September 25, 2015
By now you’ve seen the "Watch Me" video or at least heard the song (Watch me whip, watch me nae nae, anyone)?
Most aren’t sure what it means, but at Oswegatchie Elementary School in Waterford, students know it stands for.
The kindergartners through fifth-graders have worked on all the song’s moves for weeks during gym class.
“They love it. It’ really fun,” said Mattie Brett, a physical education teacher.
The practice was to get ready not just to Whip the Nae Nae, but also pediatric cancer.
“It was something that hits close to home here in Waterford with students who’ve been survivors of childhood cancer and you know, a teacher in our school who has a daughter that’s battling right now,” said Brett.
“We would love to see it go viral,” said Brett.
On Friday, about 200 students bopped, duffed and did the stanky leg on the Oswegatchie playground with cameras watching. It brought a huge smile to the faces of kids that will benefit the most.
“I’m just happy because I just finished treatment at Yale and it’s just a good time for me and now this is all happening and it’s just really happy,” said 13-year-old Alicia Hensley, a cancer survivor that goes to Waterford's middle school.
Her classmate, Ava Yeomans, an 11-year-old cancer survivor, agreed.
“It’s really cool. I’ve been through it,” Yeomans said. “We need more awareness to get rid of childhood cancer.”
The hope is this dance-off works like the ALS Ice Bucket Challenge by raising money from each recording and spreading across the world.
“They understand that they are helping them,” said Brett of her two-steppers, who netted more than $2,000 in donations for Friday’s performance alone.
“Most of that money is all from the students, which is unbelievable,” Brett said.
Next week, kids from three more Waterford schools plan to Whip their Nae Naes for the cause.
Pictures below taken by BOE Member Anne Ogden.