January 20, 2019

BY KRIS MANUEL

Sometimes bullying is talked about but ONE Movement is getting the anti-bullying message across with dance.
The professional dance company in Cambridge educates, empowers and inspires children and teens through movement.
Spectators and parents at the Cambridge Centre watched as ONE Movement and their students, which included children from various schools, performed a dance for the STAND UP with ONE Movement performance on Nov. 3.
ONE Movement was founded by Autumn Fernandes, who is a certified dance teacher who teaches at Basic Attitude Dance Company and Elements Dance Arts in Cambridge. The dance company uses hip-hop, ballet, contemporary and jazz dance styles in performances at elementary and high schools to inspire students to stop bullying, along with using different activities to educate them.
“It was started to bring bullying awareness to schools in a different way,” said Fernandes.
“If we can get them to make the change, then as adults they can deal with bullying in the workplace and they’ll teach their kids not to bully.”
ONE Movement member Ajay Avilla said, “We as dancers have a movement and this movement is to make a big change in our community and with our children.”
“They are the future. Why not show them that as a dancer we can make a change, even though we’re not tradesmen, we’re not police officers and we’re not doctors. We can make a change regardless.”
Fernandes, who is also the artistic director of ONE Movement, said that bringing children from different schools to one place for an event shows them that it’s not just their school, but also an entire community that wants to make a difference.
In today’s society, where technology is used in most communication, bullying can be as easy as a click of a button. A person no longer has to physically confront or speak to another person.
Avilla said, “That, in turn, turns out to be a good forum for people to make fun of somebody and hurt their self-esteem just through a simple text message, and what we’re trying to get across is we shouldn’t let bullying escalate any further.”
Dancing is an engaging way to get children energetic and excited about promoting a good cause.
Sarah Walsh, another ONE Movement member, said “Because we’re dancing, it’s different then when kids are being told by adults or just being spoken to about bullying.”
“Children are really into it,” she said.
There was also a poster contest for the students and the winners won prizes which included ONE Movement T-shirts, bracelets and gift certificates.
Avilla said he enjoys using his passion to make a change.
“It’s one thing that I love to dance,” he said. “It’s another thing to dance for a cause.”