Sunday, March 24, 2013

Life Dance

The Boys (Vignesh, Vimalkanath, Krishnamoorthy, Saranraj, Joseph, Naveenraj, Ismail, Ansari, Arun)

Just take a look at these names. It took me a good week to learn them. 

The Girls (Vijayalakshmi, Sangeetha, Theresa, Shalini, Paptha, Vinodhini, Ambiga, Angelai)


Welcome to Life Dance. This is an after-school club. I was the supervisor. We met 4 times a week and it was one of the best parts of the day.

What is Life Dance?

The following is taken directly from Promethean Sparks, the creator of Life Dance.

"Promethean Spark teaches life skills to impoverished youth worldwide through ongoing training in the performing arts. Discipline, focus, concentration, perseverance, self-esteem, responsibility and ambition. Teaching dance to youth in leprosy colonies in India, and in slums in Kenya is changing them from the inside out."

The children take their dancing very seriously. In fact it is the most prestigious student club. They work very hard and are quite disciplined. During my time here there was no instructor, so their peer leaders directed their activities.  Hopefully the organization will be able to send over a volunteer dance instructor next semester so they can continue further with their dancing.

We met in the dining hall, kind of the multi-purpose room for the campus. Notice how the girls dress. The red and white outfits are the school uniforms. The scarf (which is pinned on) is part of the uniform and no one would think to remove it.
The majority of the time is spent on warm ups, a quite extensive workout with stretching, yoga moves, aerobics and core strengthening. These kids are incredibly strong and fit. They love to dance. Their favorite singers are Michael Jackson and David Archuleta (Hard to put those two in the same category, but David visited Rising Star a couple of years ago and the kids love him.)

Saranraj, the strongest of the bunch
Saturday is "gymnastics day". The kids love to practice cartwheels, backbends, forward rolls, etc. It is hard to do much improving without a teacher.

 Here are a couple of videos.

This last video, though not that great of quality videoing is quite touching. The song, Somebody Out There is song by David Archuleta. He actually came and sang this as the kids did this dance. It is kind of their theme song. As you watch the group perform keep in mind that the majority of them have leprosy in their families. The words and actions together are quite powerful.


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