Pirie West students promote message through dance

"You've got the power" boomed the loudspeakers at Port Pirie West Primary School on Wednesday.

Students moved to the beat to promote the RUOK? message and, indeed, they have the "power" to help others.

The school hosted an assembly where the message was highlighted through dance. It also was in the minds of students who made sweets for sale.

At a rehearsal for the performance, student Shaniqua told how she came up with the idea for the event to be held the day before national RUOK? Day on Thursday.

"I came up with this thought mostly from reading about it, but personally I know about a lot of mental health issues, but it was more to make other people aware. Other people could be going through a lot and they don't necessarily see it," she said.

"They are too scared to speak up. You ask RUOK? and find ways to help them."

The dance was titled "In Your Head" and was performed by dancers in yellow T-shirts and capes. The tops were emblazoned with the goodwill theme.

Student Josh said it was about negative thoughts and suicide and that one conversation could help someone who was suffering.

He said the school had made up some words for the song as well as decorated cupcakes and cookies for sale in the canteen to raise money for the cause.

"Student leaders helped in the canteen," he said.

Performing arts teacher Indra Benson said the song was about turning negative thoughts to positive ones.

"We took part in the Rave dance event last month and we choreographed a dance that told a story," she said.

"We wanted to work around mental health because it is a big concern for young people.

"We created the dance where we had negative thoughts and to overcome them we find a 'super-power' which was positive thoughts and how they can allow you to achieve anything you dream of."

Principal Fiona Perry said the assembly had watched a video made by students.

It will be shared on Facebook.

Ms Perry then led a discussion about the meaning of the special day.

"We are looking at helping children and adults when someone is looking different from their usual personality and knowing what to say and do when you are around them," she said.

"Part of it is listening and checking in, knowing the four steps to follow."

The actions developed by the students:

  1. Notice and ask a question
  2. Listen
  3. Do something to help
  4. Follow up

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