503 Ate Marga’s Dance Workshop with Tuklasan
Written by Core Team Leader, Ren dela Cruz
It is always a privilege for us to work with young adults who, being at the current stage of their lives, already realize the need to give back to society and help out the underprivileged. Last May 19, this sentiment came to us once more as we celebrated the birthday of ate Marga Escalona, who wished to spend her special day with the sweet, energetic kids of Tuklasan Foundation for street children.
Ate Marga’s friends, family, and other U! Happy volunteers trooped over to ERDA Tuklasan in San Juan that day, which started when they all got grouped together with the kids for our event pre-requisite, Getting-to-Know. As the activity’s name suggests, the kids got to know their ates and kuyas better as they discussed their favorite singer/dancer, and songs to each other–with some selected kid and volunteer pairs being called in front to share their answers to everyone!
After the children and volunteers got comfortable with each other, we then proceeded to a game called Shape It Up, wherein each group had to form the shape Kuya Harvard asked them to make, using only their bodies. Group 2 won the exciting game after correctly and quickly forming various shapes ranging from a triangle to a car. Energized, we then asked everyone to prepare themselves for another special part of the program–a magic show to be done by one of U! Happy’s resident magicians, Kuya Kobe! The kids and kids-at-heart were all so delighted at the amazing tricks Kuya Kobe was doing, including making birds appear from nowhere and levitating a table across the room! It was definitely a magical moment for those who were in Tuklasan that morning.
After Kuya Kobe’s magic show, we then proceeded to ate Marga’s workshop of choice, which was dance. It was a pretty exciting event for me as well because not only was I serving as a Core team member that day, but also as the dance instructor for our workshop! For ate Marga’s event, I prepared choreography to the popular upbeat song, Uptown Funk. Before anything else, we started with a warm-up exercise to get our bodies prepared and limber for a full hour of dancing. This was then followed by the dance proper where I taught steps for everyone to memorize. To make learning the routine fun and simpler, we named each step according to how they looked like–step-down, push-pull, etc. We also incorporated freestyle into the dance, so that the kids and volunteers refrain from being shy about their dancing and be more encouraged to create steps and move on their own with the beat.
After teaching, I was pleasantly surprised to see most kids and volunteers dancing the choreography event without me doing the demo in front! To make things more exciting, Kuya Harvard asked each group to send a pair of representative in front to dance. Each group cheered on their respective pairs, with group 2 once again winning the dance off–thanks to the fun freestyle of Kuya Kevin and Cyrus.
Following the dance off was our cool down, to relax the body after an energized hour of moving about. Lunch soon followed, with the kids and volunteers having more time to bond while eating. Once done, we called on everyone to go in front for the customary group photo, but called on ate Marga before doing so, because we had a mini cake prepared for her as well as a happy birthday song courtesy of everyone present. The photo shoot commenced, and to cap off the event, ate Marga led the distribution of storybooks along with her friends and other volunteers, to which the kids thanked them with great big hugs.
It was another awesome event with the kids of Tuklasan, thanks to our sponsor ate Marga, and the rest of our dedicated U! happy volunteers.