In general, partnering is "an effort by both the male and female dancers to achieve a harmony of movement so that the audience is unaware of the mechanics, and simply enjoy the emotional effects. Also known as pas de deux, or dance for two."
For a male dancer, partnering includes lifting, catching, and carrying a partner, also assisting with jumps, promenades and supported pirouettes (turns).
DXDA company members Tavon, and our newest addition Jazmin, did just that today-- and it was truly epic in nature! As a teacher, director and choreographer, I am always proud of my dancers but today I was beyond proud. The things that many aka "typical" dancers take for granted, are treasured milestones we accomplish with every bit of DXDA dancers being.
Why is this a big deal you may ask?
I wanted to touch base with all my parents; progress is sometimes hard to see when we, as parents, see what our kiddos are up against. Over the past month and a half I have seen such huge steps that have filled my heart with such joy. I know that some families feel that their kiddo is not moving along as fast as we parents tend to desire, but just like with most new things-- it takes time. Dance promotes cognitive, emotional, social and physical health in individuals and benefits to our children in so many ways outside of dance. These five things do not happen or change over one, ten, or even twenty 45min classes-- they happen as baby steps, unique to the moves and shakes of each individual.
As a personal note; my son Uziah who has 17 DX has always been the one who stands in the background, does not interact with strangers and is not the dancing type. The first few classes my youngest, Gideon, jumped right in and was ready to move, shake, and get his dance on, as Uziah sat and watched. I felt so sad that he didn't want to join in with the group, and that he didn't enjoy it like I wanted him to. But I knew, just like most things with Uziah, he is an individual and does things at his rate. His first words at 5 years old were music to my ears after being told he would never speak, but if I would have said to myself, "well, he is never going to talk" then where would we be today? And potty training was a mess to say the least, I knew that if I just kept trying new approaches, then he would get it, and almost a year ago today he is potty trained. Why I bring this up is because we are a breed of parents that seek to give our children what any parent wants, and that is to fit in and be proud of who they are. I know that each and every one of us is proud of our children. We are lucky to have the understanding to see the accomplishments, wonderful milestones and beautiful gifts of our children as they open in front of us when we least expect it.
Just to explain further the benefits of dance, below are a few things that dance provides to our children:
Today I was meeting with a great organization, and started to think how far we have come as a society in the views of disabilities. Don't get me wrong, we always have work to be done, but it starts with each one of us. No matter if you are a person with special abilities, a family member, social aid, teachers, life coach etc.-- not accepting a limitation but rather looking for a solution.
I think the best example would be if you were starving and only had a can of food with visual means to open it, would you just sit there and go hungry? I have to say that most people would fight, come up with creative solutions and not give up. This is how we need to view everyday, always looking for the way to improve, to not limit but to provide others with the tools to advocate for themselves, to get the job they want, to show the world that we may get to the goal in a different way, but we still reach our goals.
To give you a run down of just how things have changed take a look from the 15th century to 1990's what can we do the change the next century?