On Being a KAIROS alive! dancing heart Volunteer

Allison at Wilder

Here are some beautiful words from KAIROS alive! dancing heart volunteer Allison who works with us at Wilder’s Adult Day & Memory Care programs:

A few years ago, I saw KAIROS perform at Loring Park. I was curious and didn’t know what to expect. When they began to dance, tears came rolling down my face. I saw people who usually would not be dancing together, or dancing at all – older adults and young children and those in between. I could see that each dancer was enjoying every moment, regardless of their ability or range of motion. It touched my heart. The dancers themselves sent the message that dance is for everyone, no matter how much or how little you’re able to physically move. It had special meaning for me because in the past, I had danced with ease. But years of injuries, physical pain and personal issues had brought me to a place where I could barely move at all. Watching them gave me hope and inspiration. At the end of the performance, they asked the audience to join in a circle dance. My heart led me to stand and be part of it. I’m so glad I did.

I now volunteer twice a month with dancing heart sessions at Wilder in St. Paul. By singing, dancing and telling stories with this vibrant group of older adults, I’ve made heartfelt connections and truly receive much more than I give. Whether I’m holding someone’s hand, chatting with them before or after the session, or simply being part of the group, I have the opportunity to acknowledge and experience the beauty and love that’s in all of us. It’s so rewarding to see a person who is at first shy and reserved start to sing, move and laugh with the group. I feel honored to be able to help foster vitality and health in the lives of these very special people.

The authenticity and creativity of the older adults, teaching artists and other volunteers shines through in each session. One of the older adults gave me this wisdom when I first met her: “Don’t let anyone steal your joy.” Indeed, I’ve found that I carry the joy from volunteering with me into the rest of my life. I often catch myself singing the songs “Breathing In, Breathing Out” and “Great Big Love” when I’m at home going about daily tasks like cooking or laundry. I’m grateful to have the opportunity to volunteer – it is both a pleasure and a gift to my spirit!

~Allison~

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About KAIROS ALIVE!
The mission of Kairos Dance Theatre is to transform and revitalize individuals and communities. We work with older adults in intergenerational settings to liberate the healing power of interactive dance and story. We achieve our mission by engaging the skills of professional teaching artists.

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