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'Some Nights' Shaktoolik style oozes students' warmth, enthusiasm

Some Nights-Eskimo Style

Suzanna Caldwell,Alaska Dispatch

The holidays can be a stressful time, and for Alaskans they can be a little tougher. Dark nights, cold temperatures and extreme weather conspire to make everyone a little grumpier.

So most find cheer whenever they can, and 16 middle school students from Shaktoolik are no exception.

Set to the inspiring anthem of “Some Nights” by fun., a class from the northwest Alaska village of about 250 people along Norton Sound put together their version of the song, this time “Eskimo Style.”

Teacher Abby Kerr worked with the students to put the video together. During writing workshop time, Kerr plays music, and students constantly request “Some Nights.” One of the students suggested the song might pair nicely with Eskimo dancing -- and the idea for the video was born.

In it, the kids show off some infectious enthusiasm -- having fun, throwing snowballs, sliding down snow berms and decorating a Christmas tree -- all while showing off their Inupiaq heritage with traditional Native dancing and drums.

Kerr said the video was part of a lesson, with students involved in the entire creative process. Filming focused on students' everyday activities.

“We just wanted to show what life is like in Shaktoolik,” she said.

The video is ultimately a celebration of community. It's is a heartwarming portrait of one tiny town working together, playing together, embracing the holidays and having a little fun.

Contact Suzanna Caldwell at suzanna(at)alaskadispatch.com