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MCWS Hosts Pentathlon
May 17, 2019 @ 9:00 am - 12:00 pm EDT
This week on May 16 and 17, we are celebrating the Maine Pentathlon Festival. It is a truly great event and milestone. The organizers would like to thank Paula Runge and Cynthia Taliaferro for planting the seeds, Jaimen McMillan and Thom Schaefer for bringing this impulse into Waldorf Schools, and the Spacial Dynamic Institute for their continued support.
The event is an athletic, artistic and poetic combination that brings us closer to the higher ideals of the Greek Olympics. This year’s fifth grade participants will be coming from the Bay School, Ashwood Waldorf School, White Mountain Waldorf School, Seacoast Waldorf School, and Maine Coast Waldorf School. Throughout their study of history in fifth grade, these students have been immersed in the culture and lore of ancient India, Persia, Mesopotamia, Egypt and Greece and their year culminates with this Pentathlon celebration.
Once our guests arrive, our students will lead them to their sleeping spaces and help set up. We then have a walk-through rehearsal of the opening ceremony and we enjoy a pizza dinner together. In the evening, we sing, perform an artistic offering from each school, and hear a story of the first Olympics and how the City States came together in peace. The City States – Athens, Sparta, Olympia, Thebes, Corinth and Delphi – are made up of a mix of students from every school.
Once students have gathered into their states, they learn about our scoring method, which focuses on Form, Dynamic and Measure. Each of these receives a score of 1 to 3, with 3 being the highest. Good posture (form) is essential as we strive to carry ourselves in a noble fashion. Dynamic is the force, rhythm and power behind a movement. Measure is how far one throws or jumps. All of the students have a pre-score from their trainers. On the night before the event, the athletes are asked that each City State work to exceed their training score. Then we sing and say good night.
On Friday, the athletes rise early in anticipation of the day’s events. We meet together inside of our Community Hall, which is closed to all except the athletes, teachers, and judges. We warm-up with Spacial Dynamic exercises and Bothmer gymnastics. We sing our Pentathlon song, Give Us Peace, and follow the judges and flag bearers silently in single file to a drumbeat into the stadium. We greet the assembled crowd, and each
school shares a nature offering and ode to the gods. We then split up into the City States, oaths are recited by the athletes and judges, a torch is lit and everyone runs around the field behind the torchbearer.
Please join us and “Let the Games Begin!”