Attempting to help their Std X students deal with academic pressures and stress, the management of St Xavier’s High School, Mira Road offers their students a novel way to beat their anxiety by dancing to devotional songs.
Before they begin with their classes at 7 am, they have a half hour school assembly where the students are requested to meditate for approximately 10 minutes after which they break into song and dance. The school has 10 divisions with 593 students preparing for their Secondary School Certificate (SSC) exams.
Theresa Faria, headmistress of the school, said, “It is the first time that we are organising such activities for our students. Starting tomorrow, the Std X students will begin their first preliminary exams.” “To relieve them from stress, we play spiritual songs to which they dance after the assembly is over. The dance sessions are held for at least half an hour and girls and boys perform on alternate days,” Faria added.
Anita Tuli, supervisor of school, said, “We often conduct such stress-free activities that benefit our SSC students and dance is one of them.” Clinical psychologist Seema Hingorrany, said, “Dance is therapeutic and releases endorphins, a feel-good hormone in the body.
This hormone is also released when we exercise. It is a happy hormone and reduces the levels of stress. Dance helps reduce stress. I believe that the school is trying to identify with the students’ anxiety and study pressures. Looking at the present scenario where young children commit suicide owing to the pressures they undergo, I think the school is trying to rope in more and more therapeutic methods.”
Voices > Students speak
>> I am already learning classical dance and I know how relieved one feels when one dances. I love it when our principal allows us to dance to spiritual songs before our classes begin.- Saba Shaikh
>> We enjoy when the songs are played and we are encouraged to dance. It is very relaxing. It increases my concentration during lectures. I also dance at home whenever I am stressed. - Binal Wara
>> It is not just dancing, but even singing during school assembly is a stress buster. Our principal calls different students on stage to perform. Girls and boys perform on alternate days. - Tejas Govilkar
>> We get a chance to dance to songs that are soothing and spiritual. We enjoy this and feel refreshed after the sessions. This helps me to attend all my lectures with much enthusiasm. - Ganesh Nyaupane
>> Even if a few boys feel shy to dance, they are encouraged when they see the other boys doing the same. It is a fun idea to have such sessions before exams. - Yash Chawla
>> While some like dancing, others enjoy singing. It depends on each person on what relieves his or her stress. - Vikrant Rautela