Mindleaps, Kigali, Rwanda, is the creation of a former New York City Ballet dancer.
This bridge program offers dance as a medium to engage at risk youth in Africa. Street kids, orphans, children with an unstable family environment. The children come in to take a fun dance class,two hours, twice a week. Instruction is giving by trained, professionals dancers.In addition, they are given a hot meal, access to wash and hygiene facilities plus an extra hour of tutoring in their school curriculum. It is required that they attend regular school.
Mindleaps helps them to improve in life skills in memorization, grit, teamwork, discipline, self esteem, creativity and language. 70% of Mindleaps students perform in the top 20% of their academic classes.
Mindleaps is using a system called Tracker that evaluates each child on different points as they go along.This data driven method can statistically show significant changes in cognitive development and emotional regulation within three months.
During late October this year Board members Mary Williams and Deidra Wager visited the Mindleaps program in Kigali Rwanda. The environment was very friendly and warm. We were able to see a class. Then tour the facility. The dance was fabulous. Both of us were early life dancers and we were so impressed by this group of children. Equally balanced by boys and girls. They take class together. They are quiet, attentive and talented.
Lacewing is proud to be a part of advancing this program. We are very curious to see the continued success of the entire program change and grow based on the children.