In a heart-warming encounter that blended cultures and celebrated the power of dance, Haberdashers’ Monmouth School welcomed three talented young visitors from Meninadança, a charity dedicated to supporting vulnerable girls in Brazil. The visit marked the culmination of a year-long effort to raise awareness and support for the charity’s crucial mission.
Founded by British journalist Mr. Matt Roper, Meninadança has been a beacon of hope for girls caught in extremely challenging circumstances. Mr. Roper’s journey began when he stumbled upon the plight of these girls during his travels in Brazil several years ago. Determined to make a difference, he established “pink houses” – sanctuaries of refuge and healing where these girls can rediscover their self-worth in a society that often diminishes their value.
Throughout the last academic year, the school has rallied behind Meninadança as its primary charitable cause during Chapel services. The journey culminated in a remarkable visit by three Brazilian girls from the Meninadança pink houses, who graced the school with their captivating dance performance.
On Monday morning, during Chaplain’s Assembly, the visiting girls showcased a mesmerizing dance choreography inspired by a Brazilian poem titled “Stones & Flowers” with the stones thrown becoming the very ones that are stood upon, and among which flowers grow. Their dance artfully incorporated elements of Brazilian “Carimbo,” leaving smiles on the faces of all who witnessed it.
The initiative to invite these talented young dancers to Haberdashers’ Monmouth School was spearheaded by Year 10 pupil Amana, who introduced the girls and their cause to the school community. The girls were not only gifted “Dance4Life” uniforms but were also treated to a morning dance class led by Ms. Parry, Ms. Pritchard, and Ms. Heelas, at the Monmouth School of Dance. Students from Year 9 and 10 BTEC Dance were then given a demonstration of Brazilian movement and music by the visitors; it was a joyous exchange of dance moves, blending Monmouth’s moves with Brazilian choreography, fostering a deeper connection between the two cultures.
Following the dance session, the girls and their chaperones enjoyed some lunch, where they engaged in conversations with various dance scholars, including Sixth Former Miriam. Thanks to the translation assistance of the chaperones and Ms. Williams, who speaks Portuguese, the cultural exchange was seamless and enriched by stories and experiences shared.
As the Meninadança team bid farewell the school, they embarked on their journey to London, where they will perform before Members of Parliament and members of the House of Lords. Their mission is to shed light on the often unseen sorrows faced by girls and advocate for ways to alleviate their hardships.
The visit left a lasting impact on the school community, deepening awareness of the challenges faced by girls in different corners of the world. It was a celebration of hospitality, friendship, and the transformative power of dance. Above all, it reinforced the consistent message that every girl and child is of infinite value, deserving of love and care to help them flourish in life.
Our school continues to stand in solidarity with Meninadança, knowing that through dance and compassion, we can make the world a brighter place for all. To find out more or to donate to this worthy cause, please visit wwwmeninadanca.org