Tiny Dancer

By Jane Mountain | July 5, 2014

15,720 km so far.

Being off the bikes has made keeping up with writing a little more difficult. Our routine has dissolved into nothing, leaving us undisciplined when it comes to getting our work done. I completely forgot to make notes for today, so two days later, as I write this, I am blanking on what the day entailed.

The one unforgettable part of the day was getting to meet the fine people from Bali Children’s Project. Today was the last day of Amy’s yoga retreat, and she asked BCP to come to the studio and introduce her students to the project.

Reeding, Riting, Rithmatic

As in Cambodia, education is not free in Bali. There are fees for school books, pens, pencils, uniforms, test taking, transportation… everything you could think of comes with a fee. This means that only middle- and upper-class families can afford to send their kids to school. Furthermore, boys always get the priority over their sisters if money is tight.

BCP hand-picks children in rural communities, based on need, and helps them stay in school.

The organisation is supported entirely by donation. You can donate a one-time amount or, like Amy and many of her students have chosen to do, you can sponsor a child on a month-to-month basis.

One of the pillars of BCP’s organisation is to support the teaching of traditional music and dance. They brought a young student with them today to dance a traditional Balinese dance. She came in, a pre-teen in school skirt and a t-shirt, and through make-up and costume, transformed herself into someone else altogether.

Costume and make-up can be transformative.

Costume and make-up can be transformative.

It was easy to forget, as she performed an incredibly complex set of moves, involving hands, arms, shoulders, neck, eyes, hips, and feet, all moving in very specific codified ways, that she was just a kid, so accomplished was her dancing.

child balinese dancer in bali

Looking inward during the dance.

We were, of course, all impressed and charmed by her talent and the education and practice that went into her training.

If you’re interested in promoting education around the world, please take a look at the Bali Children’s Project site and consider donating.  

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