BAM! and Dancing...

Posted by Michael Smith, Oxygen for Organization President, Robinet Smith Foundation on 05/30/2014

BAM! and dancing...

Belonging Affirmation Meaning

The 3 most important tools a leader, or anyone else for that matter, can use to 
influence others. My life partner and I recently attended a Life Change final 
competition.

Life Change is a local organization that works with 5th graders in mostly inner 
city schools building their characters, growing self- and other-respect by teaching 
them ball room dancing - salsa, meringue, fox trot et al. That's right, dancing. 
And 5th graders.

Often the girls are budding women a half foot taller than their boy partners whose 
clothes don't ever look like they quite fit and who also seem to find it hard or even 
repulsive to put their hands on a girl's waist. Thank you Jesus for innocence. The 
auditorium was packed, and rowdy.  There were parents, families, friends and 
teachers holding up signs for their schools and their precious kids. Yelling 
encouragement, clapping, whistling. They thought their kids could see them, hear 
them. Maybe they could. It didn't matter. The performers either had grins and 
smiles of unembarrassed  joy on their faces or intense concentration.  They were 
literally on stage and loving it.

Life Change gives kids a sense of Belonging. They are doing something 
together, a shared experience all guided by a volunteer who believes they can learn 
and grow and get something they currently don't have.  What a gift.

Life Change gives kids an opportunity for Affirmation. Sitting in the audience, 
whistling and clapping for kids I have never seen and don't know. Who was 
affirming whom?

Life Change gives kids Meaning. Well duh. Read the two paragraphs above.  
You know it's meaningful to the kids AND their parents, families and friends.  
Just look at their faces.

Life Change is true to their name.  And it's pretty simple tools they use.  
BAM!

Belonging Affirmation Meaning

It will work in your organization, in your family, in your relationships.