Shakira has danced with Moving in the Spirit since she was eight years old. Today, she is a member of our advanced Apprentice Corporation and a leader in our Ambassador company.
“I’ve danced with Moving in the Spirit for over eight years. I stay each year because I like the connection and the collaboration with the other dancers. It’s like a family now. We have to rely on each other and be there for each other. We have to make sure we all know what’s going on and that we’re all staying on track.
In the beginning of the pandemic, it was hard at first to learn on screens. I still showed up because this is my community and I made a commitment. I didn’t want to give up. Dance is one of the main things I do, and I’m glad the pandemic didn’t stop Moving in the Spirit. We still got to talk about our days and what was going on, and we shared ways that we could all stay active and productive.
I learned that you have to be flexible, and that you have to push through hard times to continue to do the things you need to do, even under different circumstances.
We put in a lot of work and effort, and the year turned out well. We accomplished a lot of things, like being able to film together onsite and still present our shows. I felt proud of us for creating choreography on screens and then putting it together to show it to others. I felt powerful.
Our modern dance piece was about resilience. That dance was our own student choreography that we taught to each other, so it really reflected how we felt. Our African dance piece was about joy, about progressing to show that you can still have joy in spite of what’s going on around you.
This coming year, I’m looking forward to making new dances and meeting new people in our new building. I hope that we get to perform in our new theater this year, and that the audience feels connected. I also want them to feel joy and to feel inspired. And I hope to volunteer more at Moving in the Spirit and help teach our younger dancers.”
Moving in the Spirit students consistently score within the Adequate – Thriving ranges in areas of resilience, positive identity, and social/emotional and behavioral competence. Source: Developmental Assets Profile Trend Study, 2011-2021.