A brief Q&A with Easter Seals Program Coordinator Betsy Keane on why dance is important within community programming.
Why do you feel dance is important to the community?
BK: I think that dance provides an excellent outlet of expression for children of all ability levels. Some children have difficulty expressing their feelings, emotions, or ideas and dance is a great way to do this. For children with disabilities, dance is so important because it is so adaptable and any person can participate in it in their own way. Dance is amazing because there is no wrong way to dance; it’s all about how you want to move. It also provides a fun recreational outlet for our campers and their families. To attend and watch dance performances is a great family bonding activity!
What positive results have you seen from having Vitacca Community Outreach Performances as a part of your camp program?
BK: I LOVE watching the children feel inspired to dance themselves after watching a performance. It is great to see just how much they enjoy watching dancers perform. Many of the children that attend our camp would struggle with difficult dance technique, they often times do not get exposed to it at all; I think that watching dance can be just as much of a hobby as dancing yourself. Just watching performances can evoke strong emotions in a person or relate to someone on a personal level.
Do you feel dance needs to be incorporated into more community programming? If so, how?
BK: YES! I wish there were more outlets for the children who attend our camp to get involved in dance in their own community. Often, because they cannot perform perfect technique people are hesitant to let them participate in a class. I think that everyone would benefit from having different ability levels present in a dance class. Having these opportunities would help our campers learn to be a part of the community and give them confidence in the abilities that they do have.
What is your most memorable moment from a Camp Buckaroo Dance Day?
BK: I love when the Vitacca P&C Volunteer dancers come up to the children at the end of the show and encourage them to dance with them. In particular, there was a camper who will never be able to physically dance on her own, but when a dancer came up and grabbed her hand as she sat in her wheelchair, the little girls face just lit up. It made her feel so special that someone who was such a beautiful dancer would want to dance with her.
Vitacca Productions & Company wishes to extend special thanks to all of the Vitacca Community Project volunteer dancers, studios and companies including: Allegro West Academy, Jana Brown’s Center Stage, Kingwood Jazz & Company, North Harris Performing Arts and Revolve Dance Co.