It’s Time to Volunteer for DA:NCE. “What you do speaks so loudly that I cannot hear what you say.” Ralph Waldo Emerson
The calls and emails have been consistent. And repeated. We’ve been getting more and more volunteer interest from YOU so we decided to get organized and get ready. And now you know. There’s a volunteer heading at the top of the website categories on danceawareness.com. We’ve worked diligently (with expert Mikhaela Gray-Beerman) to create a volunteer website with a personalized approach. Before I mention any more details, let me remind you about the seasoned reasons that affect the internal call to volunteer.
“The Greek philosopher Aristotle once said that the essence of life is “to serve others and do good,” and it seems an increasing number of us are starting to wake up and see why volunteering is important.” As a Christian, I’ve studied the emphasis on the responsibility to live a life of ‘goodness’ displayed in the Old and New Testaments(Ps 37:3;Gal 5:22). The researched results of volunteering reach far beyond doing nice things for others. Yes, volunteering helps an organization/event but, just as importantly, it helps the volunteer. Humans are wired for goodness. In fact, studies show that personal volunteer engagement lead to increased personal happiness. Can I repeat that? When you volunteer, life gets better. This is what the research says:
- Volunteering Builds Community
- Ends Loneliness
- Increases Socializing
- Builds Bonds, Creates Friends
- Develops Emotional Stability
- Improves Self-Esteem
- Helps Those Most Affected By Mental Illness
- Promotes Longevity
- Reduces Risk of Alzheimer’s
- Leads to Graceful Aging
- Burns That Stubborn Belly Fat
Now let’s consider a little bit of history. “Volunteerism has been a unique part of American culture and democracy, and a hallmark of American civic life, since our nation’s founding. In 1736, Benjamin Franklin founded the first volunteer firehouse. In the 1800s, the rise of the social reform movement around issues like poverty, temperance, women’s rights, and the abolition of slavery mobilized a new generation that had not previously been involved in civic life, including women and young people. This led to the founding of the YMCA, Salvation Army, American Red Cross, and the United Way—institutions formed largely to connect this new volunteer force to social services that improved the lives of others.”(source)
For the record, let’s talk about volunteering for DA:NCE with a personal story. Jaime Logan danced professionally in her early 20’s. I met her at the CESE(Coalition to End Sexual Exploitation) online conference a year ago. She has a lot to offer DA:NCE:
“I have been blessed with the opportunity to re-establish old connections(in the dance arena), and develop new ones, in the writing process of my first volunteer blog article. I have been humbled several times interviewing seasoned dancers and educators from around the US, as they openly share about their experiences, ranging everywhere from hyper-sexualization and objectification, to a narrative of limited agency over one’s own body in the classroom, as well as subtle ways we teach children to devalue their own humanity and worth. My heart feels heavy in regard to the trauma they experienced, yet hopeful by the resilience they exhibit. Speaking to these amazing people has allowed me to see the larger web that encapsulates the world of sexual exploitation and discover more connections between its’ various strands, and how it is impacting our youth. I have come to learn the way dance directors and educators have missed the mark on protecting innocence and, most notably, the simple actions we can take to set things right and end the cycle.
Volunteering for DA:NCE has been eye-opening and empowering. It has challenged me to move beyond what I was and allowed me to create more than I thought possible. These conversations and the data I collected further instilled the passion I have for protecting young minds, educating children about consent, self-worth and value, as well as helping them build a resilience against pornography and porn culture. I have been able to operate within the limited time I have available, yet still contribute a great deal for an organization, whose mission and vision I stand for and deeply value. I am thrilled to be a part of the fight to end hyper-sexualization in dance and its’ devastating effects.”
So, friends, as of mid-July, the volunteer dropdown on the DA:NCE website is live. Make no mistake, we want YOU to volunteer for the DA:NCE Team; there are only 4 steps. By the end of the application, you will get to choose where to work in an area that emphasizes your gifts and talents. Here’s what you do:
- Complete online application form
- Attend a virtual interview
- References and a police check will be conducted for successful candidates
- Training and onboarding begins!
To wrap up my thoughts, you need to know one more thing about volunteering for DA:NCE: what you do at our organization will make an international difference to protect children and the art of dance. Every day I am empowered to continue bringing education and awareness about hypersexualization in children’s dance to an adult culture that does not ‘get’ it. As an individual organization and as part of a coalition fighting to keep kids safe in dance, DA:NCE is impacting cultural change. We’re part of creating ‘goodness’ in the culture. We bring light to the darkness of an uneducated and uninformed adult culture. Perhaps these articles that affect dance students will encourage and stir your heart to join the DA:NCE Team:
Victory with tik-tok Tik-tok has made changes on its online platform to protect children from predators with filters. Now they’re leading the way for other online platforms to make the same changes. Bravo for Tik-tok!
Xtube is shutting down Who says the porn industry can continue to hurt our kids? The porn industry is crumbling……
Take action: The Twitter nobody knows Learn about the harmful trends on twitter that amplify the need for a real ‘no tolerance’ video policy. Especially for kids.
And now the benefits of healthy dance. Lailah Gifty Akita once said: ““Daily dance uplifts the soul to spiritual realms. Movement is not only good for our fitness, it also works like medicine for the body and mind.”
Be part of the goodness:) Join the DA:NCE Team.
Next month: a report on the CESE conference 😊