Read a recap of this exciting event during Pope Francis’ visit to Philadelphia! View photos and media coverage.
Dancing with the Students – Gesu School was selected by the World Meeting of Families to perform at the Festival of Families during Pope Francis’ visit on September 26, 2015. We are blessed and honored to have participated in this joyful, historic event.
Not only did these talented dancers perform beautifully and confidently before a crowd of about 100,000, but they appeared on 40 Jumbotrons across the city, on CNN, and in the Religion News Service and Washington Post! “I was excited and I felt honored because my school was one of the chosen schools to perform,” says Cierra, an eighth grade student.
Before their performance on the Logan Square Stage, students were fortunate to witness Pope Francis’ arrival to the Cathedral Basilica of Saints Peter and Paul. Eighth grader, Isaiah, reflects on the meaning of Pope Francis’ visit: “I admire his message about treating people the same, no matter how different they are.”
From stepping into the Gesu gym for rehearsals to stepping onto a national stage in honor of Pope Francis, the opportunity to perform at the Festival of Families brought the Gesu community together for an unforgettable experience.
Watch the video of Dancing with the Students - Gesu School's performance at the Festival of Families!
View media coverage of Dancing with the Students – Gesu School!
We are tremendously proud of the 37 eighth graders and three seventh graders who learned two new dances in only three weeks for this historic event! Here, they rehearse the tango to celebrate Pope Francis’ roots from Argentina.
The excitement is palpable as students journey to the Festival of Families!
Students take the stage for an energetic swing with a Philadelphia flavor, performing to “American Bandstand.”
Students perform an elegant tango, Pope Francis’ favorite dance, to “La Cumparista.”
Our heartfelt thanks to the Dancing with the Students team for this incredible opportunity to dance at the World Meeting of Families and for bringing the gift of dance to Gesu for 10 years! We are so grateful to Instructor/Choreographer, Jenn Rose; Founder and President, Susan Martinelli Shea; and Director of Programming/Instructor Kristen O’Rourke.
As a Jesuit and IHM school, we are so grateful to have taken part in Pope Francis’ visit to Philadelphia and to have shared in his message of inclusion, peace, mercy, and joy.