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 :)