Destination ImagiNation participants brought style to their dress rehearsal Wednesday at Hayden Valley Elementary School. From left, Emma Johnson, Shaelynn Salazar and Jewel Vreeman perform a music video that relates to a book theme. William Green is acting out his part behind the screen.

Photo by Blythe Terrell

Destination ImagiNation participants brought style to their dress rehearsal Wednesday at Hayden Valley Elementary School. From left, Emma Johnson, Shaelynn Salazar and Jewel Vreeman perform a music video that relates to a book theme. William Green is acting out his part behind the screen.

Elementary school children show off creativity

Destination ImagiNation members practice for regional meet

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— Children marched into the gymnasium Wednesday, sporting wild neon wigs and costumes of foil and duct tape. They rapped, joked and acted for their fellow students, all of it practice for a big-deal competition Saturday.

Three Destination ImagiNation teams performed at Hayden Valley Elementary School, showing off their imaginative problem-solving skills before a regional meet. Two elementary school teams and one high school team will compete, program coordinator Julie Smith said.

"They just do a dress rehearsal to get the bugs out," she said.

The teams were busy debugging. The first team - the wig-wearing rappers who created a music video based on a book - included elementary students William Green, Emma Johnson, Shaelynn Salazar and Jewel Vreeman.

"It was fun except I tripped over a crate," Jewel said after the show. She took a tumble while running around a screen the group had made for the music video.

The four stood outside the gym, taking high-fives from classmates.

"Jewel, I'm your biggest fan," one boy joked.

"That trip was awesome," another added.

The team planned to practice more before the big day.

"I'm going to work on not tripping over crates," Jewel said.

The high school team comprised Ashleigh Muhme, Ian Cadenhead and Noah Murray. The team will compete in improvisation. Members have 30 minutes to put together a skit that meets a slew of requirements. They had to research superstitions and include an assigned sleuth, several genres of drama and one surprise item in the skit.

Another elementary school team practiced for the same category Wednesday. That group, The Amazing DI-tectives of Breeze Street, joined afterward to recap. Of course, there was more goofing around than recapping. Team members Brisha Archuleta, Abby Cadenhead, Conner Hamm, Breck Henderson and Garrett St. Clair sat around a table chattering.

"I think it went good, especially the vine part when Breck ran around holding the vine," Abby said.

Breck played a detective, ending up in the jungle at one point, holding a "vine" as Abby ran with it.

The team includes first- and second-year participants. Garrett said he liked the teamwork involved.

"We have to all work together," he said. "It is very fun, and we have to be a team and not fight."

He and Breck then hopped up to sing the beats of "Eye of the Tiger."

"DI is awesome," Abby said, and Brisha likes writing the skits.

The teams will compete with more than 80 teams at Coal Ridge High School in New Castle on Saturday. Teams that place first or second will go to the state competition in Denver, Smith said. If they win that, they'll go on to global competition.

Smith will be Destination ImagiNation's regional manager for western Colorado and parts of Utah next year. Only the Hayden district was involved this year, but she plans to add Steamboat Springs and Moffat County students to the mix.

"The more teams, the better you represent this area," Smith said.

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