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Much appreciated dance courses for refugee children

20/06/2022

On 13-15 June, SKH Dance Education held a dance course for children aged 6-12 from Ukraine. Thanks to great cooperation and the students taking great responsibility, it was so successful and appreciated that the same course will be offered again this summer. -"We experienced so much dancing joy and warmth these three days and it was hard to say goodbye when our three days were over," says Ragni Skogsröd, one of the students behind the courses.

Dance brings joy to the body, so that's why we took this initiative

-When Ukraine was invaded, we at SKH Dance Education thought about how we could help the families who were then displaced. Since we have a lot of expertise in dance for children and young people at the department, we wondered if this was an area where there might be help to give. Refugee children often have difficult experiences and separations behind them, and it's nice to be able to fill their time with experiences that take their minds off things. Dance brings joy to the body, so that's why we took this initiative, tells  Head of Department Ylva Hofvander Trulsson

-We formulated the content together - staff and students.

-We think it's great to be able to contribute and teach artistic means of expression to children and young people who can find great comfort and joy in it. Dance is also an art form that involves the whole body, which is unique and healing in the long run.

Students teach the courses

Levi Blad and Ragni Skogsröd, students in the Bachelor's programme in Dance Education, run the courses and have also been responsible for registration and other administration around a course. 

-When asked to plan a dance class for refugee children and families, it was a no-brainer that we said yes. Food and shelter always need to come first, but dance and pedagogy can provide something beyond basic needs, they explain.

Enthusiastic participants

What was it like to run the first class and meet these children?

-The summer course went really well! It was a bit nervous at the beginning whether we would be able to communicate without a common language. But movement and dance is also a language! It's amazing how we got to know each other anyway. During one lesson we spelled our names with our bodies and then danced the names.

-It was great to see how they dared to open up and offer themselves in the dance, says Ragni and continues:

-We were also lucky to work with wonderful children who were all so enthusiastic and did their best in all the exercises and choreographies. We had quite a wide age range in our group (6-12 years) and I am impressed by how well it worked and how well the older ones also took responsibility for the younger ones in the group.

-We experienced so much dancing joy and warmth these three days and it was hard to say goodbye when our three days were over.

Great cooperation

Thanks to everyone involved and especially to our colleague in the finance department, Victoria Vitko Samuelsson. Victoria's mother tongue is Ukrainian and her efforts in translating and helping to reach out to the right groups, have been invaluable.

The next course will be held at SKH Brinellvägen on 27-29 June