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Dance unites communities.
Through our innovative Minds In Motion Israel program,
we work together to use the power of dance to break down barriers.
About Minds In Motion (MIM) Israel:
MIM Israel is distinct from other MIM residencies, as it not only provides dance education during the school day, but also utilizes dance as a platform for cross-cultural encounter.
The education system in Israel is divided into separate school streams: Jewish students learn in Hebrew and Arab students learn in Arabic. Therefore, even though they often live within close proximity, young students rarely meet each other and this disconnect fosters stereotypes and prejudices, which further entrench the growing cultural divide. MIM Israel fills the need for positive encounter by using the shared language of movement as a platform for students to meet, learn, and create together. By partnering Jewish and Arab schools from neighboring communities in a shared residency, MIM Israel cultivates relations not only between Jewish and Arab students, but also between their teachers, schools, and broader communities, emphasizing values of shared society.
Participants & Participating Schools:
MIM Israel works with 4th and 5th graders, creating opportunity for cross-cultural encounter from a young age. MIM is also fully inclusive, all students, regardless of ability, take part.
This year, we grew from two schools to four schools, hosting a residency between schools in Qalansuwa and Ra’anana, and initiating a new partnership between schools in the Menashe Region and Baqa al-Gharbiyye. The second residency, scheduled for March 2020, was postponed due to COVID-19, however, both schools are committed to rescheduling the residency next year.
In a nutshell, MIM Israel….
- Empowers children through a dance curriculum focusing on self-confidence, creative expression, and self-efficacy.
- Improves interpersonal skills building on values of teamwork, interdependence, and empathy.
- Promotes shared society in Israel building relationships across multiple levels: student – student, school – school, and community – community.
We provide each pair of partnered schools a two-week residency, with 45 minutes of professional dance training daily, during school hours. After one week of separate classes, students use their new skills to meet and engage with the students from the partnered school. Following combined rehearsals, students perform in shared final performances in both communities. MIM Israel also provides additional programming:
- English learning workshops through movement
- Encounter preparation workshops
- Facilitated activities and icebreakers connected to subjects focused on shared community and shared environment
More than your typical encounter…
The teachers and principals we work with often point out that MIM Israel connects with their students more than other encounter programs. We believe this is because dance and movement are an innate means of communication and expression, therefore providing a shared language and shared passion that can easily bridge divisions.
Dance is also an embodied experience. By engaging actively with both their brains and their bodies participants experience deeper learning, with greater lasting impact.
In addition, dance is an important peace-building tool. Research conducted on our program has statistically proven that our curriculum is especially effective in developing interpersonal relationships, and also improves participants self-confidence and self-efficacy, which, in turn, better facilitate intergroup relations.
Reflections from our January 2020 Residency:
Read Reflections from Staff
“To witness and be a part of the final performance was truly a gift. There were 3 performances in all, one in each the individual schools, and then a larger community performance in a high school. By the end, the students were so comfortable with each other, the dancing, and performing that they didn’t want the experience to end or to say goodbye. These students worked very hard to achieve a goal and present a gift to each other and the audience. This shared experience between communities is very powerful and demonstrates the power that dance has to bring people together.”
– Katherine Smothers, Associate School Director, Community Engagement
Generous support for Minds In Motion Israel provided by:
United Jewish Federation of Tidewater
WITH ADDITIONAL SUPPORT FROM:
Jewish Federation of Richmond
Rabbi Gary Creditor
May and Charlie Fox
Mr. and Mrs. Marshall N. Morton
Mr. Bruce D. Perretz
Annie and Art Sandler
Your support allows us to provide a great opportunity for the students. Please consider making an online donation to support Minds In Motion.