Diversity through dance: Leadership skills through the arts

Dance is diverse in many ways and fosters the development of leadership abilities.

4-H youth participating in the Spanish Mixer dance at the Kettunen Center 2012 4-H Visual Arts & Crafts WorkshopDance is diverse culturally, traditionally, in people, in steps, rhythm, and style, in music, instruments and more. This visual art is valuable and unique and creates invaluable leadership skills. For example, a dance troupe that wants to perform well will need to work well together as a team.  The same is true of a couple competing in a dance competition: the male partner has to work to be a good lead to follow.

Dance is also great for exercise, stress relief, memorization, endurance and as a communication tool. A great example of the power of teamwork, dedication, determination, communication and leadership through dance one needs to view theThousand Hand Guan Yin Performance conducted at the Olympics held in Beijing China. This beautiful performance was by the China Disabled People’s Performing Art Troupe delivering the message of love to mankind. Diversity in dance is cultural, physical, emotional and enriching.

A great resource to add to a collection that explores some different cultures and celebrates similarities and differences is the “World Playground Multicultural Activity Kit.” The kit takes youth around the world and celebrates other countries cultures and music with information, activities and extension ideas. Take a look in your own community, your own world and recognize how each person is unique and valuable. Youth can develop global leadership skills participating in annual educational opportunities offered like the 4-H Visual Arts and Crafts Workshop, 4-H Exploration Days or Arts, Communication, Textiles, Food Clothing. Discover or research dance in Folkpatters that can be found on the Michigan 4-H Global and Cultural Education webpage. Look into the diversity of dance and how it relates to leadership.

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