Four weeks into Dancing with Class Core Program I had the students give me feedback on how it is going so far. I asked a few questions and here is what they had to say:
Brenda: What has been the most challenging thing about the program?
Wiam: Dancing with a partner because I have never danced with someone before. The "closed-hand position" is the most challenging. (The majority of the class agreed with his response).
Brenda:What is the best thing?
Emilia: The best thing is learning new moves and having fun!
Brenda: What is your signature move (the one move you feel you do best)?
Damian: The boogie walks aka "walking it out".
Brenda: What are you most excited about?
Wiam: Learning how to dance so I can dance at my family's parties.
Brenda: What do you believe makes a good dancer?
Adilene: "You know you are a good dancer when you have rhythm in your blood and you have the music in your heart." Not being shy also helps.
Alexis: A lot of practice.
It is very typical for fifth and sixth graders to feel uncomfortable dancing with their peers particularly in closed-hand position. However, week by week it is apparent how this feeling lessens as they start viewing each other as a team. I love that the students realize that this will go past this program and the competiton. This not only regards the moves but also the respect and etiquette in social dancing such as the proper way to ask someone to dance. What better way than to share this knowledge and put it to practice with one's peers and family?!
The last answer moved me. I was so excited to read this and I loved it so much that it is hanging on my fridge. I could not agree more with Adilene. A good dancer is more than just having the right steps and technique. It is about the passion and the love for dance, about following the rhythm and music within! And of course not being shy and tons of practice do help!! :) It reminded me of one of my favorite quotes.
“Nobody cares if you can't dance well. Just get up and dance. Great dancers are great because of their passion.”
― Martha Graham
* Answers were from one classroom from the Back of the Yards Program 2013. Only a few answers were selected.