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Sesame Street Live and Sesame Street – A Tradition that Spans over the Generations

By: Marrissa Alexander

Sesame Street Live – Let’s Dance, did not fail to draw smiles from the faces of all who attended -young and old in Portland, Oregon. Beginning as an experiment in 1968 and making its first debut on November 10th the following year, Sesame Street aimed to teach preschoolers the alphabet, numbers and social skills according to (Sesame Street Workshop). Today, the same goals are being met through rhymes, song, and dance. Not only on our t.v. screens but computer, tablet, cellphone screens and now in life-size right before our eyes.
As a child growing up in the 90s, I am proud to say that I too hung out with Elmo and the whole gang who helped teach me the foundational knowledge I needed in order to be successful in kindergarten and beyond. Whether you are Team Elmo (like me), Team Cookie Monster, or any other character, we can all agree that the monsters from that famous street can bring us together to enjoy the Let’s Dance performance.

Zoie meeting Cookie Monster Live

Zoie meeting Cookie Monster Live

After grabbing Sesame Street swag, snapping pictures, finishing up snacks and taking last-minute potty runs, everyone found their way to their seats with overwhelming excitement in hopes of getting a chance to dance with their favorite character. The opening night performance at the Veteran’s Memorial Coliseum May 15th, began right on time with the classic Sesame Street opening song and soul train- like introductions of each character. The show then featured fun, new songs such as Elmo’s “Do the Robot”, Cookie Monster’s “All ‘Feets’ Can Dance” School, and a modern twist on the classic alphabet and counting lessons featuring characters such as Count and Baby Bear. And of course, dance party breaks with mesmerizing effects, silly dance moves and classic nursery rhymes were throughout.

Excited to see all the Characters in her favorite show
Excited to see all the Characters in her favorite show

With so much fun singing and dancing, I almost forgot to take into account the lessons that we learned. Elmo showed us the power of imagination in his robot performance. When Burt was insecure about his dance moves, his friends encouraged him to just be himself. Rosita shared her Spanish language and dance moves in order to show how learning another culture is fun. Finally with an attitude- packed hip-hop routine, Baby Bear taught the importance of changing your attitude for the better in order to achieve the greatest accomplishment – being YOU!

Mr. Lee & his daughter attending opening night show
Mr. Lee & his daughter attending opening night show

While revisiting my old Sesame Street friends after so many years, I looked around and saw that I wasn’t alone. Many parents talked about how their children grew up watching Sesame Street. Combined with strong educational content, this was reason enough to want to attend the show. One grandmother quickly chimed in reminding her adult daughter that she too grew up watching and loving Sesame Street just as her children had.

The Bruen Family attending Portland May 15th show

Seeing how the love for Sesame Street spans the generations goes to show the power of tradition, education, good old fun, and caring enough to share that (and more) with the people you love. For those reasons, Sesame Street is here to stay.

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About Marissa Alexander