By Cielo Vera
BeeOasis Step 4
Gillian Lynne could not sit still. She was eight years old now, and her teachers were concerned about her performance at school. Perhaps she had a learning disorder. (Today a psychologist might say that she had attention-deficit hyperactivity disorder or ADHD, but that diagnosis was not available at the time.) Gillian’s mother was apprehensive too, so she took her daughter to visit a doctor. At the doctor’s office, Gillian sat on her hands, and she listened to her mother tell the doctor about her fidgeting and lack of focus.
Then the doctor spoke directly to Gillian. He said, “I need to talk to your mother privately for a moment.” Gillian understood. But as the doctor left the room, he switched on a radio. He then spoke to the mother. “Look at your daughter.” Gillian was on her feet. She was moving to the rhythm and music on the radio. Then the doctor said, “Your daughter is not sick. She’s a dancer. Take her to dance school.”
Gillian’s mother took her little girl to dance school. When Gillian entered the school, she was surprised. She saw many children, and she thought, “These people are just like me. They can’t sit still. They have to move to think.” At dance school, Gillian learned ballet, jazz, tap, and modern dance, and later she eventually entered the Royal Ballet.
After graduating from the Royal Ballet, Gillian started her own dance company. And she went on to become a famous dancer, actor, director, and choreographer. Gillian is associated with the pioneering choreography in the musicals Cats and the Phantom of the Opera. She has entertained millions of people, and she has earned millions of dollars.
In schools today, math and sciences are vital. They enable us to build our modern world. But not everyone can excel at math and science. Educator Sir Ken Robinson says that if we focus excessively on math and science, we will fail to discover the talents and aptitudes of artistic children. Instead, education systems need to be reformed so that we can learn to educate the whole person. By learning to educate people holistically, we will not waste the gifts, talents, and potential of creative people like Gillian Lynne.
Click here to see a Step 2 version of this story.
This story is a simple summary of an outstanding TED talk by Sir Ken Robinson.