Gift of Dance Brings Equals Gift of Joy
by Olivia Sabatelli
Being able to see so many joyful faces and to show the gift of dance brings out the true meaning of performing. Performing for Joseph M. Sanzari Children’s Hospital at Hackensack University Medical Center Hackensack patients affects me as a dancer as much as it entertains them. During the holiday season, The King Centre for the Performing Arts is privileged to perform for the Children’s Hospital and I’ve been able to be a part of this performance for the last two years. I am a twelve-year-old dancer for the King Centre and I always look forward to giving a performance to those who could use a smile the most during the holidays.
Last year, I had an experience that touched my heart more than I would have expected. During a small group dance, a little boy was watching us intently and in the middle of the performance ran out to where we were dancing and wanted to join in. One of the nurses took him back to the side and waited until after the dance to let him come up to us. He came straight to me and kissed my stomach! This made me so happy that we were able to get him so excited about being there. Knowing that we touched this little boy’s day, we had a feeling that the rest of the audience felt the same way!
Our King Center group performs local, regional and national competitions. It teaches me various amounts of life lessons as well as the love of all of the disciplines of dance. I have learned that dance has taught me not just technique but how to dance with your heart. We prepare and practice very hard, but nobody prepares us for experiences like what we get when we perform for Joseph M. Sanzari Children’s Hospital at Hackensack University Medical Center. We leave every year wanting to spend more time with the patients and their families.
I am looking forward to another experience at the hospital next year!