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Contributed photo / Students pose in acts of kindness last year during a flash mob during Dance for Kindness.

As a counselor, Walker County Schools' Mitzi Davenport is always looking for new ways to instill traits like empathy and kindness in the students she works with every day.

"Soft skills affect every aspect of life," she said.

Last year, she stumbled upon the New York-based nonprofit Life Vest Inside. The group hosts a global project called Dance for Kindness, a flash mob held annually in honor of World Kindness Day to encourage daily acts of kindness among communities. Davenport led efforts to get county schools involved, and got over 40 dancers to come out to the Rossville Athletic Center in the area's first year of participation.

This year, the flash mob will convene at Saddle Ridge Elementary and Middle School on Sunday, Nov. 10 from 3-5 p.m. Like last year, it will be the only dance site in the state of Georgia, said Davenport.

The dance will begin with three minutes of "poses of kindness," she said. This could be helping another student get up, handing somebody flowers or helping somebody carry groceries, she explained. Then, once the music changes, the group will shift into a choreographed dance. Students have been learning the dance during their physical education classes, she said, but there's still time for others to sign up and learn the dance.

"It's for the community, not just the school," Davenport stressed. "This is about building global awareness and to think and know we're part of something bigger — not just Walker County or North Georgia, but part of the world community."

As part of the project, participants are given cards with a random act of kindness, which will be distributed throughout the community in the hopes of creating a chain reaction of good as the cards move from person to person.

Davenport, too, is looking to create a chain reaction by engaging the whole county as the years go on. She is planning to bring the dance to LaFayette next year.

Those interested in participating this year can contact Davenport at 423-451-6310 or learn more at danceforkindness.com.

Email Sabrina Bodon at sbodon@timesfreepress.com

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