Before I taught dance today, I was invited to visit one of the English classes for the older students. They were 7th Standard (I think). They were acting out a story they had read earlier this week--but they had to be silent the whole time. The teacher had met with me earlier this week, and we came up with this idea. It was so wonderful to see it in action! And it was joyful to see these students explaining the story and answering follow-up questions in English (this is important, since it is the trade and business language here in India). A lesson incorporating acting seems so simple, but it is a major step away from the traditional Indian teaching style. I loved it.
My first dance class was with UKG (Upper Kindergarten--ages 4). They were so stinking cute! I could hardly stand it. The teacher was wonderful, and very helpful. It was amazing to me how well I could communicate with these children through movement (and food). Their English is very limited at that age, but we still had a lot of fun. I'm very grateful that the children are so fearless at that age.
The second dance class was with 6th Standard. They were far more advanced than I had realized--which gave me a great idea for passing information between teachers. I'll work on that tomorrow and next week. I think it will be a fun and important project. The class could've worked at a higher level (my fault), but it still went well. I learned to talk less. They learned to really stretch and make their movements strong. They also got to really process my question, "Why do we dance?"
Finally, LDT--I sure think these kids are amazing. We ran through most of the warm-up. This took all of the class period, because I made them go back and fix a few things that they were messing up. I can't wait to visit some of them in their home villages. I am excited to meet their parents. I am excited to tell these parents that they are raising amazing children.
Okay, today's life lessons:
- A flock of dragonflies is beautiful to behold (it was far too pretty to be called a swarm)
- Death is normal here. These children have stories that would bring you to tears, and yet it is just part of their life. Even with these tough lives, these children are happy and joyful.
- I love it here. It's beautiful.
- Everyone thought I looked so different at dinner--apparently they only see me in dance clothes with sweaty hair. How sad!
- People doing construction carry dirt on their heads in bowls. There is no bulldozer out here in the rural areas. It's all man (and woman) power.
- Eating Indian food really is so much better when you use your fingers (that's from yesterday). Speaking of--did you know there is an Indian food that is almost exactly like tortillas?
- I'm going to go travelling in a week! That's right! The second week of break, I'm going to go travel with a couple of friends. I might actually get to see Dehli and the Taj Mahal!!! Woohoo!
Okay, that last one is not a life lesson, but it's definitely good news for the day. Hugs to you all!