CHO has been really fortunate for the past few months to have two fantastic social work students, Carly and Elly, on placement with us. Elly took part in the Flash Mob dance that featured on the blog a couple of weeks ago and wrote the following story as a comment on that post. As most people wouldn’t have seen it, I am reproducing it this week, with a big, big thank you to Elly for writing it up. It makes a really strong point about the difference it makes to start talking about something that usually remains unspoken.
I am student on my final year social work and social planning placement with Community Health Onkaparinga CHO. Participating in the ‘Flash Mob’ on the ‘War on Loneliness’ has been one of the highlights and was an amazing experience. I feel lucky to have been a part of it. The idea was shared at CHO’s last community dinner night. So I decided to go along and join in. I prompted other community members from CHO dinners to come and watch me.
It was a nerve-racking morning thinking about dancing in public but as soon as I got there my nerves eased. There were lots of dancers all around and lots of CHO community members I knew to cheer us on. Then the best part of the day happened when one of the community members who came to watch decided to join me. This person has been through a very hard time lately – life has been very unfair. Yet that day she decided to dance with me and within minutes of agreeing to dance she was standing with me practising the steps. We got our umbrellas and costumes on when the music started we moved to our spots and danced our little hearts out (link to video below).
After doing our dance twice through it was over but we were beaming from the inside out. Words cant even describe how good we felt and in that moment we both turned to each other and had a big hug. The person said to me “I’m so glad I was a part of this day, so glad to find another dag like myself to have a dance with, thank you, this was so good it was fun I really enjoyed myself”. To see this person who had been through terrible time only weeks ago and was very sick due to stress, happy, dancing and having fun was such a special moment.
For the rest of the day I felt happy and was bouncing around excited about life. It was such an exhilarating, fun, spontaneous, courageous and heart-warming event to be a part of. Dancing in a flash mob for a cause that is close to my heart was incredible. Then having a community member join in and seeing the change it brought to her was an even more incredible feeling. This is one of the best things I have done in ages and made me feel happy deep inside.