Anderson: Performance group builds character and leaders
The audience hushes as The LeaderShop’s performance group Watch My Feet takes the stage.
The youth see other youth just like themselves confidently take their place. Colorful T-shirts proclaim Courage, Love, Strength and Hope. Then, through dances and skits about positive decision-making, anti-bullying, and topics such as race and substance abuse, the youth in the audience are empowered to become leaders among their peers.
Watch My Feet embodies the agency’s values of building leaders who have confidence, competence, connection, character and compassion. Watch My Feet is comprised of a diverse group of high school students from four area high schools: Argo Community High School, Lyons Township High School, Nazareth Academy and Riverside-Brookfield High School.
Youth develop their own dances and skits, a skill that builds competence. The topics they address shape performers’ character, as well as audiences’ character, into more responsible, confident, compassionate and empowered young adults. The performers acquire confidence and competence and demonstrate their compassion for other youth as they connect with audiences.
The performers speak for themselves:
Katie: “I’m here to represent my school at the community level … I wanted a way to serve more outside of the school.”
Another performer: “I’m in Watch My Feet because I love meeting new people and having fun while doing it … Watch My Feet is such an inspirational group, I think it made me come more out of my shell. I’ve never felt so comfortable.”
And another youth: “I come to Watch My Feet because ever since fifth grade I’ve seen them perform and wanted to be a part of something so inspiring. Helping youth is what motivates me the most. Just the fact that I could have maybe saved someone’s life makes me feel amazing.”
To book The Leadershop’s performance group Watch My Feet, contact Kim Anderson at KimA@theleadershop.org.
Kim Anderson is program manager at the LeaderShop