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Taking Over Owatonna's Washington Elementary Gym Classes with Raise The Barre

In April, I was given the exciting opportunity of being an elementary school gym teacher for the day! (well, four days actually)

Teaching over 500 students in the matter of a few days seemed like a daunting task at first, but went successfully because of these incredible students. They showed me their positive 'Washington Way' attitude and danced along with big smiles. "It was great to have such a great role model working with our students while sharing her message of dance and community,' Wiste added" -Owatonna People's Press

The Owatonna People's Press featured my workshops with these students on the front page, titling their article, "Life's A Dance." (article here) One motto their gym instructor always teaches is "always try your best." That is a beautiful thing because sometimes you never know until you try. So many times in my Raise the Barre workshops some students are unsure of dancing, but end up walking out of the class having had the best time. Am I expecting these students to become professional dancers... No, of course not. The point is that they did their best and learned something new! They showed team work in their small groups, motivation, creativity, perseverance, focus, and so many more wonderful skills they can now apply to their academics.

After one class, the gym teacher had the biggest smile on his face. I asked him what it was, and he began to explain to me that he was so happy because he wasn't expecting one of the students to love the class. I asked why he thought this student wouldn't enjoy dancing. The gym teacher explained that the student doesn't have a place to call home and is very hesitant to participate most days; however, today that student walked out of the gym with the biggest smile. That student, like so many others, never expected to enjoy the class, but found so much freedom by dancing and expressing themselves. How inspiring! I am so excited that I am able to give students the opportunity to take their first dance class, and I'm thrilled to continue expanding my platform across Minnesota!

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