Bellydance at Root Foundation
Dance Classes at Root Foundations
In September 2018 I am planning to move to Rwanda for a minimum of 1 year. I will be doing a number of projects here, including teaching weekly bellydance classes at an organisation called Root Foundation .
Root Foundation works with street children and adolescents to help them create a brighter future for themselves. One of their programs is aimed for personal development for the children through after school activities. Through my dance classes, I will be supporting the aims of Root Foundation after school program to help the girls and young women that I will be working with in gaining more confidence, finding new motoric skills through dance techniques, learn about music theory through finger cymbal playing,...
I am trying to raise £2200 to support this project. This money will go to paying for my time teaching the children as well as transport costs. It will also cover additional fees such as purchasing some finger cymbals for the children as well as purchasing bellydance scarves for the children to use.
I have taught a few classes now at Root Foundation and it's been incredible to see the joy the children experience while learning this new dance. I feel extremely passionate about this project and hope you can see the potential benefits these classes can provide the children.
Right now, we are preparing for the Christmas talent show. I’ve decided to make 2 groups, the really little ones (5-9) and the older ones (10-17). I also created a core group in the older group, on Tuesdays we do more complex choreographies with them. They also assist me, helping me deal with the large number of kids, giving them small responsibilities. It is beautiful to watch them get passionate about giving the good example to the others.
Teaching kids with my language barrier has been really challenging. Luckily I have a really supportive team. 10 more days until the talent show.
What I find beautiful and rewarding is how I can use these lessons to help me also give the kids some values in life. In my classes, inclusivity is very important. Nobody is left behind, it’s not about who is the best, it’s about all working together to make the group look best it can be. So everyone helps each other grow together, while the core group has the opportunity to work with ong their potential.
Regis is learning Egyptian rhythms and is super passionate about it, he’s been an amazing support. Next week I have a small job for him where we will be travelling to the east province and he will accompany me teaching a group of women while he drums for me. I want to show him that he has a future in doing this professionally so I think next week will be super inspiring for him!!
I’m growing closer to a lot of the girls, learning about their background stories. It’s heartwarming to know they feel they can trust me more and more to share their stories. It becomes harder and harder to leave after class as I get hugged so tight by my students so it takes me 30 minutes before I can leave the centre. I feel like I’m getting so much love in return for what I am doing here, it’s an amazing feeling ☺️
Attached is the video of the little ones preparing for the Christmas show while Regis is accompanying them.
Each week together we create sound and movement simultaneously. I’ve never worked like this before as I’ve never had a live drummer to work with consistently. I’m hoping that this will help him also to improve his skills so once he turns 18 he can start playing live for my bellydance classes and start earning a living from this!
I have two assistants today, I’m teaching the older girls the combinations so they can help the little ones remember and Yvette, my dance partner, joined in as well. I’m teaching bellydance to rural women on Saturday in East province so I can’t be there for the talent show. It will be the first time they get to perform without me...
If you love the work I’m doing, please share or talk about anyone that might be able to support my GoFundMe project!
It has been a few weeks since my last update... today we had another Bellydance session at Root Foundation and I’m really starting to notice the improvement in the girls’ skills and they are also growing in confidence. Every week we make a circle where the girls can show off their skills and they have been more confident to join in and shine their light, it’s beautiful to see!
I just had to take this picture today. Even though I love my experience here, sometimes it is really challenging to deal with being in a place so different than what I’m used to. The last few days in particular has been challenging, yet every Monday, these girls manage to light up my soul and it reminds me again why I’m here!
I started working with 2 drummers who are helping me create beats for the choreographies and I’m trying to find inspirations from the traditional dance classes on Tuesdays to understand the traditional structures and how drumming and dance are working together.
It’s challenging at times as there’s definitely acommunication barrier. Most of the kids don’t speak English and my Kinyarwandan is terrible! I have a translator but it makes the process a little slower and more complicated. Yet I can see the progress which is super encouraging and the kids are having a lot of fun.
On Saturday the kids will perform at the roothouse talent show...
Thanks for all your support to make this project a reality!!