The Couple's Dance

Students from the Women's Center

My pointer finger, pinky, and thumb have pressed against what feels like hundreds of sets of little hands in the signature Project Why handshake by the time that the students say goodbye at the end of the day. They used to approach so timidly (with quiet “hello ma’ams” and head nods) but now they rush up to us at the beginning and end of their lessons, beaming from ear to ear and pushing each other in order to be the first to say hello and goodbye.  Handshakes no longer cut it and many of them ask me and Violet for hugs and kisses, often returning for multiple goodbyes as if it’s the last time they are going to see us even though we will still be here for a couple more days.  I am super glad that we are because this week at the Women’s Center we are preparing for the Republic Day celebration (the other centers are going through a similar process) and the kids are so excited to be able to dance and act in a play that the energy in our rooftop classroom seems almost uncontainable. We spent today going through and putting the finishing touches on the pieces that their teachers and some of the older students have taught them (which they will finally get to present on Thursday!). Violet and I choreographed a little couples dance to a popular song (a favorite of ours and our fellow teachers) called Aashiyan and we taught it to the kids in about an hour over the course of 2 days.  They were absolutely thrilled to learn it and even though we were only able to teach about 2 out of the 9 classes, it didn’t stop the other children from picking it up so now basically every kid in the center gets up and finds a partner when they hear the song come on.  It’s incredible to watch their enthusiastic movement and the joy they exude is completely infectious.  I’m so proud of my little cuties and so excited to bring a chosen ten to the Okhla center tomorrow and watch them perform!