True Roots Consulting Group offers a variety of training to support and strengthen organizations in maximizing the impact their work has on the world. One such program is leadership training for teenage members of a Oaxacan dance company. The Gubhixa Folk Dance Company has developed a unique and creative style for presenting traditional Mexican dance in their home city of Oaxaca, México and beyond. Under the guidance of director and founder Alejandro Díaz, the company has grown over the past five years to include 45 young dancers (ages 7 – 19), three volunteer and three paid teachers, and a Board of Directors that assists with fundraising.
Like any performing art, Mexican folk dance requires practice, persistence, discipline, and a strong sense of commitment. What sets the Gubhixa group apart, however, is the vision that Alejandro has for the company. He seeks not only to share Mexican culture via dance, but also to help young company members develop values and self-management skills for life. Alejandro is a master of innovation, infusing modern and non-traditional techniques into traditional Mexican dances, thus encouraging students to perfect their skills while opening their minds and growing at a personal level.
In order to help build the success of the company, True Roots has created a leadership training program for 10 of the Gubhixa teenage dancers. Through a series of workshops on participatory leadership and facilitation, communication, and team building, this select group of teenagers are preparing themselves as the future leaders of the dance company. They were carefully chosen by the company director and teachers based on their dance skills, positive attitudes, and leadership potential.
True Roots’ Gubhixa leadership training program is focused on developing participants’ capacities. The first module in this training program includes the following objectives:
- Establish a solid understanding of current leadership theories, with an emphasis on participatory and situational leadership styles.
- Recognize the role of a leader in constructing a shared vision among a group.
- Understand how paradigms and entrenched habits can hinder innovative leadership, and how they can be overcome.
- Identify the role leaders play in peace building and conflict resolution.
The expected results of this first leadership training module have been established and are being monitored, and a series of assignments have been given to participants to complement the live sessions. Upon completion of this series, the goal is to demonstrate to participants and other dance company members the impact and most significant change experienced over the course of the workshops.
Following this first leadership training module, two more series will follow and allow participants to further develop their capacities in assertive communication and team building. Taken as a whole, the training program aims to develop a core group of young leaders who effectively communicate and promote team building in a planned and organized way, with a focus on goals and results. With True Roots’ assistance, these young leaders will work closely with Alejandro and the Gubhixa Dance Company in order to ensure the long-term continuity of a highly competitive, professional, and resilient dance company.
Click here to see a video about the workshop and to hear from participants