JOIN MOVEMENT EXCHANGE

University Chapters

Our university chapter network allows dance diplomats to serve their local communities and connect to like-minded dancers across the United States.

International Dance Exchanges

Move-Ex hosts international dance exchanges that immerse individuals in a new culture through dance and service.

Move to Change Day

Move to Change Day is a global day of dance and service where communities around the world come together to promote accessible dance education.

UNIVERSITY CHAPTERS

Why Join a Move-Ex University Chapter?

Movement Exchange university chapters engage in local and international dance service in the U.S. and Panama. By joining or starting a chapter, you will:

  • gain invaluable leadership and community engagement skills
  • exchange dance and culture through international dance exchanges
  • leave a legacy on campus by organizing a group of like-minded dancers
  • positively impact your community by providing accessible dance education

Find and Join a Move-Ex Chapter

Start a Chapter

Don’t see your university in the list? Apply to start a university chapter and create your own community of dance diplomats. For more information, download our Chapter Handbook.

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MOVEMENT EXCHANGE CHAPTERS

"Starting a chapter has made me a more confident leader, communicator, and empowered me with the knowledge that I can be an active agent in transforming my own community. The relationships that I've created would not have come about if not for the powerful connector of teaching, dancing, traveling, and collaborating together."

− Allyson, Previous President of Move-Ex at Arizona State

JOIN AN EXCHANGE

Join an International Dance Exchange

Movement Exchange hosts international dance exchanges that bring together dancers of all styles and backgrounds to engage in service.

Become a dance diplomat by joining an international dance exchange. As a dance diplomat, you will:

  • engage in cross-cultural understanding
  • promote social equality and inclusion
  • foster creative expression
  • inspire through civic engagement
  • empower individuals and communities

Upcoming International Dance Exchanges

If you would like to join one of the international dance exchanges listed below, email info@movementexchanges.org for more information.

  • December 28th-January 4th, 2018
  • March 10th-17th, 2018
  • March 25th-April 1st, 2018
  • May 19th-26th, 2018
  • May 27th-June 3rd, 2018
  • July 15th-22nd, 2018: Open Exchange to PANAMA (Apply Now!)
  • July 28th-August 6th, 2018: Open Exchange to BRAZIL (Apply Now!)

DANCE IN PANAMA

Organize a group exchange for your university or join us for our Open Exchange. During this 8-day exchange, you will teach over 100 youth, collaborate with Panamanian dancers, and discover Panamanian history and culture. Activities include:

  • teaching at orphanages and youth foundations
  • learning local dance forms such as salsa and folkloric
  • visiting beautiful beaches and historic sites
  • exchanging culture through movement

To plan a group exchange, Movement Exchange requires a 10-participant minimum and preferred dates must be sent to info@movementexchanges.org or your Chapter Mentor (if applicable) no fewer than three months before your tentative departure.

Program Donation for the Panama Exchange
Students: $1,390
Non-Students: $1,590
*A non-refundable and non-transferable deposit of $500 is due three months before your international dance exchange. The remaining amount of your program donation is due one month before your exchange.

DANCE IN BRAZIL (July 28th-August 6th)

Dance with Movement Exchange this summer from July 28th-August 6th, 2018 for our second international dance exchange to Brazil! Take classes in traditional Brazilian dance, visit Rio de Janeiro’s iconic sites, and immerse yourself in one of the world’s art meccas. Activities include:

  • teaching at youth and arts foundations
  • learning local dance forms such as samba, capoeira, and more
  • visiting beautiful beaches and historical sites
  • discovering Brazilian culture and history

Program Donation for the Brazil Exchange
Students: $2,500
Non-Students: $2,700
*A non-refundable and non-transferable deposit of $700 must be submitted prior to March 1st, 2018.  For more information about the deposit deadline, email info@movementexchanges.org.

Need-based scholarships available. Please email anna@movementexchanges.org for more info.

MOVE TO CHANGE DAY

Get Moving on our Global Day of Dance and Service

Move to Change Day empowers individuals and communities to organize free dance classes, workshops, or events. By hosting your own Move to Change Day event, you will be using dance to foster civic engagement, cross-cultural understanding, and creative expression in your local community.

For your Move to Change Day event, you can organize:

  • a flash mob
  • a free dance workshop
  • a lecture series
  • a dance performance
  • any event that promotes accessible dance education

Why are we moving to change? We believe that dance encourages:

  • Community Empowerment: Studies show that individuals in communities with greater access to arts education, such as dance, have increased self-esteem, interpersonal skills, and group cohesion.
  • Creative Expression: Dance can be used to cultivate an intimate understanding of how your body moves throughout space. This knowledge provides an outlet for conveying ideas and emotions.
  • Cross-Cultural Understanding: Dance, as a non-verbal form of communication, allows individuals to establish meaningful relationships with others regardless of what language they speak or their economic or social background.

Join us for the next Move to Change Day this October 21, 2017

Questions about hosting a Move to Change Day event? Email info@movementexchanges.org

FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS

GENERAL QUESTIONS

Why is it called Movement Exchange?

We are a growing movement of dancers passionate about service and well…movement! We are also passionate about the exchange of dance, ideas, and cultures. Join our movement! Exchange some movement…and, of course MOVE TO CHANGE!

When I leave, will the youth I taught have continued dance education?

Si, si, si! Thanks to your program contribution we have started three dance departments at orphanages and employ local dance instructors  year-round. We aren’t one hit wonders and would never agree to organizing international dance exchanges without committing to sustainable impact.

What level of dance experience is required?

