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Jul 14, 2005

Teachers use dance to teach life skills

Story PictureYou’d think Belizean teachers would run and hide during the summer holidays, but this week dedicated educators from all over the country participated in a creative dance workshop designed to help students gain more confidence to take on life’s challenges. Visiting facilitator Hilary Murray is a clinical social worker specializing in psychotherapy. Using her formal training in ballet and modern dance, she has developed a programme of child-friendly information and techniques. This afternoon Murray told News Five that her informal syllabus has had tremendous success… And in a role reversal, the teachers took centre stage at the Bliss to show off the newly acquired skills they will be passing on to their students.

Hilary Murray,
?It?s not really a technique class, but it?s more helping people to I guess get connected or become more aware of their own inner-self creativity and expression.?

?Ages ten to twelve kids are usually very awkward and feel very self-conscious or shy and this type of thing is excellent for them because it helps to sort of connect to themselves and as the teacher would be helping to sort of bring out their own special gifts and qualities. So even the shiest child at times during a class would be in a leadership position in terms of trying to help build their self-esteem and that?s the whole focus for me, to build self-esteem in children or individuals.?

Eleanor Sanchez, Dance Teacher, August Pine Ridge
?This is a new experience for me and really I enjoyed myself because I have never been in such a programme like this before.?

Janelle Chanona
?How did it feel to be moving out there??

Eleanor Sanchez
?This is you know, you take out all your stress from you and you really feel comfortable doing this type of dance we were doing today.?

Diane Garcia, Dance Teacher, Belize Elementary School
?I know some people think that they only send their child to learn books, books, books. And sometimes a child might not necessarily be an all-around person, but it really helps them to gain confidence in education on a whole. It helps them to bring out whether it may be in math or language; it helps them to be more confident in themselves. And it?s not only for girls because a lot of people think dancing is only for girls, it?s for anybody young at heart, loves and enjoys being physical, dancing, music it?s make a person, how would you say, more rounded, a more rounded student.?

The movement summer programme is sponsored by the National Institute of Culture and History through the Institute of Creative Arts.

Viewers please note: This Internet newscast is a verbatim transcript of our evening television newscast. Where speakers use Kriol, we attempt to faithfully reproduce the quotes using a standard spelling system.

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