Throw Back Thursday Post- My Job 12 years ago

Back in 2004 I had the absolute pleasure of working one of my favorite jobs. I was a Student Support Specialist for the Migrant Education Program, it sounds like a fancy tittle, but most of what I did was work with students who were considering post Secondary Education, and help run a High School student group. The most amazing thing about the student group, was that we did dance performances at different events. And I got to teach those performances! I would get paid for going with the students to performances, but not for teaching the dances, I volunteered that time.

We had three different groups, one was traditional Mexican dances, another was more modern dances, like Cumbia, Salsa, Merengue and Banda Music, the last was some basic Hip Hop and Reggaetton. I taught the Mexican Dances, cumbia, salsa, Merengue and Banda. The students would research the other stuff.

The group got started when we participated in the parade for Oxford's 250 anniversary. Everybody loved our dances! It was one of the most amazing days! Oxford had a growth of Mexican population around 1999 and 2003, and everybody was always very welcoming to the families. The parade was HUGE, and long! Maybe 4-5 miles long. We were welcomed by everybody in the town. The Mexican families and white families would shout out the names of the kids they knew,  After that we were invited to a ton of other performances.

After the Parade
Practice in my parent's backyard
The Cumbia performance
Our picture from the Local Newspaper

The kids were amazing, and all so talented! Our group grew as we were invited everywhere! We participated in the Halloween Parade, the Christmas Caroling Group, the Cinco de Mayo Festival, the Latino/ Hispanic Student Conference in West Chester University, the Memorial day parade. We also started to include other activities, like we had a group that helped paint a mural at the Local Library, a group that did book readings for kids and a group that helped out in the ESL classes.

Summer Festival

I had simple rules for the group, everything we did had to be family friendly, meaning I didn't want the group to do a performance that would be sexually suggestive, or offensive to others.

Multicultural day at the Library. Ivan and Nina were two of our hardest working students.

Cinco de Mayo Festival. Mayra and Daniel Dancing Cumbia
Doing a hair flip at the Cinco de Mayo Festival

I was working with many other organizations at the time, and a group of Middle School girls from Girl Scouts that I was working with, did a very sexually suggestive performance at the Cinco de Mayo Festival, and another Student Support Specialist who saw it, said that I should not have let them do that performance, because they were very young and sent me to have a talk with them. I had nothing to do with their dance! I don't even know how they got into the Festival! But because I worked with those girls 1 day a week, it got pinned on me! I didn't even see their performance!

Some of the students in the picture went off to college and started their own dance groups, and I want to hope that I had a little bit to do with that!

In 2005 I got married and moved to the Harrisburg Area. I missed this job for many years! It was, one of my favorite jobs!

What has been one of your favorite jobs?
Did anybody elses bad job got pinned on you?
Have you been in a parade?
Ever worked with High School Students?



  1. What a fun thing to do and get paid for :) Love it! and so good for the kids to have something active and positive to keep them busy.
    I currently work in HS now and like seeing all the skills the kids learn. Before I came here i spent several years in an alternative HS and the kids had lots of issues but most very sweet. We also had a middle school programs for over age kids and adult ELL program for kids who came into the country at HS with no school experience. It was really good - a 2 year for 17-21 and they were taught English, money, basic computer skills all good life stuff :)

    1. Thank you Karen! It was a great job! Sounds like your school is doing pretty amazing things !

  2. What a great job! Thanks for sharing. I am so uncoordinated that dancing never was my thing, though I have always wanted to learn tap. And one day I will.

    1. Heather, there is always time to learn something new! I bet you can learn to tap dance !

  3. I'm sure you made a great impact on these students! So sorry the girl scouts did a naughty dance and you got blamed for it!

    1. Thank you Meranda! I did end up
      Having a talk with the girls, bc others refused to acknowledge it happened.

  4. I see you have always loved dancing! Did you ever think about being a Zumba instructor or do you like not being in charge and just being part of the class?

    1. I have thought about it before, I saved my money to get my certification, but something else came up, then I just kept putting it off. Maybe now that AIMF will be closing, I will get certified.

  5. Those dresses are AMAZING. I am definitely not a dancer, but I have a lot of respect for how important culturally important dance is!

    1. Thank you Ali! My sisters made two dresses years later, because they wanted to have one for themselves.


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