wow...already it is friday! what a week?!? yesterday we had our lunchtime in the studio and salon performances. lunchtime this week was focusing on our dynamic exchange program. Ms. Annette from Good Moves brought the young ladies that she has been working with to show us what they have been doing in the dynamic exchange program. i was inspired and filled with happiness watching these young women move because despite obvious language barriers (some of the newer girls to the program are refugees from various countries) they looked and performed with such consideration and joy. i was pleasantly surprised so see some of the girls exude such confidence and maturity, and i think that can be contributed to dancing.
Ms. Annette was a hoot, and reminded me of the "old-fashioned" dance teachers that give the kind of "tough love" and structure that most kids need...and is given to people through the arts. i was inspired because i have a personal connection to youth outreach through the arts. most of my early training didn't come from fancy studios, or world-renown schools...it came from a community arts center in houston. there i learned all the fundamentals of what i know today, paired with structure, passion, and nurturing. all it took was someone with a vision of providing art to kids who wouldn't necessarily have an outlet...and that gift is irreplaceable!
i especially think about the refugee girls, and what their personal stories are...and then i think about how healing art (especially dancing) can be. to put it simply, it is liberating. it provides kids with the ability to feel at ease with who they are becoming. i mentioned in my last blog about how some kids think it is uncool to be passionate about things like art, etc. i was once in that position...it is easy to adopt the "herd mentality" and not stray from the status quo. so to see these young women have such self confidence, at their age, in the way they move makes me wonder how that will carry into other areas of their lives; even if they don't pursue anything artistic.
art can change lives, art can change the world...for the better. think about it...these young women who know nothing about one another (it was also their first time dancing together) personally and culturally, but they danced and laughed together as if they had known each other all their lives. also, they danced together...they took the time to connect with one another. that is what art can do...and to help change the world through art, to heal the world, and themselves...and maybe in the process, also change you and bring you joy!