People’s Liberty is constantly growing. New people are joining the People’s Liberty family and current grantees are continuing to work on their civic projects. After a successful first round of ballroom dancing classes, grantees Gregory Norman and Kathye E. Lewis answered a few questions in regards to their ongoing project. Read on!
Q: What stage are you at in your project? (What are you currently working on?)
A: On March 2, 2016 we began the second half of the ballroom dance pilot program. At the present time we are making preparations for the next group of 20 students.
Q: What originally inspired your project?
A: Gregory’s experience with teaching ballroom dancing to adults and their children simultaneously. Also, the Mad Hot Ballroom documentary brought inspiration to our idea.
Q: Where do you turn for inspiration now that your project has begun?
A: God, and our motivation to assist the children by introducing them to another culture.
Q: Have there been challenges you encountered during this process that you did not anticipate? If so, what?
A: Yes. The fluctuation in the number of children within the first three weeks of lessons for various reasons was challenging. Other challenges were: some of the children did not want to touch each others hands and a few of the children wanted to switch dance partners frequently.
Q: What has been the most rewarding part of working on your project?
A: There have been many rewarding opportunities through this process. Some of them were: teaching the children how to ballroom dance; observing their ability to succeed and watch their self esteem improve; having 99.9% committed to coming to the ballroom dance class and enjoying the music during the lessons; developing one on one relationships and getting to know the different personalities of the students.
Q: What impact do you hope your project has on the community? Is there a certain audience you are trying to engage?
A: We hope that this project will provoke additional community participation throughout the Greater Cincinnati Area. We want the general public from all sectors of life to know that the children at South Avondale Elementary School have outstanding learning capabilities.
Q: Do you have a hero? Who is it?
A: Yes. Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.
Q: If you could collaborate with one person, dead or alive, who would it be and why?
A: My (Kathye E. Lewis) grandmother, a ballroom dancer from the 1930's. She had ballroom dance experience from the era when that dance form was at it's highest level. It was smooth, elegant and graceful.
Q: Do you have any advice for future Project Grant applicants?
A: The grantee must be dedicated to the completion of the project, obtain a team of individuals who can work together harmoniously and be flexible in making changes when necessary.
People's Liberty Project Grant III application is open until 3.23.16. Click here to learn more about Project Grants, how to apply and schedule a 1-on-1 with a team member.