Ptarmigan Hall Native Dancers headed to the Festival of Native Arts


Photo by Dorothy Williams

The Ptarmigan Hall Native Dancers performing at SHS last fall.

By CEDRIC TALL, staff writer

The Ptarmigan Hall Native Dance Group is going to the Festival of Native Arts in Fairbanks at the UAF campus in the Charles Davis Concert Hall.

The dancers are scheduled to perform on Friday, March 6, starting at 6:20 p.m., and on Saturday, March 7, at 9:35 p.m.

The students going to FNA are Amanda Kopp, Cheryl Adams, Lena Morris, Nicole Saccheus, Emma Nashookpuk, Jayden Duny, Kala Hendrickson, Loveda Harry, Lauren Parduhn, Miranda Henry, Maggie Pete, Mary Coolidge, Nina Myers, Ronnie Coolidge, and William Paul. The group is led by Ptarmigan Hall music and arts director Karrie Pavish Anderson.

Ms. Pavish Anderson said she has tried for several years to form a dance group. The first time that the Ptarmigan Hall Native Dance Group performed was at last year’s [email protected]*HOOK musical festival.

“This year I was pleasantly surprised at how many students wanted to share their dances with other students,” said Ms. Pavish Anderson.

Ms. Pavish Anderson said that she and the native dance group were thankful for Supt. Chris Reitan’s support for the dance group’s trip to FNA so they could represent the district’s various cultures.

Adrienne Titus, student coordinator for the FNA, said that the Ptarmigan Hall Native Dancers was chosen so people at FNA could connect with other cultures and make new friends at the event. “I am looking forward to seeing the dances,” said Ms. Titus.

Ptarmigan Hall Native Dancers are going to perform various dances from villages around Alaska. Some of the dances they’ll perform are The Duck Dance, a new song from Inupiaq culture, Goodbye My Sonny from Koyukon Athabascan culture, The Reindeer Love Song, and The Goodbye Song from Yup’ik culture.

“Each student gets the opportunity to teach other songs in their area to other students,” said Ms. Pavish Anderson, adding that this is where these dances come from.

The dance group practiced in many places, including the music room, the Ptarmigan Hall hallway, the weight room at the GILA gym, and GILA auditorium. The dance group practices on Tuesdays and Thursdays from 5:30 to 6:30 p.m.