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Last week was a busy week for us! As part of the Stern Grove Festival Kids’ Day
program, we spent three days in the mist and the eucalyptus, teaching bhangra to
a total of about 500 kids. This is the second time that Dholrhythms has participated
in Kids’ Day, and it was every bit as fun this year as it was last time.

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Teaching bhangra to kids is one of our favorite things. So many of them tackle a
new dance with joy and enthusiasm, free of the self-consciousness that adults often
feel. As we danced with the kids under the open sky, the kids helped us invent new
names for their favorite bhangra steps: “windshield wiper”, “is there gum on my shoe?”
“backstroke”. My favorite name was “pushing out the goats, pushing out the chickens.”
Who would have thought that a group of kids from an urban place like
San Francisco would have thought of a name like that?

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At the end of each day, the participants filled the Sigmund Stern amphitheater stage
(and it’s a big stage!) to perform what they’ve learned for their parents and each other.
There is nothing cuter than fifty little munchkins dancing their hearts out. Even when
they don’t quite remember the steps.

Every day I went home exhausted. But it was worth it.

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On Sunday for the festival, Stern Grove’s West Meadow filled up with more kids
(and as many adults) who joined us at Kids’ Stage for a short performance, a lesson,
and a mini-dance party before Fanfare Ciocarlia hit the main stage. It was a perfect way
to warm up on a foggy Sunday. Everyone had a chance to practice their new moves later
in the afternoon, when Red Baraat also hit the main stage. A day of fresh air and great
music in a beautiful outdoor setting — free! There’s nothing better.

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The Stern Grove Festival has been providing an admission-free performing arts series
to the public every summer since 1938. As part of their mission, they sponsor a number
of free youth art education programs throughout the festival season.

Go to www.sterngrove.org for more information on this summer’s season.

The Stern Grove Festival has been providing an admission-free performing arts series
to the public every summer since 1938. As part of their mission, they sponsor a number
of free youth art education programs throughout the festival season.

Go to www.sterngrove.org for more information on this summer’s season.

Photos by Odell Hussey