First week volunteering (Week of Feb 6)

This Saturday I volunteered for the first time at City Ballet in Raleigh in partnership with the NCAIA. I worked as an assistant teacher demonstrating combinations and helping students who were struggling. The class was fairly large with about 20-25 students ages 3rd grade to young middle schoolers. The teachers were really kind, supportive, and enthusiastic about our partnership.

For the first hour of class, we worked on warmups and learning a final combination for their culminating dance performance. The combination was a creative call and response piece that taught the students how to balance movement, pauses, and speaking and working at different timing than the teacher. I noticed that the class and teachers focused on engaging the students and encouraging them to move freely and confidently. The environment was incredibly supportive and more flexible than a typical studio class.

For the second hour of class, the students had a “glow party” where the teachers and I set up glow stick crafts, light up balloons, and music so that the kids could have a fun free-dance class. The kids had so much fun dancing in the dark with their glowing glasses and bracelets and I could tell that they felt super confident. I noticed that one girl, who had been very shy during the studio part of class, completely let loose during the glow party and was dancing her heart out the entire time. It was really amazing to see how passionate all the kids were about dancing and having fun with their friends and myself.