Believe in Yourself!
Believe in your Dreams!
Last week Isabel performed in her school Talent Show at International Day. The words above were written by her (with two changes made by her friends: ‘be strong’ was changed to ‘be smart’ and ‘be creative’ was changed to ‘be kind’) and spoken at the start of their performance. When the process finished, she insisted on capturing the experience by creating a video of the memories… here it is: The Ballet Flowers.
About a month ago, she came home filled with excitement to tell me that she and three of her friends were going to perform in the Talent Show. She informed me that their group would be called The Ballet Flowers, and that three of the girls (herself included) would dance ballet, while one of the girls would sing. The girls choreographed the dance to reflect the life of a flower… from seedling to full bloom, and then being picked and eventually wilting back to the earth. The singer was originally planning to write her own song to reflect the story. Have I mentioned that these girls are six and seven?! I credit their amazing grade one teacher for giving them the freedom to let their imaginations soar as they launched into this creative process.
As we moved forward, it appeared that they had to choose a song that was already established. So the singer looked through her repertoire and chose the song: “I wish I had her life”. With the new theme, the dancers adjusted their movements to better reflect the song… and their dance transformed. I had the privilege of watching them create along the way as they all provided input to every aspect of their experience. As the talent show drew near, we began to focus on practice and repetition, rather than adding in changes… but still had fun. There was always good food and we lucked out with amazing weather. So there was lots of time outside.
I will admit that at the outset, i was a little uncertain about this entire process… in particular the auditions and the competitive aspect. I felt that six might be a little young to learn about such elements of reaching for your dreams! But the girls were excited and asked all the important questions: “what’s an audition?”, “what if we aren’t chosen?” The girls also faced some interesting interactions with friends and had the chance to discuss words such as jealousy and mockery; as well as what it means to do what you love and follow your own dreams… however big or small. And the girls followed through with continued enthusiasm.
I was also truly impressed with the supportive environment of the talent show itself… where all participants were encouraged to do their best, and applauded for their courage. I was told by the organizers that (along with two or three other acts this year) this was the first year that grade ones auditioned for the Talent Show… and each group was truly remarkable. The girls did an amazing job at International Day… and what struck me was their fearlessness. Isabel seemed to have no concept of being ‘nervous’. She was so excited to go up on stage and dance… to perform. The girls created every part of this together, and they were so proud of their work. They believed in themselves.
Isabel had the idea of adding some words at the start of the song which each girl would speak… and this too was owned by each girl as they changed the words to reflect their own personalities.