Teaching Our Girls (Boys Too) to Dance With Democracy

5 06 2009

In early December it was announced that for the first time, boys and girls would be allowed to dance together at the school party on New Year’s Eve, and a classmate whose parents had been diplomats stationed in Europe organized dance practice after school. . .

A time to dance, in freedom. It’s serial power of story, this learn-to-dance theme, crafted over time in far-flung yet close-to-home pieces like Dickens telling his own life story in fiction, or Sherlock Holmes brought to life in the old Strand Magazine.

Or maybe it’s the homey yet naturally diverse “progressive dinner” such as Snook and MisEducation once enjoyed with the culturally well-endowed Teresa Heinz Kerry, on behalf of the world’s women and children?

. . .like those social meals my parents enjoyed in quiet college towns, friends and fellows trouping from home to home as the evening progresses to partake of distinctively different but equally delightful courses, all variations on a universal theme. Each host in turn becomes everyone else’s guest, and a fine time is had by all.

So another way kids learn about the world is playing with spices, learning how salsa is both food and dance? And not just food but drink, like a twist on the classic Coke commercial, hum along with me if you remember how it goes: I’d like to teach the world to dance . . .

Start here: TEACHING OUR GIRLS TO DANCE:

Talk about the dance of planned parenthood — I’ve known two families through their adoption of baby daughters from China.

. . .Such planned parents by choice generally impress me with their healthy, open attitudes and beliefs, a wish to balance, embrace, discover, celebrate, blend and include rather than to define, delimit, or (that disingenuous codeword) to “clarify” racial differences and identity.

The busy mom of five determinedly made time late at night to read Mao’s Last Dancer, a culturally shocking and saturated memoir she later loaned to me and shared with other dancer moms. . .

I noticed that even the names these families chose were blended, able to honor more than one tradition at the same time rather than set them against one another in “forced choice” competition — the first names Amber and Lydia sound solidly American-English, but their middle names are not only Chinese but carefully refer to each girl’s particular regional heritage within that country.

Those are positives that make me feel like dancing.

Then maybe swing by Six Degrees of Good, Good Vibrations:

Resonance comes from the Latin word resonare, to resound. [like orchestrating great dance music for a ballet or ceilidh!]
Effective leaders are attuned to other people’s feelings and move them in a positive emotional direction. . .

Typically, the most effective leaders can act according to and skillfully switch between the various styles depending on the situation.

From the President’s transformational speech at Cairo University to the 20th anniversary of Tiannamen Square to our family here in Florida, where the kids danced all weekend in styles from around the world and where during rehearsal I met another dad with a dancing daughter adopted from China, this week’s power of story is an internationally inclusive progressive dinner, a timeless serial story told with creative, meaningful nuance, cultural sensitivity and — dance!

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6 responses

6 06 2009
Mrs. C

The little (!) I know about the Chinese-American community tells me that these children may have a hard time with their cultural heritage/American heritage. One American I know (who is from China) told me that the girls will “always have a Chinese face,” but will not be able to speak her Chinese language. The blending necessitates that the minority (here Chinese) culture will be subsumed at some level, even with concerted efforts to keep pride in one’s cultural heritage. Maybe that is a common factor in adoption all over, but it’s an interesting sort of a sidenote as these are mostly girls. The feminist in me has mixed feelings about it, but I’m glad at least today that people are not *forced* to give up their culture as they have been in the past. :]

6 06 2009
JJ

How did the feminist in you feel about the President’s words for women in (religion-justified) oppressive cultures?

15 06 2009
Mrs. C

I hadn’t heard his specific words to women in “oppressive” cultures. I hear so much about child brides and clitorodectomies (if I spelled that correctly..?), etc. yet I also hear that it is a cultural thing and not something that is Islamic per se. I can understand that to a degree, having seen some racist Christians or whatever. I’m thinking “racist Christian” should be an oxymoron, but then again, if all of us are sinners…

Well…

OH! And a newer post on here. I’m thinking about it. Not sure what I’m thinking yet… the smell of poo is in the air here… thankfully the doctor’s office called back and said I do NOT have to sort through it… *shudder*

20 07 2009
Is “UnCultured” Desirable or Even Possible, for Our Girls? « Cocking A Snook!

[…] Culture’s got everything! It’ so complex that there’s ample opportunity to choose our own emphasis. So ask yourself as I do, since I have the choice and can go either way — will I spend my life-force fearing or cheering youth culture, parenting culture, high-tech culture, global culture, creative culture, the culture of dance? From the President’s transformational speech at Cairo University to the 20th anniversary of Tiannamen Square to our family here in Florida, where the kids danced all weekend in styles from around the world and where during rehearsal I met another dad with a dancing daughter adopted from China, this week’s power of story is an internationally inclusive progressive dinner, a timeless serial s… […]

13 09 2011
“Partisan Polarization” Just Another Pathology of Hypercompetition? « Cocking A Snook!

[…] also Teaching Our Girls (Boys Too) to Dance With Democracy: Effective leaders are attuned to other people’s feelings and move them in a positive emotional […]

1 09 2012
Teaching Our Girls to Dance « Cocking A Snook!

[…] in June 2009 I followed up on Snook with:  Teaching Our Girls (Boys Too) to Dance With Democracy Share this:DiggRedditLike this:LikeBe the first to like […]

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