Thursday, April 2, 2015

Pottstown High School Shakes it Off

The Pottstown Trojan was on hand for the lip dub
We all know them.

Those songs that you can't get out of your head.

Taylor Swift's "Shake it Off" is one of those songs.

And the folks at Pottstown high School are feeling that in spades.

That's because that was the song they chose for the "Lip Dub" video they filmed at the school Wednesday morning.

As I found out when I got there, a "Lip Dub" is an involved video using what we old folks used to call lip synching.

The entire school lined up at different points in the building as Taylor's song was played and a walking camera -- manned by junior Connor Benfield -- made it's way through them.

It highlighted things like the technical education program, the culinary program, the music program, the athletics program. 

You name it, it got 'lip-dubbed.'

After the camera moved through a student group, like the Air Force Junior ROTC unit for example, the students would race off to another pre-arranged location to meet it when it arrived there.

They did several run throughs and there was a lot of running.

It began after student school board representatives Gary Wise and Katrina Belmontes attended a Pennsylvania School Boards Association conference in October, held in Harrisburg, said Jolie Martinez, a math teacher at the high school and one of the key organizers.

"They showed the lip dub video done by North Hills High School, outside of Pittsburgh, and we were all totally blown away and they said: 'We've got to do that!'" she said.

Lip dub masterminds: From left, Jolie Martinez
Maureen Rieger and Katie Minger
Martinez, social studies teacher Maureen Rieger and video teacher Katie Minger spent months mapping out the route, with students' help,

"We wanted something positive, something that showed all the people who say negative things about our school that we can just 'shake it off,'" she said.

Rieger's husband, Louis Rieger of High Street Music even got drafted, putting together a "musak" version of Swift's song to play while the camera rides the elevator to the second floor of the school.

"I really didn't expect people to be so excited about it, but they were," Benfield said.

The finished video will be put together by Minger's class and shown at the next school assembly and posted on the school district web site.

(I suspect it will spend some time on The Mercury web site as well).

Homecoming Queen Eliana Arroyo-Dech said the exercise really knitted the student body together with a show of school spirit, not to mention giving them a lot of exercise....

After all, as the song says: 
It's like I got this music
In my mind, saying it's gonna be alright
Cause the players gonna play, play, play
And the haters gonna hate, hate, hate
Baby I'm just gonna shake, shake, shake
Shake it off
Here are the Tweets John Armato and I sent out while the event was going on:

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