Hart-Ransom students rock out — in unison

It takes a village — that rocks.

That's what the 720 students at Hart-Ransom School in west Modesto discovered when they performed a special group dance Tuesday.

Eighth-graders wrote a song, "Hart-Ransom Rocks," and choreographed the dance. Then they taught it to all students, from kindergarten through seventh grades, during physical education classes.

The dance — one of many end-of-the-year activities at schools — was modeled after "flash mob dances," where hundreds and even thousands of people perform choreographed routines.

Last fall, 10,000 people packed Michigan Avenue in downtown Chicago for Oprah's 24th season kick-off show. They danced as the Black Eyed Peas performed "I Gotta Feeling."

Hart-Ransom Principal Jerrianna Boer had nothing but praise for the song-and-dance number her students pulled off Tuesday.

"This is developing great positive interaction among students, and our eighth-grade students are taking the responsibility very seriously and doing a great job," Boer said.

In addition to the dance, Hart-Ransom students have attended "village" meetings throughout the year. Led by teachers and staff, the meetings group together students from different grade levels for activities meant to build a sense of community among various age groups.