Lately, our 10-year old son Theo has been coming home from school with a spring in his step. For the last couple of weeks, he and the other 5th-graders in his school have been learning ballroom dancing with Dancing Classrooms, a program that was originally started in New York with the aim of fostering life skills and confidence in children through dancing (https://www.dancingclassroomsla.org). At first Theo wasn’t very enthusiastic about learning dancing and gave us hilarious (even to him!) reports of all the boys’ faces when the instructors told them they’d have to dance with their hands touching girls! Fortunately, most of them have overcome their initial disgust and seem to be having fun now. Theo has even started teaching me some of the dances. The other day, he explained the Rumba to me and we danced around the dining room for a bit – our version, the Dining Rumba?
The mother of one of his classmates, Staci, is helping with the dance lessons as a volunteer and has sent the other parents updates on how they are doing and when we’ll all be able to see them. Staci is also graciously volunteering to be a class parent for Theo’s class this year, so in that way too she is being a lifeline for me and other parents who aren’t able to put as much time in at the school. Not that she’s sitting around twiddling her thumbs all day – she has three kids! I don’t know Staci as well as I’d like too, but our kids have been in the same class for over five years now and she has always been a smiling face in the morning as we drag our little ones in to school. She was also a warm and supportive friend on January 1st of this year when I had decided to begin this Giveaway project. I sat with her and another mother at a New Year’s brunch explaining the concept to them, and they both encouraged me wholeheartedly to just do it! Thanks to their positive reaction, I felt strong enough to start. So, today, I dropped off a gift for Staci – a CD of Brazilian music by a local group Katia Moraes and Sambaguru (http://www.katiamoraes.com), who we have seen live a couple of times and really enjoy. Since Staci clearly enjoys dancing, maybe she’ll be tempted to put the CD on and get moving to their awesome rhythm, with or without the kids!