Thursday, September 17, 2009

Breaking down barriers

In the Ottawa Citizen today, Elizabeth Payne wrote about a dance program being introduced in elementary schools in Ottawa. Her piece is unfortunately short on specifics but in general, I like the idea.

A quote from Hannah Beach, a dancer who created this program, is very telling:"I really think that we offer children such narrow ways to express themselves. Not all children have the capacity to use language in a way that helps them express themselves. Dance gives them those skills."

I agree. People are often limited by beliefs and barriers that have at least been partially imposed by outside forces. Beliefs like "I can't sing", "I'm no good at math", "I'm a lousy dancer" are usually started by other people. Over time, the beliefs become self-fulfilling prophecies as people avoid the practice, trial and error that they would need to beat those limiting beliefs.

If this dance program can teach people to be creative and try things even when they don't feel confident, then I am all for it.

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