Today was the last dance workshop before the dance performance on Wednesday. We were scheduled to rehearse on the stage with all the classes. I arrived at the school 9:20am when they are still having morning assembly in the hall. Some of the 3rd graders saw me and waved hello to me with excitement, “Ms. Mandy! Are we going to dance?” I answered few of them:”Yes!” So sweet and cute. But, in my mind, I didn’t expect anything different and exciting will happen in the rehearsal. I (and their class teachers too) just hope they, at least, will remember their choreography.
It is quite an inspiring and encouraging experience for me especially after today. During the process, there were lots of argument, emotion, attention and discipline issues within their own class. “Ms. Mandy, she didn’t listen to me when I tried to teach her the movement sentence!”; “Ms. Mandy, he just sits there and do nothing!” or some of them were just being moody and simply stepped out during the class. Today, Four classes – two general education classes, one special education class and one inclusion class – all blew my mind. Don’t get me wrong, I have learned so much from them than they may actually learn from me - 1) All children are as smart as they are when we know how to bring their potential out 2) Don’t let the label “general” or “special” make you think they are different. They are creative equals. 3) Children can change and make change overnight…literally overnight – we just need to be patient to let them to find their ‘light bulbs’. 4) Dance is one of the best activities for children, stimulating their mind and body learning coordination, discipline, relationship, love, respect and more.
All the classes danced perfectly in the rehearsal. Absolutely perfect! I was so thrilled to see them not only just remembering the choreography, but also being present, dancing with their classmates with eye contact. Their group spirit and energy was in the highest that I haven’t seen in the past few weeks. They just love to dance and enjoy dancing together with their own class. I gathered them in a small circle and sat them down. I looked at them all in their eyes and gave them the notes. The first thing I said (using my soft, but exciting voice): “I LOVE…love seeing you all, dancing with each other. Some of you showed me the ‘million dollars’ smile…I love it! You just make me so HAPPY! I love how much you all being here as part of the group....we all just need each other to make this happen – this is so BEAUTIFUL to watch… and yet, you all did it!.... to show your teacher how much you can share with each other.” All the kids smiled with the joy and confidence in their eyes. I was so moved by them. At the moment, I absolutely received the best love and warmth in the earth. I had the happiest Valentine’s day, ever!