Lisa Atkinson’s music came to me when my voice teacher, Laurie Johnson, attended a CMN conference at Walker Creek in Petaluma in the early 90’s and brought me some of her cassettes. I was teaching music in Catholic Schools and Laurie knew Lisa’s collection would be a real gem in my treasure trove of music.
That year I did Lisa songs in all K-8 classes and featured them in the spring concert. When parents asked how to encourage their child’s love of singing I suggested they get Lisa’ collection. Eventually this song became a hit in all 5 Catholic school where I taught.
In 1997 my friend and I created a Summer Theater program for approximately 70-90 3rd through 8th graders and a handful of high school student coaches. We ran the theater every summer for several years with You Can Dance as the gathering and closing song every day. Sometimes the students would spontaneously create a song circle and pretty soon everyone joined.
It was pure magic every time!
The pastor saw us one day and requested that I have the Children’s Choir sing it at church. That Sunday 75 children flooded the steps in front of the altar as we sang and danced to Lisa’s classic song. Now THAT was prayer…!
Just a couple of years ago I began working in a Montessori preschool where a former student was teaching. She had been part of the summer theater both as a student and then as a high school coach. She requested I teach You Can Dance to the preschoolers.
She is turning 30 next week and still glows when we remember this song.