Creating Joy through Dance with Orphaned Children

Creating Joy through Dance with Orphaned Children

December 21, 2023




My name is Alina Baktybek kyzy. I am a second-year student of the Faculty of Liberal Arts and Sciences. This semester, in the autumn of  2023, I took the Challenges of the 21st Century,  The Second Year Seminar course by Professor  Ekaterina Galimova. Within the framework of this course, we were given an opportunity to participate in the Civic Engagement Bridging  Classroom and Community project. As for my project I chose the option of creating a club for children from orphanages. This idea was very interesting to me because it involved making  efforts to improve our society. I decided to open a dancing club. I wanted to help children improve their physical and mental condition. We all know that dancing helps not only to improve body flexibility and coordination of movements and increase endurance but also leads to better well-being, stress relief, and relaxation of the inner state of a person.

          I was happy to inform my professor about my desire to launch the Dance Club and received great support in response from her. Ekaterina Galimova and I contacted the Aidanek orphanage. The director of the orphanage Djumaeva, Elmira Temirbekovna was happy to enter into cooperation with us. As part of the project, I had to conduct 12 classes with children. Before the start of the club's activities, a session was held with AUCA psychologist Aida Parpieva. Aida Parpieva provided detailed information about children from orphanages, what kind of injuries they may have, what kind of closed ones they may be, what difficulties I may encounter during my work, and how I can overcome them. Based on her experience, she also shared tips on how I can get closer to the children so they can open up to me. The session with the psychologist was very informative and brought me a lot of benefits in further working with children.

          From October to December, I conducted the necessary number of dance classes with children and shared my experience with my group mates. In the course of my work, I encountered many problems, such as loss of interest in some children after several classes, laziness, or unstable mental state of children in general, which influenced their desire to dance. In such cases, I did my best to help them overcome these problems. Therefore, I consider the results of all my students who overcame themselves and got out of their comfort zone to be a great achievement.

          Thanks to this project, I have grown a lot as a person. I learned compassion and empathy and realized that every child is unique and needs appropriate treatment. I also realized that they constantly need care, love, and support. Since this was my first experience in teaching, I learned several important lessons for myself as a leader. First of all, it is important to take care of each student, as well as take care of their comfort and well-being.

          Although at first, I was afraid to take on such an important project, now I am glad that I was still able to overcome my fears and successfully complete all the tasks set within the framework of the project. It was a very valuable experience and knowledge gained in practice in real life.

          Of course, I couldn't have done it alone without the help of Caitlin O’Donnell, Director of the Civic Engagement Bridging Classroom and Community, Bard College, USA and Community project, Chingiz Shamshiev, Director of the Center of Civic Engagement at AUCA, Nurzhamal Karamoldoeva, Executive Director of the Center of Civic Engagement at AUCA, Aida Parpieva,  AUCA Psychologist, and Ekaterina Galimova, General Education Faculty at AUCA. I would like to thank you for your contribution to the activities of this club. I hope to participate in the further Civic Engagement Grants!


Alina Baktybek kyzy (SFW-123)


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