It was a command performance Wednesday at Eucalyptus Elementary School. Students had put in more than a million minutes of reading in March -- including giving up a week of television watching -- and now it was time for principal Craig Gunter to make good on his end of the deal, and dance.


Taking to the stage in a red wig and a "Vote for Pedro" shirt, Gunter recreated the dance performed by actor Jon Heder at the climax of the film "Napoleon Dynamite."


The kids had only been promised Gunter dancing, but four teachers bounded onto the stage and danced with him, to screams of approval from the students.


"Let's give our teachers a hand, huh?" Gunter yelled. "For your viewing pleasure, I give you the Napoleon Dynamite dance."


And so they danced -- to the screams and laughter of the assembled students -- to "Canned Heat" by the English band Jamiroquai.


Students had read for a million minutes in March 2008 as well, but enrollment declined at Eucalyptus by more than 100 in the 2008-2009 school year.


"Give yourselves a hand, students!" Gunter cheered. "You guys are fantastic, and I would do anything for good readers."


Beau Yarbrough can be reached at 956-7108 or at beau@hesperiastar.com.