For children, dancing should not just be a form of entertainment, but also a part of their grooming. Seeing kids dance on classic Bangla songs or Bollywood film songs with vulgar moves at Indian reality shows, make me uncomfortable. When I studied Dance Psychology during my diploma in Teachers’ Training on Dance Education in Chennai, I realised how grave this issue is. With that in mind, I started a project called Dance Your Age, for teachers, choreographers, parents and audience.
Dance Your Age focuses on raising awareness on different aspects of dance for children. The project is working with educating children about expressions, song lyrics and appropriate dance moves for their age.
At times, parents pressurise teachers to choreograph songs for the children, before teaching them the basics of dance. Dance Your Age wants to spread the message that although performance is important, learning should be a dancer’s first priority if they want to be successful as an artiste.
The project will also encourage educational institutions to maintain proper etiquette at their cultural events. Behaviours such audience members whistling during a performance may contribute to bigger problems in the long run, for instance.
I hope that Dance Your Age inspires institutions, teachers, choreographers, parents and audience to take dance education more seriously.