“I loved how I got the opportunity to work and dance with other young women in Ottawa West. In the beginning, I found it challenging when some girls weren’t willing to participate in discussions and in creating pieces. Through this experience, however, I was reminded of the unique and special opportunity the Dandelion Dance Performance Company offers and how lucky I am to be part of a dance company that explores social justice issues through movement. Dandelion has helped me grow into the person I am today and the Neighbourhood 150 Project made me feel so thankful and appreciative.”
I also learnt how privileged I am to live in a neighbourhood with little to no violence and in a community that is so welcoming and loving. From our discussions, I found out that not every neighbourhood is like mine.”
“The Neighbourhood Arts 150 project helped me reconnect with my community and realize how amazing it is! Many of the girls who came to the workshops live in my area and they taught me how supportive and caring my neighbourhood is! The Neighbourhood Arts 150 project taught me how amazing it is to be a women in Canada!”
“The Neighbourhood Arts 150 project was an amazing experience and I’m very fortunate to have been a part of it. I learned about the many points of view girls have when it comes to what it means to be a girl in 2017 and that there are many layers that contribute to these different ideas. One layer is the neighbourhood we end up in and how it shapes who we are. We had discussions where some girls expressed how grateful they are of where we live and the opportunities that are offered to us. Other girls expressed the many improvements that need to take place.
This experience has deepened my understanding of my neighborhood, of my city, and of my country because I really connected with the people inside them. It allowed me to see in many different lights.”
“I love to dance – wholeheartedly! It is an art that is incredibly undervalued in today’s society. It brought such a smile to my face when watching the Ottawa West participants dance, create their pieces, and really open up during the workshops.
One particular thing I learned during Neighbourhood Arts 150 is to really listen to people. During the workshops I learned how to interpret people’s feelings and ideas. One girl I worked with was very shy. She would stand and wave her arms just slightly when we were all dancing. I was put into a group with her to create a little piece with a beginning, middle and end. Everyone was offering their opinions but when prompted she said she didn’t have any ideas. Slowly, I learned that I couldn’t directly ask her a question that correlated with the dance piece. Instead, we talked and made jokes about life and I subtly inserted questions about school and what does she hope to do in the future. It turns out she dreams of being a pediatric surgeon! We decided to incorporate this into a dance about our hopes and dreams for our future.
Everyone is different, and has varying life experiences. No two people are the same. Some people take more time than others; some share their opinion readily and some need a gentle push. We cannot expect someone to be a certain way and we must adapt and change our methods each and every time. I think that this is an important lesson that I have learned over the course of Neighbourhood Arts 150.”
“What I found so amazing was to see the participants grow so much in a matter of weeks! Naturally, they all started, shy and nervous, not too sure how to express their ideas. However, come the final day, the girls were so joyful and able to communicate their thoughts. They performed fearlessly!”