DAREarts Blog

Discipline, Action, Responsibility, Excellence

What is Leadership?: DAREarts Vancouver, Day Two

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Post written by DAREarts Lead Teacher & Director of Urban Programs, Geneviève Anthony.


The Vancouver Opera’s “Magic Flute”, inspired by the Coast Salish Aboriginal perspective, challenges its characters to be the best possible version of themselves despite challenges, which is how DAREarts defines Leadership.
Photo courtesy Kjersten Saude.
Justin Borsato’s Grade 7 class from Britannia Community School was offered a variety of leadership styles, symbolized through animals to model themselves after: the reflective disciplined bear, the actively communicative curious wolf, the excellently spirited eagle and the wise buffalo. Through quickly paced tableaus, the class created these animal leaders. The laughter and delight of holding on to a teammate on either side so that they could stretch like the wings of the eagle was both audible and visual.
The balance of the Medicine Wheel grounded the class in “self-acceptance”.
As a year journeys through the seasons, so do we. Throughout the day each student enjoyed being a child, a youth, a parent and an elder as they supported and trusted each other, to ebb and flow like wind and water. Those who showed great bravery through action in the morning had the chance to rest as they were led in the afternoon by their teammates.
The imagery and shape of the circle constantly highlighted the goal of connecting to each other through the woven values of respect and courage.

Photo courtesy Kjersten Saude.
Having recently been in Canada’s Northern community of Webequie, our Southern city of Toronto and now on the West Coast in Vancouver, I feel increasingly inspired by DAREarts’ 17 year history to continue into the future and to Halifax’s East.
Finally, I find myself at great peace, as DAREarts Vancouver today also journeyed through to a new identity. Vancouver residents Linda Carson and Shelley MacDonald led the class and continued the educational legacy of Discipline, Action, Respect, Responsibility, Reflection and Excellence. As I stepped back and watched them nurture the emotional, spiritual, mental and physical aspects of the class, I felt the sun rise on a new day.
For me, leadership is that centered balanced place in the centre of the past, present and the possibilities of the future. What is it for you?
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