I have sometimes questioned why I would become involved in a dance community while raising a small child. These doubts have occasionally been voiced by my spouse and my mother. I am sure that there are other relatives and acquaintances who have kept those questions to themselves but who nevertheless look askance at photos I might share on social media. I joined Samba Funk when M was four. I changed jobs mid-year at the same time I prepared for my first Carnaval.
|2013 Indie Awards candid|
Somehow we made it work.
There are times when a dance class or meeting might run late or a party may not be all ages. But overall, M has been included in every part of the creative process that goes into Carnaval. She has attended registration kickoff parties, costume blinging sessions, and outdoor rehearsals.
M has benefited greatly from being included in the Samba Funk community from a young age. She has seen friendships form. She has cultivated relationships with several caring adults. She has been inspired by strong, beautiful dancers. Missed bedtimes seem a small inconvenience in comparison.
For the first time this year, M began to learn Afro-Brazilian choreography and took part in her first Carnaval. My daughter, already blessed with an innate love of life and confidence, has had a life-changing experience.
As I have already shared, Carnaval isn’t simply a parade or a festival. Lifestyle doesn’t even do it justice. Carnaval is a way of life.
To be a carnavalesco, you love life and the world and you express that love through dance, music, and art. I can’t think of a better place to raise my child.