It was the annual day in our apartments. I was assigned the task of teaching kids aged between 4 and 5 a dance. It had to be a theme – so the organizers said. Well… choosing a theme itself was not an envious task. Finally I settled on the song “My name is Madhavi” from the Karadi Rhymes album by Usha Uthup. When I took this song to a few other people, there were very many opinions and our choice started vacillating in all directions from Lion King’s Hakuna Matata to Wall-E title song.
Finally, it was decided we were going to do “my name is madhavi”. This national integration song has multiple stanzas , each from a state. The plan was to make each kid dress up in different states and dance for that stanza. We had made a set of steps common to for all kids and some special steps for each state.
There were 11 kids in all to be trained and what fun it proved to be !!!!
The first day, getting all kids to stand in a line was in itself a challenge :-). I admire how school teachers handle them with such ease ! One kid came up and said “Aunty… I want to be first in the line” :-). Yet another refused to budge from the seat where she was sitting and plainly refused to dance. A third kid was not in station and would arrive in town only 4 days before the programme !
Finally, we got all kids to stand in a line and did a kind of counting exercise to teach them the movements. All of a sudden one of the kids announced “Aunty, I know all these steps. So I wont dance” and promptly went off to sit in a chair. The first day of practice was a little eventful.
We had a little over a week to train the kids. Each day, the varied moods of the kids – some half-asleep, some fighting with the kids standing next to them, some insisting on dancing with dupattas everyday, some terribly upset because the kid beside her came before her for the practice … well, the list goes on with such eventful practices until the day of the dress rehearsal. One thing that remained constant was the little artiste who refused to budge from her seat to dance…
We were pretty insistent about a dress rehearsal before the actual programme. I was a little apprehensive of how the kids would dance in sarees and fancy dupattas over their heads. And the kids would just prove how wrong I was ! The day of the rehearsals , all the kids came dressed in their costumes. When I was wondering if they would trip and fall over each other, there they were jumping over sofas, playing hide-n-seek and football ! OMG ! But the highlight of the dress rehearsal was the little artiste who decided to do a turnaround. She insisted she wanted to dance and stood in line with all kids trying to do their steps. What more could we ask for ? She was immly made into a girl from Ajmer and there she stood between all the kids 🙂 !! Dance has the power we thought !
The day of the programme, there was palpable excitement among the kids and of course us… And what a show it turned out to be !!! All the little ones just over 4 or 5 years of age, dancing with perfect eye-contact with the audience with all smiles on their faces ! That was a professional show from the kids.
Well, I slept that night a really happy and satisfied teacher !