record by presenting organizers with a Guinness World Records certificate. The record will be featured in the 2016 Guinness Book of World Records.
“To be able to experience performing arts and then to actually participate in performing arts and break a Guinness Book World Record was pretty exciting for them,” Ruebush said of her students. “I think it’s something that they’re not going to forget.”
“We are very proud of our kids and thank the various parents for driving and chaperoning, assisting,” stated Ronda Harrison, parent helper for Antelope Valley Adventist School.
The students’ Guinness World Records achievement marked the culmination of the three-day Blue Ribbon Children’s Festival, during which more than 16,000 students attended a live performance for free and then performed a dance specially choreographed for them. Presented by The Blue Ribbon of The Music Center, an independent charitable group of women leaders in the Los Angeles community, The Blue Ribbon Children’s Festival is California’s longest-continuing free arts education program.
The program has introduced more than 815,000 students to the power of the performing arts, despite school budget challenges that have virtually eliminated these types of programs.