I've blogged a lot about my experience with BACK TO THE 80s at North High because I've been so inspired by how hungry these kids are to dance. I've been especially inspired by my group of b-boys who joined the cast. They're always positive, and although they're baffled at many times by the things I ask them to do and try, they always work until they get them. With two weeks left until showtime, they will never be "perfect", but they have grown as artists in so many ways. It's been such an honor to bring several other styles of dance to them, and to watch them test and try them out. They're hungry to learn about dance, to have opportunities to dance, and I have the means to help them on their journey. What an honor! This is what I have learned time and time again at North High, and why I love to work there so much.
Most students at North do not have the financial means to pursue the arts as a "hobby" outside of school, but many of them have always wanted to have the opportunities that my parents struggled to make available to me. I'm able to give as much of the knowledge my parents made it possible for me to have back to this group of kids who WANT to learn. I get so excited to see them be little sponges, and so sad to realize that without financial assistance, their road into the arts may end here. Money should not be allowed to define who is a good dancer or singer or actor or musician. But it DOES. Significant scholarship opportunities are few and far between, so most of these kids will soak up what little I can offer them, and then that will be it for their artistic dreams. And NOW they're talking about cutting back or eliminating arts programs in public schools because we're having a "budget crisis". WHAT?! My high school arts programs shaped a lot of who I have become, and who I continue to become. They're not IMPORTANT?! Bah humbug to you too, Mr. Scrooge!
So I feel a very pressing need to find some way to scholarship talented kids in need into some of the programs I work with. Any ideas would be welcomed. Thanks!
Quickly, back to what I originally intended to be the focus of this blog: Tonight, leaving my very long and difficult rehearsal, on the way to my other rehearsal, two of my 'b-boys' called out to me:
-"Ms. Erin! You're our idol! Really."
:) I'm not sure if I deserve that distinction, but I am thrilled to know that I have made some positive impact with my cheesy choreography and slightly nutty personality. Truly, they are my heroes.