The Hamilton Family Center provides newly homeless families with emergency shelter and support services. Performing Arts Workshop has been providing arts classes there for four years. Currently, Mica Miro teaches creative movement to students, ages 4 – 12, after school. Mica’s class is part of our Artists-in-Communities program. Learn more about our AIC program here.
As a Performing Arts Workshop teaching artist at the Hamilton Family Center, I see diverse groups of students each week. It’s clear that some of my students are going through real hardship. In a world where spaces are constantly changing and nothing feels like home, the unfamiliarity can cause anxiety. I try to ease their discomfort by letting them connect with the dance space. This helps them ease into their bodies and let go of any frustration.
Leo is 7. A few months ago, he and his family moved from Marin to San Francisco. He has been using my class as a place to adjust.
Leo’s mom is happy about her son’s progress: “Ever since we moved Leo has been quiet. But he loves being around the other kids. He really enjoys the activities in Mica’s class. The dance and movement is good for him.”
Leo is also stepping up as a leader among his peers. The other day, the site director told me about an incident involving Leo: “During a painting activity, a student was having a hard time and stopped participating. Leo turned to him and repeated one of the rules from your dance class: ‘Do what the group is doing.’” In my dance class, I tell students to do this when they forget a sequence or get confused by the choreography. As a teacher, it gives me so much joy to see Leo apply my dance lessons to other parts of his life.