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Dance Makes Children Smile

Nov 15, 2016 - Neo's Turn, Stories
Dance Makes Children Smile

My Green Journey of Dance

Earlier this year, I signed up to be part of the Miss Earth South Africa Leadership Program because I have this attitude about life to Live, Learn and Grow. During this program, each of us were assigned various projects that are aimed at helping us become better leaders while educating the public about the importance of environmental conservation. One such project was an educational program that we had to conduct at a school of our choice where we taught them how to #Reduce, #Reuse and #Recycle.

And no, I am not pushing green-living to your face… The dance part is coming… :). You just have to read this part coz it will all make sense at the end… I hope… for your sake… lol… *hides*

When prayers are not answered when you want

I was really excited and nervous to jump into something that I knew nothing about… I remember panicking asking myself “where am I going to find a school?”, “how am I going to find sponsorship for this whole project?”. I remember that the deadline for projects to be completed was soon approaching and I needed to make plans… FAST! Well, normally when you are in a bit of rut you usually look to the heavens (or out there to the universe lol) and ask for some miracle to happen. It was not happening when I wanted it, especially after approaching nearly six schools around my area… Gosh, I saw failure!

The Kingdom of Smiling Children

At work, we were planning an event for Youth Day (a South African public holiday) and one of the things we did was invite school children from areas that are less fortunate to enjoy the day with us. Unfortunately, we couldn’t accommodate more children than we had anticipated, so one orphanage home had to be let go. That’s when it clicked… I needed a school and it happened in just enough time to finish up my Miss Earth project and I really felt compelled to do something with them since our company was not able to host them.

I contacted the orphanage home called Kingdom Life Children Centre [https://www.facebook.com/Kingdom-Life-Children-Centre-378850212300899/] which is based in Sausville Atteridgeville (Pretoria – South Africa). They were delighted to hear from me and about the project I wanted to do with them and the kids. We then set up a date for me to visit the school and it was a short-lived anticipation to finally get to the Kingdom of Smiling Children. The orphanage home is a place where children between the ages of 18 months and 18 years-old who have been abandoned or removed from traumatic upbringing and lives. It was founded by Sylvia Mogoba aka “Mama Sylvia” who saw the need to parent and take care of children who were abandoned by their own parents in the area. Since then, she has opened her doors to over 60 children with a team of volunteers and permanent staff that aid in running the home.

 

Miss Earth South Africa

Mama Sylvia

After hearing this heart-warming story, I looked back up to the heavens and uttered “Thank you” because it was just the miracle I needed!

Don’t worry, the dance part is coming! Hope you’re enjoying the build up… 🙂

The Gumboot Welcoming

The countdown to the Kingdom Life Children Centre had me smiling from ear to ear because I get to teach children something new. I love teaching… that’s another thing about me! Dancing first, then teaching – in that particular order!

As soon as I arrived, I was showered with hugs and happy children that were eager to see what I had for with this fully loaded car of goodies. I had paint, cardboard, cans, newspaper and even speakers. I was overwhelmed at how these children were so eager to help me offload the car and waited until I gave them something fun to do.

We were set up in their school hall and ready to begin our day’s program. I find out on that day that this orphanage home uses arts and cultural activities as a tool to rehabilitate these children. Over the years, these kids formed their own dance and musical group that travel around to perform at functions across the province. Pretty impressive hey!

To my surprise they gave me a spectacular gumboot dance performance! Completely unexpected. The video starts off by the leader of the gumboot dance group introducing himself and his team (speaking Setswana – one of the official languages of South Africa). They then deliver one gumboot performance. Check this out:

 

 

The excitement of so much talent and passion got the better of me and I joined in on the gumboot dancing! I asked them to teach me a few moves. As much as I love teaching, I love learning new things as well! So this is me, being challenged by young legit gumboot dancers! (Don’t laugh at me, lol)

 

gumboot dance pose

Pose for the camera after the challenging gumboot dance!

Miss Earth South Africa

Gumboot dancers do the #Dab

The Green Dance Lesson

The purpose of the day was focussed on educating these children on what it means to ‘Re-duce, Re-use and Re-cycle’. Firstly, I gave a lecture (as serious as it sounds) on what recycled items are, how we can identify them and what we should do with them. It was pretty interactive as they were so inquisitive. Thereafter we had a creative activity where each child used cans, newspaper and decorative material to create their own pencil holder that they could keep.

Of course, in true #ConfiDance style I brought the speakers in to give them a dance class. Although we didn’t get to record it, here are some action shots from the dance class!

dance lesson for kids

ConfiDance lesson for the kids

dance lesson for kids

ConfiDance lesson for the kids

dancing with kids

One kid had the ConfiDance to get on stage and show off her moves!

Miss Earth South Africa

Recycling lesson with kids

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“ConfiDancely Speaking”

This dance class was the highlight of my day. The look on children’s faces when they learn something new and when they express themselves through dance is the reason I don’t want to ever stop teaching dance. Children in particular have joy in their eyes when they express their gratitude. For me, it was the most fun I had in a long time! Wow. After that day, I learned that we need to be more like children. Believe more. Hope more. Give it your all. Learn more. Smile more. We as adults can learn a lot from children and especially from those who seem to have a little. The little we give to those who have the least to give can change most of their outlook on life. I gave them ConfiDance and that seemed to be more than enough to fuel them to hope more for their own lives.

I visit the home occasionally and I am so happy that I can still see my Kingdom of Smiling Children. If you want to get in touch or find out more about the orphanage home, please pop us an email on: info@condfi.dance

So, does #ConfiDance make you smile?

 

ConfiDance note for the day: We need to be more like children. Believe more. Hope more. Give it your all. Believe that anything is possible. Being childlike in attitude towards life is one of the keys to success.

 

Author: Neo Motshologane

Photos/Media: Own pictures and videos from photographic devices

 

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