Hayley Burns – Ubud Dancing Queen


On Valentines Day a local school for blind, deaf and disabled children held a charity even to raise funds for the children. We had previously met a few of the teachers from the school, a wide range of international students completing their practical placements by volunteering here, and decided to go along. Noah, Hayley and I went in the afternoon and had a great time playing simple games like knocking a pyramid made of tins down with balls made from balloons filled with dirt. Noah was actually really good at it. By the end he could pick a can and hit it more times than not. Of course the ball occasionally went astray, hitting the person setting up the cans. We also played a “parachute” game with a few local kids. The object of the game was to keep the ball on top of a large circle of material that we were all holding. Eventually Hayley gave up and jumped under the parachute, giggling her head off everytime the material touched her.

We went back to the school after dinner with Colin to listen to the reggae band. By this stage the school was packed with expats eating dinner generously donated by local restaurants and enjoying cheap Bintang beer. Whether it was the beer, the type of expat that lives in Ubud or just simply because the band was fantastic; everyone got up to dance as soon as the band started. I havent seen anything like it since we all graudated from Uni and became too old and self conscious to dance.

Hayley of course was straight up on the dance floor and the rest of us soon followed. I’m not sure where Hayley gets her dancing gene from but its not from Colin or I. She can really move. The kids were introduced to their first conga line. Colin introduced Hayley to the iconic dance move from Dirty Dancing where “Baby” runs at Patrick Swayze’s character and he lifts her above his head. Noah danced for a while then gave up (he perhaps has our dancing gene) and went back to knocking cans down.

All in all it was a fantastic night. Unfortunately we didn’t win anything in the charity raffle but at least the money went to a good cause.

Today was another fairly quiet day. Colin has a charming case of Bali Belly so he spent the morning bed reading. A much needed rest as he’s been working pretty hard for a man that is on holidays! I took the kids for a swim at Nicks and then we took Colin to Tutmak to see if food helps. I’m not sure if bacon and eggs is the right cure for Bali Belly but it seemed to help a little. He went back to bed for a few hours but came good later in the day.


After lunch the kids and I went for a Gamelon music lesson at the Pondak library near the football field. These Indonesian instruments are amazing. I love the sounds that they make.

Of course when two young kids are the ones playing the instruments and they are refusing to listen to the teacher, opting instead to make their own sounds … well the instruments aren’t quite as enchanting.


The teacher kept trying to show them the right way and get them to play things more complicated then scales but eventually they just went back to bashing. I don’t think they learnt anything but we did have fun and it was $16 well spent as the money goes towards the teacher’s wage and new books for local children.

The library also offers a range of classes in Indonesian, carving, painting and dancing. We did a painting class on another day.


The library is well worth a visit, particularly if you have older children. Lessons usually need to be booked a few hours in advance, if not a day inadvance so be sure to drop in the day before you want to do your lesson.

Perhaps we’ll take Hayley back in a few years for dance lessons.

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