When we introduced the dance class, that was in August last year, Sam (not his real name) refused to join. At 7, he was overly conscious of people. He has gone to various parties and was told that he couldn’t dance. So while others were perfecting their concerted moves of Selense – a track by Mercy Chinwo and Banky W, Sam sat solitarily by the side and watch. There wasn’t hiding it, Sam wanted to dance.
In the dance class, we arranged the kids according to their sizes. The shorter ones were in front with the instructor at the front. Then, I told Sam, who was of the mean size, to go behind. Even with the suggestion, I could still see that he was shy, he needed more than persuasion, so I pulled him once again and he acted as if he was resisting, yet he followed me to the last row.
I whispered to the dance instructor never to make any comment about him or try to bring him forward. And that was what we did. I counted it as a victory when I saw him the next day joining the class voluntarily but still from the rear.
On the performance day, Sam surprised all of us. He chose not to hide behind and he wasn’t disturbed. I watched as he choreograph with others – even though he continued to dance in an amusing style. But he was there. Sam got his grooves back. He regained his confidence, and that was the whole essence of the dance class.
Kids are natural dancers. That’s why a one year old with no knowledge of the world around him gyrate to any coordinated beat. Asides the entertainment dancing offers to the spectator, it boosts the confidence of the performer.