Eight St. Labre students ventured to the 40th Anniversary of the National Catholic Development Conference that was held at Walt Disney World in Orlando, Florida. Students who earned the privilege to go were Talon, Andrew, Cyro, Richard, Spur, Tory, Jessica, Chenona, Aubrey and Kyla. They represented their school, their families and their tribes in an exemplary fashion. This magical event created a lifetime of memories for everyone who was able to attend.
On September 26th St. Labre Indian School held a reception for our Orlando area donors at the Harry P. Leu Gardens, to share the culture of the Northern Cheyenne and Crow tribes. The St. Labre drum and dance group provided “a dream come true” for some of our benefactors. The students’ performance showed our donors the true dedication that each student has to their culture. Benjamin Head Swift, who leads the drum group, did an outstanding job of explaining to our benefactors the Northern Cheyenne and Crow outfits and the different styles of dancing. Nellie Speelman, St. Labre Home-School Coordinator, also shared her family’s long association with St. Labre.
The St. Labre drum and dance group also performed on two other occasions. The second performance was held September 27th at Universal Studios on the City Walk. Afterward, the students got a behind-the-scenes tour of the theme park with some of Universal’s graphic and architectural designers, including Major Robinson, a Northern Cheyenne tribal member and the designer of The Cat In The Hat ride. One of the students asked the question, “How did you get started doing this?” The reply was, “Simply doodling on a piece of paper in high school led me to go to college and inspired me to become a designer.” After this special tour they got to enjoy the rides in the park for the remainder of the day.
The final performance was on September 28th inside the Magic Kingdom theme park. As the students were waiting to go on stage, they were able to meet other students that performed before them, around thirty young dancers all the way from Australia. After their performance concluded, the St. Labre drummers and dancers were presented with a beautiful ”mousekar”, Disney’s version of an Oscar, then they were able to enjoy the rest of the day in the Magic Kingdom.
This was a learning experience for everyone, young and old. The students gained a whole new outlook about the possibilities that will be waiting for them after they graduate from high school. St. Labre is committed to giving our students choices in life. Until we meet again, as they said at Disney World, have a magical day.