All levels are welcome! We love movers, and aren’t hung up on how impressive your turn out is. The classes that are taught to some of the students are basic, and even volunteers with little dance experience are able to participate actively and lead portions of classes by the end of the week. Our professional dancers can teach at a variety of places besides orphanages that include the University of Panama and the National School of Dance in Panama City. We are much more concerned with producing joyful, confident youth than professional dancers.  We are looking for compassionate, nurturing and awesome dance volunteers!

What types of dance classes will we take?

In addition to teaching, volunteers will be exposed to various styles of dance taught by local teachers. These styles have included Afro-based techniques, Guna (an Indigenous dance), and contemporary. Once again, volunteers of all different dance backgrounds are welcome and able to participate fully.

Does Movement Exchange focus on a particular dance style, or can dancers of any style participate?

We do not focus on just one style. The greater the diversity in styles, the more interesting the program is for all involved. Our weeks are volunteer empowered. You bring your expertise and sparkle to the table.

Who are the youth we will be teaching abroad?

The youth at various orphanages and foundations including, but not limited to the Malambo Orphanage,  Fundacion La Providencia, and Aldea SOS. Organizations may differ by country. Many of the youth we teach are HIV positive, are from abusive homes, have little or no family, and are disabled.

What exactly will we teach the kids?

That all depends on your dance diplomat group’s dance background and interests. Past classes have included ballet, jazz, Chinese ribbon dance, belly dancing, modern, and capoeira. The youth are receptive to nearly anything you teach them, provided you make it fun and include a few games in the process. We have a pre-departure handbook to help you with ideas on how to incorporate games/activities that support our goal of building self-esteem in the youth we work with. Classes should be prepped beforehand with your university chapter or on your own if you are attending an Open Call.

What is the age range of the kids we work with?

We teach youth between the ages of 4 to 18 years old. Groups with wide age ranges are split up into smaller groups. Groups of 10 to 60 students are common and most classes are team taught among dance diplomats.

What is the best way to prepare for teaching the kids?

If you are traveling with your university group, you will be preparing classes and a curriculum throughout the semester as a team.  If you are coming on an Open Call, you will be introduced to other dance volunteers with whom you will be teaching. Prepare choreography! Before arriving in Panama, have at least two set routines to teach: an easier one for the younger age groups and a more challenging one for the older age groups. Choose fun music with a strong beat and, if possible, bilingual lyrics. The workshops are a highly collaborative effort in the Open Calls, so don’t worry about trying to organize an entire class by yourself. Just remember that we are working with a demographic that comes from a disadvantaged background (many don’t have family, live in violent households). It’s not anything like teaching dance in a middle class U.S. suburb. There will be chaos, kids might not always stay in lines,  but there will also be so much hunger for learning and appreciation for your presence. (Classes taught at universities or national dance schools are intermediate/advanced.)

I have a dance company, dance studio, or high school, how do I organize an international exchange?

All you need to do is get a group of at least 8 people together, set a date for your international dance exchange, and prepare your own curriculum for international dance outreach. University chapters are involved in dance outreach year-round, you can follow a similar model of domestic and international dance service.  Contact us for more information about how to get your dance studio or group involved in an international dance exchange.

UNIVERSITY CHAPTER CREATION

How can I start a chapter?

The process is simpler than it may seem. First, apply to start a chapter at your school. Then download our University Chapter Handbook. You’ll be put into contact with the Program Director and a Chapter Mentor who will then guide you with next steps.

How do I register as an official student organization at my school?

Each school has a different process for how to become an officially recognized student organization on campus. Some require a faculty advisor, a constitution, and/or a variety of other documents. Our best advice to you is to visit the campus office where they house all student activities and organizations. It’s probably a simple Google search away!

How do I organize an international exchange for my chapter?

Get a group of at least 8 people who want to participate on an exchange, fundraise for it, and just give us the dates you all want to go! We organize the rest!

Why should I start a chapter if I can do the same domestic and international service on my own?

Chapters mean collaboration and community. Not only will you leave a legacy on your campus, but you’ll join a strong base of university chapters across the nation. If you are traveling with your university group, you will be preparing classes and a curriculum throughout the semester as a team. While working in a chapter setting you will have the ability to share best practices and see the fruits of your labor by making dance accessible in your community and abroad in a sustainable way for years to come.

INTERNATIONAL EXCHANGE LOGISTICS

What is included in the program donation for an international dance exchange?

Read each country’s specific handbook for more detailed information as to what’s included in the experience of your international exchange. Always included in your program donation is a contribution towards sustainable year-round, locally staffed dance education in the communities where we serve abroad. Movement Exchange founded and staffs three orphanages’ dance programs in Panama for children without previous access to dance instruction.

Do I have to speak a foreign language to attend the international dance exchange?

Claro que no! Since movement is a language that everyone understands, communication comes fairly easily. Additionally, your exchange guide speaks both English and the language of the host country.

I'd love be involved...but I'd really like to do a similar project in Quatitnal! Does Movement Exchange go anywhere else?

Funny you ask! We have always wanted to go to Quantitnal. Wait…that’s not a country. But, it sounds cool. Here at Move-Ex we are all about creating new opportunities to change the world through dance. We will be expanding soon to other countries only when we are assured that we can make a sustainable impact in the place we serve.

Do you have a sample itinerary for the international dance exchanges?

Yes, please take a look at our JOIN page and download a specific country’s handbook (if you are attending an Open Call) or the University Chapter Handbook (if you a university student starting a chapter). Both of these handbooks have sample itineraries!