I am in a third grade classroom. Students are making shapes and applying energy. Kevin shouts,
“Look, I can do it standing on my head!”
I stare at him in awe, envious of his balance and strong upper body, and extremely happy because prior to class, Kevin’s teacher came to me with some concerns. He feels Kevin has too much energy, and is unable to control himself in dance class. He informs me that in previous years he was unable to participate. I told him we would give it a try, because kids with “too much energy” tend to be great dance students, and I knew if Kevin could stand on his head while applying smooth and sharp energy, then he could focus.
Flashback to before becoming Kevin’s dance teacher, I often saw him sulking in the school office. It was obvious he had been labeled as a problem kid. After speaking with his teacher and witnessing his talents, I made it a point to make sure Kevin had his dance time, and dance he did!
Through third, fourth, and fifth grade I was delighted to be Kevin’s dance instructor. Each year he became more confident, helpful to other students, and a more sophisticated dance-maker. I’ll never forget when he volunteered to explain his dance in front of a grant funder. For his 5th grade dance he led his group in choreography, directing when to start the canon, and placed himself front and center.
Kevin excelled in dance, and his other subjects, dancing at his graduation. Dance was part of Kevin’s success!