As I watched the group enthusiastically leap and gyrate and shuffle and spin (some more with the beat than others) I thought: This is Patchwork in a nutshell.
We say that our Arts & Smarts children’s program surrounds children with a community of adults who help each child discover and explore the things that they are passionate about. I think we do this quite well by offering a wide range of activities for kids to try, including Dance Week.
There were some older elementary-age boys signed up for Dance Week along with a bunch of younger girls. “Oh no,” I thought. “On the first day the boys will see who else is here and think this is really not cool, too young for them, and too girly.”
The first day came and I was amazed to see the opposite. The boys were some of the most enthusiastic participants: twisting, jumping, and expressing themselves through dance with wild abandon. Little had we realized what talents lay within them.
No one said, “You’re a boy, you can’t do dance week,” or “You’re silly. You dance like a crazy person.” Instead, there was a safe place for everyone to try dance, have fun, and find out if just maybe it was something that they really love. Girls, boys, adults–everyone had a blast together.
Part way through Dance Week, one of the boys approached me and said, “Since you run this place, you need to tell Jane that we should have improv classes.” I took note. Maybe during the school year we’ll have to explore some passions for improv.
In other Summer highlights, you can watch a wonderful report on our Art Garden Week II that aired on our local Channel 14, WFIE. If you missed it, you’ll want to check it out.