Dance. It’s another way to serve. It’s Vincentian when a Vincentian does it.
Kristin Smiley, Niagara University alumna and alumna of another program with Vincentian roots, has been dancing for as long as she can remember.
She currently serves as the Assistant Director of Educational Programming at the Auditorium Theatre in Chicago, Illinois (USA).
In her words, she describes how she stays in touch with the needs of her students through empathy and inspires that spirit of compassion and empathy in those same students.
We see you. We see your movement. We mirror you, and therefore, we empathize with you. Empathy, after all, is defined as ” the ability to understand and share the feelings of another,” and when I move my body like yours I can, just for the briefest of moments, physically feel what you feel.
When we “feel with” people, we can inspire them and lead them to a deeper experience of themselves and a deeper sense of compassion for others and for their world. Kristen recalls,
…to me, mirroring any movement, whether or not it was as big or bold as I was hoping for, seemed an obvious response on the first day of class. But I wasn’t expecting the powerful impact it could have. The nervous student’s face lit up, and she was one of the most active participants throughout the rest of the classes, making bold, risky choices physically and otherwise that seemed to inspire the rest of the group.
Inspiring others to take risks was part of Vincent’s gift. Maybe he danced as a child! Kristen has been blessed with a charism that invites her to say #IamVincent. And so she is. So are you.