Be Kind: Dance to Unite teaches kindness through dance

CHINATOWN, Manhattan (WABC) -- A program in New York City is teaching children a lesson about being kind through the art of dance.

Dance to Unite, a non-profit designed to teach unity and celebrate differences, teams up with after school programs to give free classes to children.

Galit Adani is its founder.

"Dance, you don't need a language," Adani said. "It's a language without language."

This year, Dance to Unite has partnered with eight after-school programs to offer free classes on a weekly basis during the school year, taught by volunteer instructors.

Dance styles can include everything from ball room to hip hop to Bollywood, and the more different the dance than the culture the students most identify with, the better.

"Dance to Unite is the culmination of everything I'm passionate about," instructor Nirali Shah said. "I get to work with kids, but I also feel like I'm making a difference."

Organizers stress that dance is not the focus, but merely a vehicle to help students experience and learn the value of cultural diversity.
Circle Talk is where the learning begins in every class -- even before the dancing. The instructors guide students in exploring core values like acceptance and compassion.

"It's like caring and being kind," third-grader Helen Zhang said.

"Because if you get to know them, you get to know their culture," second-grader Aaron Li added.

"If we can start when they're young to open their minds to acceptance and compassion and giving and bonding and unity, we can really make it a better world," Adani said.

On Wednesday evening, Dance to Unite honored Eyewitness News anchor Bill Ritter for starting the WABC-TV Be Kind campaign.
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Bill Ritter was honored Wednesday night by Dance to Unite for starting the BeKind campaign.



If you see someone doing something extraordinarily kind, let us know at our "Be Kind" campaign page.

For more information, visit DanceToUnite.org.

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