‘Dance it out’

Famous film crew in town to help with student video

Filming of an uplifting video is under way at Chief Kamiakin and other schools in Sunnyside this week.

Photo by Roger Harnack
Filming of an uplifting video is under way at Chief Kamiakin and other schools in Sunnyside this week.



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Jason Celaya

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Jason Celaya and Adrian Campos lead dance warm-ups yesterday.

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Dancer Amerie Kaptein, 14, of Sunnyside High School, is assisted with makeup by her mother, Mandy Kaptein, right, and Valley Children’s Choir Artistic Director Erin Martin.

— A famous social media crew is in town this week helping local students produce a video they hope goes viral.

The team — choreographer Jason Celaya, director and songwriter “Scott DW” and actor Christian Busath — is helping Valley Children’s Choir to spread their “dance it out” message.

The video tells the story of a grumpy bus driver who asks why a child is always happy when he boards the bus, artistic director Erin Martin said. The student answers by telling the driver that everything gets better with dancing.

At Chief Kamiakin Elementary School yesterday, the 35-year-old Celaya of San Francisco, Calif., emphasized that point.

“Dance it out,” he told the students on the set. “Just dance it out.”

And dance they did, to the tune of “Can’t Stop the Feeling,” a version they previously recorded in a professional studio. The song by Justin Timberlake was a perfect fit for the message they want to get across.

“It’s really cool,” incoming Sunnyside High School student Amerie Kaptein, 14, said, noting she has liked singing and dancing since she was little.

Kaptein spent yesterday afternoon carrying a lunch tray into the school courtyard with the video crew leading her every move.

She and the other participants rehearsed the scene over and over.

“There’s more waiting than filming,” Celaya told the dancers as they became antsy. “That’s filming.”

Dancers didn’t seem to mind the routine, or the heat outside.

“It’s a really great experience to be able to assist a choreographer like Jason,” 19-year-old Adrian Campos of Sunnyside said.

Campos helped younger dancers with their moves while also hitting the floor with his own moves.

Campos, who dances at the Martin School of Dance, said he likes being a mentor to younger dancers.

“It’s cool to have them look up to me,” he said. “It’s cool that they say, “Oooh, I want to do that.”

Dancer Reid Weaver, 14, is also enjoying his time in the spotlight. He is also enjoying the opportunity to work with the famous crew known for viral videos like “Stormtrooper Twerk.”

“I’ve followed their videos,” Weaver said of Celaya, Scott DW and Busath.

Filming of the video will continue through Saturday, with the largest scene to feature about 45 dancers from the area.

For Celaya, working with non-professional dancers here is just as fun as working with professionals in California.

“Some of the kids are 5 or 6 years old,” he said. “They are stalwarts.”

Celaya said he’s been around Washington state for a long time, but never heard of Sunnyside before being approached by the Valley Children’s Choir. Now that he’s here, he said he’s having a blast, as are video stars.

“They dance just as a way to have fun,” he said. “They dance it out.”

The video is encouraging for the aspiring local dancers, and he believes it sure to be a hit when it hits the Internet, he said.

“I’m used to working with the cream of the crop,” he said. “But I’m proud of the Sunnyside kids. I’m igniting their fire to dance.”

Martin agrees.

“It’s super awesome,” she said, noting it’s also good for the community.

“We just want to bring the arts to this fun little community,” she said.



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