Masseista mahiksia grant gets pupils to dance at the Normal School

The active student council of Tampere Normal School organises many activities during the school year. These include the weekly Intermission Dance parties. To fund these activities, the pupils have received a Masseista mahiksia grant from the city.
Three children, the one on the left with a lap top.
Vuokko Lehtomäki, Saida Kela and Freija Gerdt (in the picture from L to R) organise Dance Intermissions.

It's a little before 10 o'clock on a Wednesday morning. Fifty or so pupils, most of them elementary school pupils, have gathered in the lobby of the Tampere Normal School. At exactly 10 o'clock, some student council members puts on the music, a dance video starts playing on the big screen in the lobby and the whole group of students starts dancing to the pattern in the video. Every Wednesday’s Dance Intermission has begun.

- We reward the best dancers and buy props for May Day and Halloween, and organised an Easter egg hunt and a Valentine's Day event," say Saida Kela and Freija Gerdt, the students' council activists and Dance Intermission organisers.

Students organise dances and else on their own 

The Dance Intermission itself is an old concept. The idea was originally conceived by the students of the junior high school and they still organise dances for everyone every Friday. In the spirit of the unified school, the idea was extended to the elementary school pupils, who now make the pupils dance on Wednesdays. The dancers are mostly elementary school pupils, but at least a few junior high pupils had ventured into the back row.

Teachers helped the elementary school pupils a little at the beginning to get the activity going, but since then the pupils have run it entirely on their own. According to teacher Mikko Horila, this sometimes means that the pupils council activists are allowed to leave classes early or arrive late, but they do not get any relief from studying.

What is the Masseista mahiksia grant?

The Masseista mahiksia grant is awarded by the City of Tampere to projects where children and young people themselves organise activities for other children and young people in schools and day-care centres. The aim is to bring joy and strengthen community spirit. This year, €50 000 was available. 

A grant of €450 was awarded to the Normal School Pupils' council for a project called "Theme days to bring joy and community into the school life". The students' council organises activities for the whole year, but the Dance Intermission is weekly throughout the school year.

The Normal School applied for the grant last autumn and took part in the Massipäivä event at the end of January. There, a panel of children and young people assessed the groups' applications. 

Applications for the 2025 Masseista mahiksia grants will start in November.

Text: Ismo Lehtonen
Photos: Laura Happo
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