04 September 2013

Dancing : Magic of Movements

Personally as a Creative Movement Educator  and a Dance Trainer using Ballroom and Latin  dances to improve health and well-being in our Dance for Wellness programs it has been an enriching experience watching the learners revel in the simple joys of movement . I have  witnessed  complete shifts in self esteem, confidence and agility  among st  learners of all ages.But to cite a very recent instance ..there is a small group of senior learners at one of  my workshops who are gradually changing their mental makeup to being extremely enthusiastic about life and learning to dance . When I had first met up with them , I remember them huddled in chairs, quite apprehensive and  some of them unsure about their ability to learn dancing . But today they have a spring in their step , glint in their eyes and a smile on their lips as they Swing and Cha Cha to their hearts content .  And  guess what... they love to dance the Merengue and Bachata too  and are waiting to learn some more.So happy to have had the opportunity to make a difference in their lives .

 I still remember that Sunday morning  about four years ago when  I was almost through with  teaching  a Waltz class  and  I saw this slender,elderly elegant woman walking in  and standing quietly, keenly watching the students who were practicing their steps from the sidelines. She was waiting  to speak to me .
 In that first moment of contact instinctively I knew there was an instant connection , I gave her a listening ear and noticed she spoke softly and clearly . She said she was heading a group of Senior citizens she would like me to come over and meet the group and also teach them to dance . Her request seemed just right up my alley  as I had been intending to conduct some workshops for seniors myself but hadn't had the opportunity yet . This seemed as if my intentions were slowly finding a way to fulfillment . We fixed up that I would come over and meet them the following Monday at the local church where they all meet up for their weekly meeting . This I came to know later,was the only activity they had together every week . The  first time I met them they were a group with lots of concerns. They heard me patiently and asked a lot of questions , ranging from whether they would be able to learn at all as most of them were well over  sixties and seventies or so .They also  mentioned that though they have danced earlier in their lives , they don't remember  much .Some said they know all there is to know ,a few others brought out their health issues which were bothering them so much that they cant possibly exercise let alone dance ,  some questioned what is the point of learning to dance ... Well to be frank I had an interesting and enjoyable time clearing their doubts and addressing their concerns . I knew most of their concerns were common to most people at their age in India.
I spoke to them addressing each of  their concerns , mentioning  instances of my own intention of wanting to work with a group of Seniors, .The initially reluctant let their defenses down and an interactive session followed , where I got some  understanding of them   and they of me . It was one of those fulfilling days  a  wonderful memory now which I hold close to my heart .Though at the end all they said was that they will get back to me  in some time.... somehow as  I drove back home that evening I knew in my heart we were all certainly going to meet  again in time .
 Soon enough in a week or so I got a call  from the lady who initiated it all saying that they need some time  for permissions  to use the same space of the  church for the dance lessons . And that was that ... nothing happened .
 Meanwhile  I continued with my Dance workshops , and facilitated training's of corporate clients . I would remember that meeting once in a while  but left it to time to decide the outcome of that meeting ..

A few years passed and I was returning back after finishing a children's workshop in  Chennai when I received her call again . Her clear and determined voice was cheerful and hopeful . She said she had two things to say , the seniors have agreed to join in and the church had given them the space to go ahead with the classes . Fantastic  .... I knew in my heart it was no coincidence that it happened  at all . After all the connects that we established that day  were just moving to affirming itself !

 Well  I got Godspeed on my side this time around ... things moved on smoothly and we were well into rolling out the first class of Swing Dancing  and more .Today as I write this its been six months or more.
Dancing together they say they  have realized the values of the human connection and the strength of community . They mention to me  how they eagerly wait for their dance workshops .They speak of how dance steps into their lives , in moments of loneliness and makes them positive and alive again.  They know dancing now is so much more about valuing  that equal partnership between the leader and the follower and that the bonds of the dance floor leaves lasting and empowering impressions in their hearts and lives .

 This experience has left me even more confident about my beliefs   :Cultivate Patience. Dream selflessly...
 Positive things are waiting to unfold if only we continue to dream our  unique  dream and believe in it !
 All you need is the strength of  intention and the dreams realizes itself , just trust in the process ! And do what  you do with all your heart ! Like minded people will arrive somehow  and help you actualize it !
 In  this endeavor I  take this opportunity to  express my deep sense of appreciation  to some of my dear students who assist me at the workshops who take time out to be with me at these sessions and I know they share with me equally the joys of making a  positive difference in people's lives.

If you have been reading this , and are  looking for ways or have ideas to make a difference positively in and  around you ,do contact me wherever you are ....cos  who knows what Magic we are meant to weave together :)

Savvy Raj