On a fine day in October, we received an invitational message from the Rotaract Club of Kelaniya to take part in a global kindness flash-mob called Dance for Kindness (DFK). The message said it was organized by ” Life Vest Inside” and had been carried out consecutively for seven years spanning across 50 countries with more than 20,000 participants. (That’s a wow factor).
After thinking, thinking and thinking I too decided to take part in this amazing activity with my peers. (Take your friends where ever you go) So Rtr. Duleesha, Rtr. Tharoon, Rtr. Ishini, Rtr. Isura, Rtr. Malindu and Rtr. Kethaki along with myself joined the flash-mob from the Rotaract club of SLIIT.
Well, I first thought that it was a freestyle dance but oh dear! We had to practice a given dance. After watching the videos of previous DFK dances I wanted to know more about the purpose of this activity. (Mode Sherlock Holmes on🕵️).
Dance For Kindness was initiated by Life Vest Inside (LVI) in 2012. This event happens across the globe in celebration of World Kindness Day which falls on 13th of November in each year . Groups consisting of young to adult people from the entire world despite their religion, race, complexion, culture, ethnicity join together to perform a Kindness flash-mob to the same song, same dance, on the same day. It symbolizes that regardless of the differences of them, KINDNESS is the universal thread that ties us together. The goals of this annual flash-mob is to promote kindness, unity, teamwork and much more positive human interaction.
Situated in the heart of NYC (New York City) – Times Square, Life Vest Inside exerts its effort to prevent bullying, depression, and abuse by taking a proactive approach.The founder of this amazing non-profit organization is Orly Wahba who is an educator, entrepreneur, and a community activist. The idea of initiating this organization has flashed her mind when she had boarded on a plane for vacation and had heard a tragic incident of a girl died from Leukemia. The name of the organization had been decided as she saw an aircraft sign saying “Life Vest Inside” (where a life inside a vest can stay buoyant even if you try to push it down so hard) (know more about LVI : http://www.lifevestinside.com)
These findings were able to mesmerize me and encourage me to contribute my maximum in making this event a success. We were given the video clip of this year’s dance and it was easy to follow as every step was spoon-fed in the video itself.
Then came the practice sessions! We had three days of dance rehearsals with the superb friendly trainers Ayudhya and Lithmal at the National Youth Services Center and trust me, it was so fun. The first day, all of us were too timid to clap, widen arms and even to say hi, but the next days proved that we all are the same chatterboxes and terpsichoreans. We shared not only joy, laughter, mistakes and food but also team work, unity and most importantly Kindness. I was lucky enough to see that the participants were kind enough to teach each other the complex steps of the dance, correct mistakes, offer support and willing to work as a family.
Then came the actual day! On 10th of November 2019, the enthusiastic 18 rotaractors from different rotaract clubs gathered around Colombo City Center (CCC) for the actual flash-mob. We first roamed around CCC and then overran the area near the entrance for our freeze-mob. The freeze-mob included several freeze positions of kindness and happiness acts. So I became a consoler and had to console my grieving friend Ishini. While Malindu had fallen and two of others helped him to rise (He was happy because a girl lent him the helping hand). Three of others posed for a selfie (which we all love), and so on.
My eyes detected that the people inside CCC were shocked. Then began the flash-mob. The practices had made us experts in it and the magical moves did not need extra effort. The steps were embedded in us. Together we made it a reality – One Day, One Dance, One Heart ❤ (Wanna see? : https://youtu.be/fPJfXlqG0Rk , https://youtu.be/ZNjPV8WPlPc) (I could not believe that I invaded and danced in front of such a huge crowd who were watching us from sides and also from upper floors)
Next, we distributed a small card of appreciation for the people whom we spotted spreading kindness at CCC. The public was enthused to know about DFK and Life Vest Inside. Also they appreciated us for our work. So I believe the intended goal of LVI was achieved. I make this an opportunity to thank Oshan, the coordinator of DFK Sri Lanka and RAC Kelaniya for presiding over and inviting us for such a great event.
Hope that I will be able to pass this kindness card to you too!
Written by –
Rtr. Hansi Edirisinghe