Dancing is good for me; it's exercise that I like, poise that I don't have otherwise and great training at listening to a partner. A man named Pierre Dulaine took what he loved about dance to schools in New York City, teaching kids about art, pride, confidence and respect. The program is called Dancing Classrooms and, as of 2006, has thirty-three teachers in sixty-seven schools in NYC as well as one school in New Jersey, teaching at least 7500 children twice a week. It is now spreading across the USA and Canada.
Pierre was born in Palestine, to an Irish father stationed there and a part French part Palestinian mother. They left because of increasing political unrest and settled in Jordan, only to move to England when Pierre was thirteen. A year later, he began his dancing career. I find it fascinating that he spoke French at school, Arabic on the street and English at home.
A four time Blackpool winner, he has had a successful career in dance. Even at a young age he won many awards and performed before prestigious audiences. He has been a faculty member of both the School of American Ballet and the Juilliard School.
The Dulaine method is compared to the Montessori Method and the Suzuki Method, described as "a clear and compelling philosophy with a rigorous and systematic training model." They say they teach from the inside out, not outside in. There are six components taught in every action:
1. Respect & Compassion
2. Being Present
3. Creating a Safe Place
4. Command & Control
5. Language: Body & Verbal
6. Humor & Joy
Pierre Dulaine's story has been made into a movie, Take the Lead with Antonio Banderas. Real life story telling!! Almost. Pierre says the only resemblance to his character is the same name. Ooops. And the children taught are more 10-11 year olds than high school dropouts. Ooops.
How often do we get inspiration from life for our writing and kind of get carried away with it until there's not much truth left? Is that a good thing, because we are actually creating and making fiction? Yet if we are supposed to be telling a true story, how do we get back to the reality?