I'm still scurrying to master the choreography, as it comes on the heels of my return from China. I've been to get on stick to blog about my experiences there, but am still processing, catching up and trying to wake up!
Then it occurred to me that there is a strong tie between some of the work I did on the trip and this weekend's National Dance Day Event.
I was fortunate enough to participate in the Yale Alumni Service Corp trip this month where I taught in Xiuning County, which is in the Anhui province. Xiuning (pronounced "Shu-ning") comprises 9 towns and has a population of 274,000. It's located about 5 hours by bus west of Shanghai.
Over 200 hundred volunteers (including about 50 kids under 18) taught everything from tin whistles to film making to American Folk tales. I taught English, Introduction to Theater and Collage Art in the High School and spent afternoons in the Middle School teaching Dance.
In teaching the afternoon dance classes I was reminded that dance really is a universal language. Communicating through movement is a beautiful concept and helps to instill confidence.
|Xiuning students strike a pose & learn to dance.|
Dance is accessible to ALL levels. Most (maybe all) of the kids I worked with had never had any type of dance class and it took some time for them to understand that there were no wrong moves. Even some of their teachers were intrigued and slipped into the back row to learn the steps. It was all about moving and having FUN!. That that's the message we want to spread at Saturday's event. Move & enjoy it. Simple.
I recently received this email from one of my student translators who assisted in my dance classes.
How are you recently ? Although you left Xiuning just a few days , I miss you so much . I miss your smile , your dance . I always listen to the song
at home . And when I heard this song , I can not help but to move up . I may not remember all the movements and the sequence of actions, but I still remember some of them . You taught me how to dance . I had never danced like that . Thanks to you , you make me more confident .
What better gift to share with someone than the gift of confidence. It was truly an honor to watch the joy experienced by these children when they danced.