Dancing with the fearless ones

Children Creative Dance

There was something that sparked my interest in the fearless ones; those marvellous beings whose auras of spontaneity and imagination have not yet been dimmed and whose passions for life are just beginning to be explored and developed.

The spark of an idea ignited a flickering creative and intellectual flame. I dared to wander into the lands of the fearless ones, into the heart of the castles of learning wherein they dwelt by day, with a quest laid before me. I resolved to seek answers to my questions…

Children Creative Dance

Would the fearless ones be brave enough to join in the dance?

Could their lightning-fast energy, capable of flying in multiple directions, be channelled into a path of exploration and discovery? Would they be open enough to respond in the moment, without any self-judgmental voices or pre-conceived notions blocking them before they had begun?

Children Creative Dance

Would their innate, creative instincts overflow to bring forth movement and magic from their bodies and their minds? Would they commit themselves, with daring, tenacity and boldness, to the challenges of moving on impulse, without forethought, without instruction, engaging in the flow of pure improvisation?

Children Creative Dance

Could they embody fully an image or concept, without hesitating to wonder why or how an image can be placed within the body as well as within the mind? Could they possibly translate complex ideas into developed, thoughtful and intricate shapes, gestures and movements?

Children Creative Dance

Would their eagerness and thirst for knowledge sustain them as they communicated their ideas and intentions with one another to deepen their journey into the dance? Could they work with one another, accepting the challenge of problem-solving, listening and adapting to each other’s ideas?

Children Creative Dance

Would they flourish in such an environment; would their innate capacity for expression emerge from their bodies, would the act of moving support their learning, would those who lacked confidence in themselves be able to develop self-worth, and would those who struggled in the castle of learning find something in which they could excel and amaze others by doing so?

Children Creative Dance

I wandered in the lands of the fearless ones for 6 years or more, I danced with 500-750 fearless ones every week, in close to 100 castles of learning. I even danced with their learned teachers, those most trusted of guides, who work tirelessly to nourish the fearless ones as they make their way through the early challenges of life.

Children Creative Dance

I returned home each day from these lands totally exhausted… The  fearless ones demand huge amounts of mental, physical and emotional energy. Often I fell asleep on any soft surface I could find as soon as I arrived home, nodding off as sunbeams danced on my face, barely able to rouse myself to complete my day, and falling into bed again before the moon had risen.

Children Creative Dance

But, I learnt much from the fearless ones and found answers to my questions. In all those long years, the resounding answer was YES. Maybe not always, not every fearless one in every castle of learning, but mostly, incredibly, overwhelmingly, YES.

That is why they are the fearless ones… Because they answer YES! It did not matter of they were a boy or a girl, it did matter their background, that was generally inconsequential. The fearless ones are the fearless ones because…

Children Creative Dance

Because they are open, spontaneous, imaginative, creative, courageous, eager, expressive, connected to their physicality, reflective, communicative, learners, problem solvers and accepters of new challenges.

Having danced with thousands of fearless ones, I find myself reflecting; I wonder if they will stay that way… When one day, they journey out of their lands and into the lands of the adult ones, will they keep their amazing powers, or will these get lost along the way?

Children Creative Dance

Which leads me to ask…

Would I, as one who has already crossed that boundary, wish for them to remain connected to their innate capacity for creativity, spontaneity and courage? Can I continue my forays into their lands to lay the dance before them and offer them the chance to take up the challenge? Do I do this with the hope that the more creative opportunities the fearless ones are offered, and the more encouragement they are given to explore their own creativity, the more likely it is that they will stay connected to this part of themselves once they cross the threshold into adulthood?

My answer is YES!

Children Creative Dance

Note: Pictures above originate from photos taken for  ‘Learning in Motion’, a creative dance resource for schools, produced by Amanda Banks, South Downs School Sport Partnership and East Sussex County Council, England, with additional photos taken during a Creative Partnerships Project, England. All photos have been manipulated and translated into pictures to honour photo consents… And to create beautiful artwork!

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6 thoughts on “Dancing with the fearless ones

  1. Yes! The journey they made will always be part of them. Something they can access when they need to remember that spontaneity later in life…

  2. This is so inspiring, Amanda! How wonderful to think of all those joyous creative sparks fired up and finding new expression. It’s such a fantastic legacy of your work, that so many children were given this chance to leap so freely into creative discovery. Once that discovery is made, it will always be like a beacon, guiding them back to finding that experience again… Keep saying yes! Keep igniting those creative sparks! x

    • Hi Melanie, thank you so much, I love your imagery of leaping into creative discovery and the shining beacon… I will be thinking up a name for my dance work with children at some point and might steal some of your words! x

  3. You’ve such a great way with words, Amanda. And with such enthusiasm and passion clear to see, I can’t help thinking that these fearless ones will stay connected 🙂

  4. Thanks Darren, that is so very encouraging… I wanted to use imagery and a sense of ‘story’ to heighten my descriptions of children engaging in dance as I believe that their creative capabilities deserve it. It is easy to label children dancing as ‘cute’, when really they are engaging in a challenging, demanding, focused, mature, highly creative endeavour. They amaze me!

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