These last two texts are part of a conversation I had with a student’s mom last month. The 4 year-old girl went to Paris for summer break. She heard music in the street and started dancing on the sidewalk. Her mother caught her dancing, made a video of it and sent it to me.
That small texts exchange means a lot to me. It shows how much love for dance is innate, how much children love to dance and move in a spontaneous way. I really believe this little girl found her element: dance as a wonderful way of expression. She let her body move to the music very naturally and felt so much joy that she could not stop. It is how it works when you are passionate about something. It feels so natural and so good to you that you just do it anywhere, anytime. You don’t think of anything else apart from the pleasure you will get out of it! Children are like that: they dance because it is natural for them. They just love it. It is part of their body and soul. They are born with it.
The problem is that in our education system we don’t allow the children to keep and develop this amazing gift. I recently watched a wonderful TED talk of Ken Robinson about creativity and here is what stroke me the most:
“Picasso once said: All children are born artists the problem is to remain an artist as we grow up. We don’t grow into creativity we grow out of it. We get educated out of it.”
This is exactly what I answered to the mom that sent me these sweet messages. We, adults, have to make sure that our children are given the chances to develop their abilities to their full potential. Dance and Arts in general are as important as any other subject taught at school.
We also have to consider the way it is taught. We should not be the ones to tell the children how to dance or what kind of moves they should use. As a dance teacher I consider myself as a facilitator/a guide, a person who helps the children discovering their own abilities, developing their own potential, this love of dance that was given at birth. The most powerful kind of learning does not come from being told what to do but in learning how to do it for oneself. Creative Dance relates to this type of learning. Children, like this little student of mine, love to dance. My ultimate role is to “keep them on track” and build upon this natural skill. Children are natural dancers and they really should stay that way.