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The Benefits of Performing Arts Part 6: Acceptance

So often children and adults have expressed “finding their people” at Wonderland. Sometimes families have previously tried the ever-so-popular soccer teams, cheerleading, and competition dancing before getting involved in the world of theatre. What they find in theatre that they do not find in the other activities is a level of teamwork without a competitive nature. Theatre is a place where people can come together to achieve a common goal of telling a story in an interesting way. The teamwork aspect is present in that everyone plays a role, on stage and off. There are leading ladies, heroes, villains, and ensemble cast members that sometimes play multiple roles within one show. There are sets to be built, lights to be designed, costumes to make, lines and blocking to learn (and sometimes choreography if it is a musical) … there is really a place for everyone.

Something I love about producing theatre is seeing the acceptance of others and the acceptance of self. When auditioning, a person may not get the exact role they want but the theatre is a place to be happy for others. You still get to be a part of the thing that is bigger than you. It is WONDERful to provide a space where people feel SAFE to be who they truly are, test their abilities, and soar!  

One of my top priorities at Wonderland is to create an environment of belonging in our classrooms and rehearsals.  Although sometimes challenging, we achieve this goal through attentive, mindful instruction, as well as paying attention to details.  Our staff is able to prioritize kindness and acceptance, creating a safe space for ourselves and others.

Performing arts helps us get in touch with our emotions, which makes it easier to express how we feel. When we develop a relationship with our inner selves, we become more confident and positive. Emotional expression helps us to release stress and ease anxiety by giving us a safe space to be heard and understood. Since many of us feel out of place in one way or another from time to time, finding a place we feel we “belong” is key for our personal development as human beings. Particularly in theatre, working on character development allows a person to step outside of oneself, fostering the capacity for empathy and the ability to put themselves in another person’s shoes. Performing builds character and relationships, both on stage and off. I speak from experience. I have learned so much about myself and the world around me through performing arts. It is beautiful to see people I know, both my students and my peers, grow through these experiences, too. 

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