Kimberly Lucht writes about her time volunteering as a dance teacher with Move-Ex @ IU in Bloomington, Indiana. Keeping the mission alive in the states!

"Today, Jillian and I, part of the IU Chapter of Movement Exchange, led a workshop at Girls Inc., an organization that fosters a sense of confidence, self-esteem, and capability in girls ranging from ages 5-18. We had the opportunity to work exclusively with the 5-8 age group. The workshop consisted of a warm-up, one routine, and the game freeze dance, as it was so well received in Panamá. At first, the girls were stubborn in the sense that they wanted to have free time in the gym, however as soon as I directed them to spread out and sit on the floor, they became attentive. We stretched in the sitting position for awhile, then moved to standing stretches. About half the girls were putting in full effort during the stretches, but I could see a little bit of resistance from the other half. We were hoping to break this resistance by the end of the workshop. Next we moved onto teaching one of our staples, "Vamos a la Playa". The girls complained that they didn't know the song, but we just started dancing, and it all happened naturally. I guess that goes to say, when you don't know what to do, just start moving. It took them about 10 minutes to learn the entire dance. After this we moved onto freeze dance, since they were becoming restless. This is when Jillian and I really saw each and every personality shine. For every turn, one girl went in the center of the circle, with or without a partner, and led the entire group in movement. The majority of them were very anxious at first, but once they realized this was a free environment, as a result of positive reinforcement from Jillian and I, they let loose. Soon everyone was raising their hands for a turn. One girl in particular I know from another organization called Circles. She is typically very aggressive and volatile. But when she dances, she turns into an entirely different person. She is receptive, open, and loving when she moves and wants nothing more than to continue dancing to the beat of her own drum. Jillian and I could just tell that dance stimulated an emotional and mental release for her and we are very excited to observe her and the other girls next time. Overall, it was an exhilarating first local experience after our Panamá trip. Besos!"

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