Every semester, I ask my students to reflect and share their thoughts with the audience through written notes. I project these or add a page to the program. Here are a few of their meditations:
"Dance brings together all people of all races, ethnicities and backgrounds. The commenting thread allows for free expression and breaks down superficial barriers to help us understand the person behind the movement."
"Dance relieves a lot of my stress and anxiety. It never fails to put me in a good mood. Dance allows me to clear my head, and focus on only my body. I don't know what I would be without it."
"Dance not only expresses emotion but it also brings many people together. It creates a community and it can be used as an outlet for emotions, hard work, and bonding with others. This class has worked hard to do all of the above. We all have become a small family and this can hopefully be seen in some of our dancing. It is our hope that the audience feels connected with us while we do our pieces."
"Modern dance has taught me to grow as an individual dancers as well as collaborate with others. It has allowed me to express myself in a performance way and has led to an outlet from school for me. I have gained so many new experiences dancing this semester and I am more than excited to be able to share the stage with some of the greatest dancers and people I got the opportunity to know. I hope you enjoy the performance we put on for you and the pieces we collaboratively created with our teacher and dancers!"
"I have learned over the past could of weeks that dance is more than just for performance. It also has a great deal to do with self-expression. I dance because it makes me feel whole and I connect with my body. It brings me happiness whenever I need it. Dance can be used to bring peace and a sense of community because it is an art form seen almost everywhere. People can connect with each other because movement and expression of the body can often say more than words."
"Dance is important because it acts as a release of emotions and stress that build up in everyone's life. It also acts as a medium to send a message through if there is something you feel you need to speak out about and are passionate about. Dance bring people together and builds bonds no matter who you are or your race or gender. It can be a way to send a message to the community about changes you think are important and need to be brought to attention. Educating the public is the first step to making change."
These quotes were originally published in the Widener University Chamber Music and Dance Fall Concert program, Dec. 2, 2016.
#whydancematters was started by DanceAdvantage.net as a virtual rally for the dance community. Why does dance matter to you? (Add to the conversation by leaving a comment below!)