An ECHO Network Team recently held “Community Dance Connections” as its culminating community project.
Held at the Gateway YWCA, the event featured three sections of dance instruction: Latin, hip-hop and swing.
Several dozen participants, who included everyone from students to senior citizens, were encouraged to socialize and connect with those they didn’t know. Participants were given dance cards, made popular at formal dances in the early 19th Century, to note the names of those they met and those they wanted to stay connected to after the event.
“Fun events like these where people have to interact help folks cross over so many perceived barriers to trust, such as race, age or ability,” said Natasha Gore, executive director of the ECHO Network.
ECHO Teams are groups of approximately 12-16 participants who design innovative projects to bring members of the team closer together. The program is free to all team members. The ultimate goal of ECHO (Everyone Can Help Out) is to increase the community’s social capital by bringing residents closer to one another.
ECHO began as the ECHO Council, a program of the Winston-Salem Foundation, and evolved into an independent nonprofit.
For more information, visit www.echonetwork.org.