By: Talia E, age 12
Recently, I got the privilege of both observing a dance seminar at the campus of Brookland Middle School in Northeast DC and interviewing the teaching artist and Joy of Motion faculty member Dez Jordan.
At Brookland, the Joy of Motion program is an after-school elective (offered in partnership with Higher Achievement) in which everyone is welcome to express themselves. Dez mentioned that, as a part of his role as a teaching artist, he wants to challenge young dancers and prepare students for the world, teaching them the same skills that dance provided him.
During our interview, the similarity between dance and life in general came up. As Dez explained, initiating a dance program in schools, which are cutting down on art programs, allows students to grow in confidence and strength, learn how to work hard, and develop teamwork — which all can be directly applied outside of the dance realm.
After visiting a variety of Joy of Motion partner schools in the DC area, it has become quite apparent that these programs are providing so many opportunities to these students. Things like confidence in a performance, determination to learn a routine, and the ability to work as a team all are crucial skills needed in life. Creating a gateway to these skills through dance is truly amazing.
Dance is an amazing thing for students to explore. Through more support, more students will get an opportunity to be empowered members of the dance community.
Talia has been a student at Joy of Motion since 2014. For her bat mitzvah service project, she is volunteering as a “student reporter,” writing a series of pieces about different elements of Joy of Motion’s programs, in the studio and in the community. Thank you, Talia, and stay tuned for more!