CHAPEL HILL – Students and parents at McDougle Elementary have started beginning every Friday with dancing.

McDougle principal Patrenia McDowell says the students dance from 7:30 a.m. to 8:00 a.m. to start their day.

“(I) thought it would be a great way to end the week,” she says, “and it’s just a way to get the heart-rate up first thing in the morning.”

McDougle Elementary began having dancing before school on Friday at the end of last school year.  McDowell says now several of the parents join in for the fun.

“We have some parents that just join right in,” she says. “It puts smiles on everyone’s faces, so it works.”

As a way for students to get some smiles and energy before beginning the school day, McDowell says the dancing is getting good feedback.

“I don’t know how (parents) felt about it (at first), but now (there are) smiles on everyone’s faces,” she says. “Parents are smiling, kids are smiling–so it works for us.”