Wingman for Dance inspires empathy, compassion, kindness and most importantly, acceptance of all children regardless of any perceived differences. Each month in the studio we will be incorporating Wingman4Dance activities within all of our dance  classes. This month we were excited to explore different emotions and empathy with our dancers!

February’s Wingman Week: Emotions & Empathy

In February, we will be exploring recognizing emotions in others. Expressing emotions through movement, storytelling and conscientious listening helps to build empathy and compassion in children. We were able to use a number of different exercises with our students to help relay this message.

In each class we flipped through the emotion cards provided by Wingman4Dance. Each class had an opportunity to discuss what the emotion was, how it may have played a part in their life and how we might help or celebrate others who are experiencing this emotion.

With our little Teacups and Tulips we explored our emotion cards through our warm-up activity. The teacher announced the feeling (like happy or sad) and the little dancers let their imaginations soar by dancing out that emotion.

With our older students we challenged them a few different ways. A few of our Junior classes got to play a charade like game where they had to act out that emotion without speaking. While some of our Intermediate dancers had to talk through the emotion by creating a story motivated by that emotion and the other dancers had to guess. Some of our classes even got to create a story dance while using the Wingman4Dance emotion cards.

How Can Parents Help?

Being able to identify and understand emotions in others and in ourselves helps create self-awareness. Being able to discuss emotions and listen intently to others inspires empathy.  Having open family discussions about emotions, specifically the difficult ones – loneliness, sadness, anger, fear, frustration or confusion – builds a stronger, more compassionate family and community.

Please continue discussions with your dancer about ideas for community service activities for April. We will begin to collect their ideas during March.

What is Wingman for Dance?

Wingman for Dance is a program from Dylan’s Wings of Change, a foundation dedicated to the memory of Dylan Hockley. Dylan was one of the first grade victims of the shooting at Sandy Hook Elementary School on December 14, 2012. Dylan was six years old and had autism. He could be his best when those around him would be his Wingman. You can find out more at Also, find Wingman for Dance on Facebook and on Instagram.