IMPACT Classes

Brulé band leader tells origin story


A busy first week of IMPACT classes began Mon., Jan.3, highlighted with a cooking class, bingo and yoga and ending on Fri., Jan. 7 with a presentation by Paul LaRoche, composer and director of Brule.

LaRoche was brought up as a mainstream kid in Worthington, Minn., thinking he was adopted and French Canadian. After his adoptive parents’ deaths, he learned that he was Native American.

In 1993, LaRoche reunited with his native brother and sister whom he never knew he had. He and his family moved to Lower Brule Sioux Indian Reservation to return to and immerse themselves in his native culture. Encouraged by his family, he re-entered the music industry which he had been involved in since he was 14.

He then formed Brulé, a four-member band that now includes his son and daughter. They have traveled the world, performing this last summer in De Smet as part of the 50th year celebration of the Laura Ingalls Wilder Pageant. LaRoche says he is a product of both cultures and has a love and pride for both. It has been his desire to bring those two worlds, those two families, those two communities, a little closer together. He hopes the music and dancing of Brulé carries the message of harmonious reconciliation of differences.

On Mon., Jan. 3, Sharry Knock introduced the group to Pinterest and recipe searching. The members each researched a category and will bring a new food to the next class.

Bernie Stoel called bingo Wednesday night, Jan. 5, and Nancy and Bob Montross showed off South Dakota beef with Beef Buck prizes and beef sandwiches. It was a successful night for the Skybergs, with three Skyberg families winning the big pots.

Megan Nelson from Prairie Soul Yoga in Brookings started IMPACT members Thurs., Jan 6 with mind/body awakening and stretching moves.

Next week, the members continue their exercise and yoga classes, and Beth Poppen will speak about the importance of bees, relating her experiences as a beekeeper. The group will also tour the Mayfield Truss company, have lunch at the Rusty Nail and attend a private showing at the Bryant Theater.

The trip to Chanhassen on Feb. 16-17 to see the award-winning musical “Footloose” is now open to the public, and anyone wanting more information can call Marilyn Skyberg at (605) 203-0115. Deadline for sign-up is Jan. 19.

“We’ve seen this trip advertised by other groups at almost double our price, so it is a very good deal,” said Nancy Montross.


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