By Jessica Moneà Evans
“Not everyone has the disposition to be a teacher. Such a position requires patience, understanding and infinite compassion.” Someone once shared that comment with me.
I began teaching movement in 2015 after subbing an AfroFunk Dance Fitness class. This modality focuses on inspiring positive thought and transformation through movement affirmations; allowing participants to connect messages to movement. This practice allows me to adapt and modify according to generations, mobility levels and more. I’ve been called the ”movement motivator”. I enjoy evoking joy, peace, freedom and confidence when sharing space.
I recently began training for Invertigo’s Dancing Through Life 5-week program at Magic Circle Adult Day Health Center. This facility provides adult day health programs for seniors and adults with disabilities.
Since my first day of class I felt at home and ready to engage with the community.
Week after week it was an exhilarating experience to witness the development and engagement of the students as sessions progressed. Whether they responded to a particular gesture, sound effect or the music, the participation and focus began to increase as repetition was consistent from class to class.
We start each class off with a seated warm-up getting the blood flowing elongating our limbs, rolling through our necks, shaking out our hands and feet. Then move along to combinations. One of my favorite moments is when one of the students, who’s permanently blind jumped up when he heard Whitney Houston’s “ I Want to Dance With Somebody”! This song sparked something within him that made tapping his foot and snapping his fingers uncontrollable and filled with bliss. Moments like that are what motivates me to continue teaching, connecting to people, sharing memories and lessons.