CALIPATRIA — Dancing, laughter, and fun were all on display during the 45th annual Multicultural Dance inside Erickson Gymnasium in Calipatria June 7.
Fremont Primary Elementary School hosts this event at the end of the school year to commemorate the various cultures that make up the community.
Students dressed up to perform in front of a gymnasium packed with their families, siblings, and teachers; supporting each performance and cheering for their students.
“It was a lot of fun,” said kindergarten student Jacob Saiza. “I was nervous, but my mom and dad liked it and liked my song.”
Saiza’s class performance used the song “Roar” by Katy Perry, which he said was his favorite part.
“I liked it when we roared, you can hear me roar,” said Saiza.
The Multicultural Dance began with the traditional “May Pole” dance, performed this year using the theme song from “Game of Thrones.”
Other performances included “La Raspa,” “Baby Shark,” “Yo Vivire,” and “La Chona.”
“I think it’s important for the students to come out and just have fun with it,” said Crystal Saiza, Jacob’s mother.
Saiza works for Bill E. Young Jr. Middle School as an attendance clerk, but worked at Fremont Primary for 13 years. It was there that she saw her other two children, Sierra and Benjamin, perform. She believes that it’s great for towns like Calipatria to come out and support their children doing something that the entire community can enjoy.
“This is something that our kids look forward to every year. They study hard all year long and it’s just nice to see them have fun and see the reactions they get from their families and loved ones,” said Crystal Saiza.
Many children have attended Fremont Primary and performed at the Multicultural Dance during the last five years, but one face has remained constant for over two decades.
Rosela Walk, a fourth-grade teacher at Fremont Primary, will be retiring at the conclusion of this school year. She has been a teacher for 32 years, the last 23 in Calipatria. Her biggest takeaway from this year’s dance is the many faces she has taught throughout the years.
“When you work in a community as small as this one, you learn to help one other out,” said Walk. “You really become like a family, and you support each other, through good times and bad.”
Walk said she looks forward to the dance every year because it symbolizes her students’ final lesson of the year.
“Just like in sports, you have to work together. You have to know what your partner is going to do and react to it,” said Walk. “I’ve told my students that the most important thing is to have fun and enjoy what you are doing.”
“This is a great tradition to have here in Calipat,” said Crystal Saiza. “It’s important for these students to take pride in their performance knowing that this community will always be there to support them.”