The dance of resilience: a narrative exploration of community connection
Poverty is affecting student learning and social development every day. Creating social emotional learning environments for learners can foster the development of resilient behaviours in vulnerable youth. This study explores students who have developed resilient behaviours as a result of their connection to a dance community within their school. The purpose of this narrative study was to determine powerful contributors that led to the transformation of student behavior within this community. Twelve students within this community, as well as their principal, were interviewed and three students’ stories were chosen to be presented in narrative form. Employing coethnographic and auto-ethnographic methodologies three students’ stories were woven together with the personal story of the researcher. The results of this study illustrated the importance of fostering social emotional learning environments so that vulnerable students can find success. In particular, the development of a healthy relationship with an adult was a key factor in allowing students’ resilience to develop. Teachers need to be educated in the area of social emotional learning so they can better their practice and enhance student achievement for vulnerable learners.