CHINATOWN, Manhattan (WABC) -- At first glance, a practice at Dance to Unite looks like students simply rehearing a routine, but what's really happening goes way beyond smooth moves these 3rd graders are learning valuable life lessons.
"I feel blessed to be able to do it," founder Galit Adani said.
Adani founded Dance to Unite, a non-profit that uses dance and discussion about core values to teach and celebrate cultural diversity.
"We come in and teach those values that can extend to help stop bullying, cyberbullying, all the social media pressure," Adani said.
Each weekly session at P.S. 130 in Chinatown begins with circle talk. The group shares ideas about the program's 13 core values including compassion, acceptance and positive intention.
The principal at the school said he was determined to work with the non-profit after seeing so many of his students struggle to make the transition from remote learning to in-person post-pandemic.
"There was fear all over Chinatown, so this was a great way of students talking to each other," Principal Renny Fong said.
Another group of kids is also thriving under this program. In the last few months more than 60 children seeking asylum enrolled in classes.
"We always thought the arts can connect children no matter what language, you can connect with each other," Fong said.
Shinquing Huang is a fourth grader who took part in the program last year. She said her favorite thing she learned through the dance program was kindness.
"Everyone can accept each other even if they are from different countries and not used to this world," Huang said.
Dance to Unite is now in place in seven schools across the five boroughs and close to 2,000 students have already participated.
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