563 Ate Raissa and Ate Vern’s Belly Dancing Workshop with Habitat for Humanity
Written by Board Member, Issa Gayatin
What could be better on a Saturday morning of August 15, 2015 than spending your weekend with people close to your heart. I’m happy to partner again with Habitat for Humanity! Their preteens are also happy to be spending the day with some Ates and Kuyas knowing they’ll be learning something new this morning. But the most excited of all is Ate Raissa Marfa and Ate Vern because they were co-celebrating their birthdays! Happy weekend indeed.
The U! Happy Events team arrived very early to make sure everything will be properly prepared. The activity started with the usual Getting-to-know portion as Kuya Harvard asked the volunteers to introduce themselves to the preteens while simultaneously doing a belly dance demo. Kids got to cheer their preferred volunteer who dances excellently.
After a while, the kids and volunteers were grouped to 4 teams and were asked to play the game Dance Showdown. The mechanics of the game is very simple. Kuya Harvard will play a song depending on the type of dance (i.e. Ballroom. Pop, RnB, etc.) and the groups will have to create a dance step for it. Each team will select a leader to be the one demonstrating the dance steps for the members to mimic. It was a hilarious thing to see especially when the teams are all grooving to the beat. There was a time though that the games had a break because all the teams had a hard time creating a dance step for the techno music. I was expecting though that somebody will do a robotic dance to match the music. Nevertheless, everyone had a good time.
Before the start of Belly Dancing class, Kuya Harvard gave a short demo of warm ups so it won’t be difficult especially for the preteens to stretch their bodies and prevent injury in the class later on. A short while after, Ate Jill Ngo, our celebrity belly dancing instructor arrived. Ate Jill teaches not just belly dancing but also other dances like Zumba and modern dance. She arrived with a warm smile on her face, showing how excited she is.
She taught various steps that are easy at first but got a little complicated as the class progresses. Nevertheless, some steps may be difficult initially but everyone participated and enjoyed. We ended to the beat of Jai Ho. After dancing, some of the volunteers strike a pose and took a photo with ate Jill. It made us all tired but good thing the U! Happy core team served meals short after.
The experience in belly dancing was still the topic of conversations over lunch. It’s just delightful to know that the preteens and volunteers found the activity interesting.
Ate Raissa and Ate Vern distributed the school supplies give always she prepared for the kids. The event won’t be possible if not for their kinds hearts so we bought cupcake and sang them a happy birthday. She was very grateful especially when it’s time for the preteens to hug their Ates and Kuyas.
May this event bring inspiration to other Kuyas and Ates out there to participate in various volunteer activities especially in their own communities.