504 UST Student’s Dance Workshop with Hospicio de San Jose

Wednesday, May 20, 2015

Written by Core Team Leader, Ren dela Cruz

For a lot of college students, a regular weekday is comprised of getting up early to go to school, making projects, and attending classes. In the case though of kuya Jonel and his good friends at the University of Sto. Tomas, weekdays may also involve volunteering and spending time with kids who need love and care the most–even if it means braving Manila traffic, going to the event from school, and riding a boat to get to the venue, which was at Hospicio de San Jose.

Inspired by kuya Harvard’s Radio Veritas interview on U! Happy Events and volunteering, the group got in touch with us to be able to organize an outreach event with an orphanage. Last May 20, they did exactly that–as 23 UST students came over to Hospicio to spend time with the children under their care, for a dance workshop. To start off the event which U! Happy secretary ate Amy and I were hosting, we paired each volunteer with a child, and created 4 groups for our Getting-to-Know activity–wherein each group member had to share their name, favorite singer, and favorite song to each other. After about a few minutes into the activity, we called on some representatives per group to share their answers. Surprisingly, most of the answers we got were Taylor Swift’s Shake it Off and Psy’s Gentleman! Asking the children if they had moves to go along with their favorite song, they enthusiastically nodded–which gave way to our first game, called Dance Off. With each group having volunteer and kid representatives, the contestants all gamely danced to the music as the audience laughed and cheered along. It was quite a battle especially because some of the children had prepared choreographies, but in the end group 2 won for getting the most number of claps from the audience.

After Dance Off we proceeded to our second game, called Shape-it-Up. For this game the groups only had to make use of themselves, as we mentioned shapes that they were all to form as a group. This was a pretty funny activity because some groups made use of acting to portray the shapes. A funny moment was when we asked for a star, and one group lifted up a kid saying the kid was the “star”! A few shapes later and we named the winner, group 1, for actually accomplishing the most number of shapes that we asked for.

After the second game, we then proceeded to the workshop for the day, which I was privileged to lead. Before teaching the dance though, we first started off the workshop proper with a warm-up routine to get everyone primed to move to the beat. Warming up is also very important to keep dancers from injury, since the joints and muscles of the body first need to be stretched and flexed. After warming up, I then started teaching the choreography for the event, which were steps to the beat of MKTO’s popular song, “Classic”. It was so much fun teaching the group and seeing the little ones move to the groove, with the help of their ates and kuyas. After teaching all the moves, we then assigned the pairs into two groups, to show everyone what they had learned. It was great fun to see the kids and volunteers dancing the steps they learned in just an hour! After the lesson, we then had our cool-down routine, to let off some steam after such energetic performances.

Merienda soon followed, giving the ates and kuyas to bond some more and take pictures with the kid they were paired up with. A group photo session took place after, but to our surprise, we were told that the Hospicio kids had also prepared a song number for our volunteers! They sang “Salamat”, a song they learned in the orphanage to give thanks to their tender-hearted visitors who took the time to spend the day with us on the outreach. The afternoon ended with the volunteers handing storybooks to the children, and the children in turn warmly hugging the volunteers. It was another great afternoon for U! Happy Events, the ates and kuyas who joined us, and the children of Hospicio de San Jose. We’re looking forward to our next visit!

U! Happy Events

U! Happy Events