Last week marked the beginning of interactive and fun filled classes by Sunshine projects. The participants rocked and jammed with ZamDance Guru Jackie Zamora. In the end, they became energized by the intense movement with the music that drew their attention to their feet. The room vibrated with a classic Zamdance music collection as the participants danced with perfection! Later in the week the participants immersed themselves in a creative poetry reading and gathered together to form drama scenes from the TV show Glee led by the amazing Layla Weiss. It was refreshing to see such vibrance in their faces and truly inspiring to witness how focused they can be when doing an activity they really enjoy. It was such a great week.
I felt truly grateful that this project is slowly coming together. I enjoy seeing these children who are now young adults. The return of Ariana to the group was such a delight. It has been a while since we traveled together to the Special Olympics 50th anniversary event in Chicago. I missed her. When she came to class last Thursday with her face so bright and a smile that melted my heart and she kept smiling, I felt it was such a treat to see her again. I am so happy she is back.
A young man named Matthew came. He is adorable and so pleasant. He enjoyed the dance, he even knew the Zamdance songs and he softly mimicked some lyrics. In the end he came to me and thanked me, “Thank you, mama (aka elma),” he said. I am always grateful for this young man. He is so well mannered and he enjoys dancing. I can’t wait to see him again in the next class.
Then came the four gals- Susannah, Yonina, Ayaan, and Kimberly. As dancers, there is no comparison with their talent when it comes to the Zamdance routine. They seem to know every song, every dance step simultaneously until finish. They broke out a huge sweat with the intensity of the movement. Then later in the week they came back for more fun! They surprised me with their knowledge of the scenes from Glee! The four of them picked their favorite lines and songs and sang their heart out. I was so impressed! They also amazed me on how they all got along and gave each other a time to shine! Well done young ladies!
The energy and enthusiasm these young adults with IDD bring fuel my interest to keep moving forward and finding more adventurous activities for them. There is a community that needs us, together we can create a world where talented young adults with IDD can express their true selves. I look forward to many more fun classes, meaningful community outreach, fun social gatherings and more participants to meet. Each one has a talent to share and together we can help these young adults come out of themselves and shine!
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