Uptown funk!

If you read the news, chances are you’ve seen this AWESOME high school drama teacher put together a version of “uptown funk” to get his students back in the groove of things:

uptown funk

Man, I wish that my teachers were that cool!

Upon initially watching the video, I noticed how cool it was that EVERYONE was included in it. Kids with and without disabilities were getting their groove on, and the soloists weren’t all skinny and fit.

However, reading some of the video comments made me think:

“How nice of them to include the disabled kid in the video”

“I love how they put the disabled kid in the front. Most people would just stick them in the back.”

These comments made me cringe. I know the people who wrote them had good intentions, but I couldn’t help but think- why wouldn’t they include kids with disabilities in the video? Who’s to say that including people with disabilities was an “act of kindness” and not due to the fact that they were an awesome dancer?

It’s easy for people to pity those with disabilities, but when we pity those with disabilities, we limit them in our minds. People with disabilities can be dancers, singers, politicians, teachers, and literally anything else.

I admit, when I first watched the video I immediately applauded the teacher for “including” the student with a disability. The next step was to take a step back, think about my personal biases and opinions, and recognize that “hey, maybe the kid was just an awesome dancer.”

And if you watch the video, you’ll realize that he was!

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5 thoughts on “Uptown funk!”

  1. Wow, you are so right. Even as a parent of a 15 year old son with autism…I think I have many, most times thought the exact same thing. Thank you so much for sharing!

  2. You can really tell that the young differently-abled man tried so hard to memorize the dance and keep up with everyone. He was going through the steps from the moment the music started to to ensure that he did not miss his cue from the teacher to begin. And you can really tell that the teacher made sure the choreography matched the movements that the young differently-abled man does on a regular basis. I watched an interview the teacher and young differently-abled man after this video went viral and his movements were a less exaggerated version of the dance so kudos to the teacher for making sure he could perform with everyone and keep up! And they put him on the front row so everyone can see him! It is a wonderful day when kids are no longer placed in events because they excel but rather so they can be included! The participation trophy idea is a wonderful concept that is being applied to every aspect of life and it really helps build the self-esteem of kids and adults who would have failed and been forced to sit on the sidelines. Great job to the teacher and hopefully he gets an award too 😀

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