Hmong Leadership Dance Group
By Hlee X. Lee,
Southeast Asian Program Youth Advocate, The Women's Community Inc.
I want to thank AHEC for funding our group to give youth the opportunities to improve their lifestyle and health.
The purpose of the Hmong Leadership Dance Group is to encourage Hmong youth to be more independent, safe, and healthy at a young age. Youth learn to start planning for the future, whether it is going to college, getting a job, or just staying active and healthy for later life.
The youth learn many skills, including:
- Courage to speak up for self
- Leadership to take part in community and understand culture differences
- Education about careers, goals, colleges, jobs, etc.
- Accomplish a goal
- Respect for self, others, and relationships
- Coping mechanisms for emotions, stress and anxiety
- Healthy living
The Leadership Dance Group started back in 2009 when 7 girls wanted to do something other than sit around at home. We came up with activities and ended up making a traditional dance routine. We saw that it started making us healthy, so we decided to use dance as an exercising routine. A year later in 2010, we had more youth joining the team. There were 15 boys and 10 girls. We added hip-hop dance, break dance, and traditional dance in the group. That's when we heard about AHEC and thought about this opportunity for AHEC to see what this group is all about.
AHEC saw something positive in this group and funded the Leadership Dance Group beginning in 2010. We currently have 40-50 youth participating. The Leadership Dance Group is held after school at the Wausau YMCA every Friday, at 3:00 - 5:00 p.m. The program is free of charge to youth who wish to participate.