Bringing a community of more than 1,200 students and staff together in celebration is no easy task in the era of physical distancing. In past years, the gym at Dakota Collegiate Institute (DCI) would be packed full of excited Lancers for the annual Lancerpalooza event in May, which is a celebration of the school’s community that is filled with performances, challenges and laughter.
The Lancer Pride Committee, a group of DCI staff members committed to building school spirit, were determined to make this years’ event extra special while adhering to the current health guidelines. The celebration was moved online, and the planning began.
“One of our colleagues has some great celebrity connections, so we reached out and asked them to join in,” said Bryton Balzer, a DCI teacher and Lancer Pride Committee member. “We had two and a half weeks to plan and it turned out better than we could’ve expected.”
Jay Onrait, Ace Burpee, Wab Kinew, Jon Montgomery and DJ Blitz recorded videos with uplifting messages and fun challenges for students and staff to enjoy during the live broadcast that aired on Thursday, May 14.
The event, hosted by Mr. Scott sporting a bright blue bubble costume, also included impressive student performances, messages from staff about well-being and a whole lot of dancing. More than 850 DCI community members logged on to watch Lancerpalooza using Microsoft Teams Live, a video streaming and online meeting software program.
“It was a great opportunity to come together as a community, take a break and keep some level of normalcy,” said Jeremy Stubler, a DCI teacher who’s been involved with planning Lancerpalooza for the past three years. “We heard a lot of positive feedback from staff and students and I’m just happy that we were able to lift some spirits during this time.”