In the last couple of weeks now for my youth-dance project at Modern High School. The excitement builds as the final performance draws near. Mostly because it’s two hundred children and teenagers cheering themselves forward. It’s a different energy when I work with them, and definitions of ‘perfect’ have to be seen with leniency. They give themselves a huge round of applause at the slightest excuse, ‘we remember three new phrases correctly, Hurrah!,’ ‘the girls in the highlight section remembered to jump on 4 instead of 3, Yay!’, ‘We get to run instead of walk into position, Yipeee!!’. So much enthusiasm is really very contagious, and it definitely fuels me to keep pushing further.
Here’s the change I saw in one girl- on the first day we began the dance, she said “The steps are NERVE-WRACKING”, she found them very difficult to grasp. I told her to practice, she did. Some classes later, I was encouraging the students to keep working on the details and said, “you might find it a little tricky at first but it’s not impossible”. Miss ‘Nerve-Wracking’ piped in, this time changing her tune, “Of course it isn’t, you just need to practice!”. A few weeks later, she’d kept practicing and got herself selected into the special team that’s gets highlighted in the last section. Last week in class, I informed them we were close to finishing, “Less than a minute left now”, I said; to which her emphatic response was: “Oh no Ma’am, we want more. We are happy to practice the dance a million times!!’
It’s endearing. I’m glad dancing makes them happy and they have the zest to work hard. The piece is called ‘Sunrise’…may the shining faces dance dance dance.