Dancing with Mr. Bell

December 15, 2011

The Foundations of Leadership & Passages classes have been discussing the concepts of fear, being vulnerable, and stepping outside of one's comfort zone the last couple of weeks.  All three of these topics also tie into another issue that faces all people, whether they are young or old-risk.  To help students get a better sense of these feelings associated with risk, Mr. Jilka invited me to teach them all a line dance.  The seniors in Mr. Jilka's Passages class learned the Disco Samba and the freshmen in Mrs. LePorte's, Mrs. Brandyberry's, & Mr. Jilka's FOL classes learned the Cowboy Charleston.  All involved had a great time learning the new dance steps and I would have to say that I was impressed with the students willingness to try this.  After each class had learned their respective dance, we talked about how there is good risk & bad risk.  Some students commented on that they would have been unwilling to try this at the beginning of the year, but since they had developed rapport with each other in their class, they were willing to step in line and try it.  I discussed that I see the same range of emotions when I teach dance lessons to adults at Central Avenue Dance in Kearney.  Even adults face apprehension when trying something new and that this concept of risk, and the feelings associated with it-fear, vulnerability, discomfort-is a lifelong process.  Students were able to connect the dancing experience with other times in their lives when they've had to take a risk.  Students commented that the feelings of fear, vulnerability, & discomfort make it more difficult to take risks, whether it be going out for a sport, hanging out with different people, or stepping in line to learn how to line dance.  They discussed how that once you push your comfort zone a little, it's easier to push it little more when taking good risks.  After the success they had learning how to dance, I bet they will be more willing try out their new moves at the next school dance. 


Eric Bell