In our classes this month we are talking about what it means to Belong. We encourage inclusivity and having a place to feel safe, nurtured and part of a community that supports all, but we also know that we need to continue to talk, model and teach it in our classes as it may not be everyone's experience. And so, we will find ways to talk about, share and embrace everyone. You will notice a Belonging Tree in the Reception room that the students can come and add their name to.
We have been very proud that Pegasus DS has often been described as a ‘second home’ and our hearts are filled when the Alumni come back and let us know that even after many years, they still feel a sense of home. Our studio (and stage) was excited to invite Alumni to dance with us at our 35th Anniversary Showcase and we also had Alumni, Matthew Crockard-Villa and his partner (Prima Ballerina- Elisa Badenes) , both members of the Stuttgart Ballet, dance for our Intensive Summer Students this past summer.
My heart was full when Matthew told our dancers ‘I’m a dancer because Jane believed in me. My dance career started right here in this room, standing at that barre’. A place that started his career and still feels a sense of belonging. We were all in awe of the beautiful Pas de Deux they performed for us, after using our studio to rehearse (during their holiday) so they were ready to perform in a full length ballet.
The Cambridge Dictionary describes belonging as;
A feeling of being happy or comfortable as part of a particular group and having a good relationship with the other members of the group because they welcome you and accept you: A sense of belonging is one of humanity's most basic needs and refers to a human emotional need to affiliate with and be accepted by members of a group.
A sense of belonging is influenced by factors such as environment, emotional attachment, interaction, participation, sense of safety, nature of social contacts (Young, Russell, & Powers, 2004), among others.
Along with our three core values that I wrote about in September Monthly Minute (Trust, Respect and Kindness), we aim to create a place where differences are celebrated and your child finds joy and belonging.
Imagine a place where your child can find and make friends, a teacher becomes a mentor and they can become leaders. Over the past 35 years and counting our classes have provided a place to belong, build positive connections and community. Our classes provide opportunities for our children to be their best selves and lessons for them to discover who they are becoming.
This is the place to be… you belong here!
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