FEEL GOOD | WATCH: US pupils from viral dance video visit South Africa on outreach trip and show us some of their moves

2020-03-07 13:07
Ron Clark Academy
Pupils from Ron Clark Academy taking part in the #GetLooseChallenge (Screengrab: Instagram/Ron Clark)

Going viral on social media was the last thing the pupils and teachers from the Ron Clark Academy expected when they shared a video of themselves partaking in the #GetLooseChallenge. 

The challenge sees people on social media dancing along to a track called Get Loose by Huncho Da Rockstar and K. Blasst. 

Joining the pupils in the video is Ron Clark, who founded the Ron Clark Academy in Atlanta, Georgia (USA). 

Clark moves in sync with the kids, and it's evident from the clip alone that they have quite a special connection. This, I believe, is one of the main reasons it has racked up over 7 million views on Twitter (at the time of publishing) in less than a week. 

I first watched the video on Monday morning. Of course, I quickly called my colleagues over to my desk, wanting to share the joy that it brought me. 

Two days later, I saw another post by Ron Clark, this time mentioning that the Grade 8 pupils, some of whom featured in the video, were on their annual trip to South Africa where they would spend a few days doing outreach work. 

I met up with them in Soweto, Johannesburg, on Thursday to chat about the viral video and their time in the country. 

"At RCA (Ron Clark Academy) we're all about building relationships and finding connections with our students. We love music, energy, [and] passion in the classroom, so we're always dancing," Kirk Brown, Senior Director of Development at the school, tells me. 

Brown says the video is a positive representation for what school and education can be when pupils and teachers build strong relationships. 

To fund their trip to South Africa, the kids hosted bake sales. The money raised was used to buy food and school supplies which they donated to several orphanages around Soweto. 

Sitting down to chat about her experience, Naima Johnson, a pupil at the school, says she has taken a lot away from this trip. 

"Each day, there's something new; we're always going to different schools, and each school brings a different type of passion and energy. I think that I speak for the whole class when I say that we're walking away from this experience with a new perspective on the privileges that we may have, and what it truly means to be happy regardless of your situation."