Non-profit dances into TU
Amanda D’Annunci is a PeaceMover facilitator and the United States Program manager for the non-profit Dance 4 Peace, an educational program that uses movement to teach young children about the harmful effects of violence and bullying.
PeaceMover facilitators are the trained leaders that visit classrooms to spread Dance 4 Peace’s message.
When D’Annunci was a new PeaceMover, she was teaching an extremely rowdy class in Bronx, N.Y. that refused to listen to her. D’Annunci said she was ready to leave when one of the students approached her.
“Miss Amanda, you have blue eyes,” the little boy said. “Do you see in blue?”
“No, I see just like you,” she said to the boy. “Do you see in brown?”
He said he didn’t and D’Annunci took advantage of the opportunity to teach the lesson that she had been attempting all along.
“We have what kind of eyes?” she said.
“Different,” he said. “Diverse.”
A group of PeaceMovers from around the world, including D’Annunci, came to Towson University Friday, Sept. 21 to share the mission of spreading diversity and discuss the possibility of creating a partnership with Towson University.
Classes will create their own dances that exemplify the students as individuals as well as the areas they come from, and share them with other Dance 4 Peace classes around the world. Participants will use choreography that promotes anger management, conflict transformation, empathy and mediation skills, according to their website.
“Within university partnerships, people have the chance to talk, to think, and to explore,” Jessica Feingold, Dance 4 Peace’s Communications and Strategy Specialist said. “[Students should be] interested in working with young students, deeply passionate, excited, and looking to get involved.”
Sophomore photography major Katherine DeSilva said art is a form of self-expression and a program like Dance 4 Peace would be a wonderful program for students to become involved in. DeSilva said that the Center for the Arts is the building with the most community acceptance.
“Expression through art promotes unity the minute you walk into the Center for the Arts,” DeSilva said. “Everyone here can appreciate great art and the welcoming atmosphere of the CFA.”
Currently, Dance 4 Peace operates in schools and community centers in Maryland, Washington D.C., New Jersey, and New York. There are also Dance 4 Peace programs in Colombia, Germany, and the Phillipines. Dance 4 Peace has worked with more than 5,500 young people on four different continents, according to their website.
Those interested in volunteering with the program do not have to be trained in dance. Dance 4 Peace looks for volunteers with backgrounds in peace education, social work, conflict transformation, and education, Feingold said.