Dance students from De Montfort University Leicester (DMU) are about to embark on the experience of a lifetime by teaching some of the poorest and most vulnerable communities in Gujarat, India, the joys of performing together.
The students are flying out today to visit the slum of Ramapir No Tekro in Ahmedabad, Gujarat’s largest city, and teach communities everything from Western street dance to Salsa.
It is the latest initiative organised by DMU Square Mile India, which draws on the skills and expertise of students and staff to offer support and raise funds for children living in a special lodge alongside the slum.
The six students – Shannon Coote, Rebecca Marsh, Rosella McNally, Kristina Mirzojeva, Paige Tayla Mitchell and Shannon Thurgood – will be travelling with the Leicester-based Moving Together Creative Dance Company which is run by DMU graduates Emily Bolton and Sophie Hocking.
Moving Together works closely with DMU Square Mile and offers internships to Dance students to help them gain vital experience running community-based schemes around Leicester.
Director Sophie said: “This is going to be a phenomenal experience for all of us. I am incredibly excited and can’t wait to get started.
“Through running dance classes we hope to release everyone’s creative side in a way they might not have done before. We want to inspire, raise self-esteem and build confidence while having fun. Hopefully it will give us all an opportunity to express ourselves.
DMU Dance students limbering up at the airport today
“It will be very much a case of us teaching them and them teaching us. I hope this is a natural progression of the close partnership we already enjoy with DMU.”
Moving Together and the students will be taking dance lessons with women who spend their nights collecting rags to earn money as well as children in the hostel. At the end of the week, children will put on a performance for the community.
Rebecca Marsh, a 19-year-old second year Dance student from Warrington, said: “I can’t wait to see what new adventures come out of this visit. I am looking forward to seeing how teaching dance can help us all communicate and bring everyone closer together and see the contrast between the groups we work with in Leicester and the groups we work with in Ahmedabad.
The Dance course is great and this experience links directly with one of the modules I am studying about teaching and leading. It helps me put into practice what I have learned so far while hopefully making a difference in this community.”
DMU Square Mile India Fund has been set up to provide essentials such as books, access to medicine, and equipment for sports games for the children in Ahmedabad. From just £2 a month, you can help transform their lives and provide them with a brighter future.
Posted on Thursday 5th January 2017