My Volunteer Experience at Boys and Girls Club for National Dance Week 2012
On April 25th I went to one of the San Diego Boys and Girls Clubs to teach 2 dance classes. My sister Kyla came along to help. The first class was Kindergarten and First Graders and the second class was 3rd and 4th graders. Both classes were half, if not more, boys! The kids wore their street clothes but towards the end took their shoes off. I told them why I was there and how Misty Copeland used to attend Boys and Girls Club. I showed them a photo of her as Firebird and they said “Whoa! Is she real?!?” I also showed them some pointe shoes.
Only about 2 of the kids out of both classes had had ballet before. It was a totally new experience to everyone else. The younger group of boys was more willing even though they did laugh a little at the idea. With the older boys I had to explain several times how football players take ballet for flexibility and balance. When I was telling them some of the ballet stories one little boy suggested a Batman ballet. I think he might be a future choreographer. One boy yelled out “How old are you?! Are you the teacher?” I said “Yes and I’m 13.” Sounded funny.
The kids followed along as I showed the positions and explained how to pull up through the top of their heads like puppets on a string. They did tendu and even went across the floor with imaginary swords. Kyla demonstrated a leap over a shoe and they were all very impressed. One little girl really had a passion for it and she was pretty good considering. She always had a smile from ear to ear when going across the floor. I could tell she was really into it and had a genuine passion for it. I couldn’t help but notice the ones that had some good turn out =)The boys definitely liked leaping the most and most added some sort of knee slide at the end or a little original twist or kick of the foot. Silly yet creative.
It was fun teaching them how to curtsey and bow and thank the teacher at the end of class. They all got a coupon for Discount Dance Supply and were on their way. I actually went there to inspire them but they actually inspired me. I have always liked helping assist the beginners at my studio but this was ALL me, except for Kyla helping out of course. I developed an even greater passion for teaching and having a studio someday. I have always wanted to start a program for low income families so their kids can train for ballet if they want. I’m definitely going to try to do that in the near future.