I don’t usually write about the day-to-day going-ons in my life. Today will be an exception. I spent Wednesday traveling to several seniors residences and Participation House As part of my work with the Change the World Youth Challenge for Volunteer Hamilton. Although the performances were only 25-30 minutes long, these young people created a connection with their audience that was remarkable. I was reminded of my own days performing as a teenager in front of appreciative crowds. The beauty of this event was the collision of two groups seeking an opportunity. The dancers were craving a chance to perform their well practiced moves, and the audiences, people who spend most of their times in the same place, love when something new and exciting enters their world. The recreation coordinator at Participation House told the group that their residents only see dancing once a year, when this samba group visits. You could argue that there is a lot of dancing on TV, but a live performance is much more powerful and compelling. Regardless, experiencing the enthusiasm of the dancers and the audience was a treat. Even though all I did was organize the tour (a pretty easy task) I was very pleased to be part of it.
I witnessed one more special moment during this little tour. After one of the performances there was a gap of about 30 minutes before the bus returned. As the students lingered in the atrium around a grand piano, one elderly resident in a wheel chair pulled up. He began to play some songs and the 20 or so teenagers gathered around to cheer him on and applaud his playing. It was a magical little moment where young and old bonded over some classic tunes. All around an amazing day.