Dance Diplomats: Informed and Empathetic

Another exciting day in Panama! Today was our third day of teaching and this means, unfortunately, we are more than halfway done. What has been most important to me on this trip is the amount of learning that has occurred while here. Today we were asked what being a dance diplomat means to us, to this I responded that a dance diplomat is informed and empathetic:
Informed- in school we hope that our teachers are well versed in the subjects which they are teaching us, this should be no different with dance. While on this trip I have learned so much about teaching, about reading a room, adjusting plans, communication, and more. Not only have I learned how to be a more effective teacher but I have learned so much about Panama. I believe the lessons about Panama are a very important part of the exchange, because they add to the value cross-cultural understanding that we have within Movement Exchange.
Empathetic- I believe that one of the key aspects of movement is that we are able to understand and read each other solely through the sharing of movement. Through this kinesthetic empathy we can communicate.
Through the challenges that the language barrier has presented we are left to rely on the one thing we all as humans inanely know- movement. Through taking and teaching classes I have learned how much each body has to say, and how much one can say with a body. I am looking forward to continuing this exchange and the lessons that the future holds.
– Bailey Seymour, Dance Diplomat
University of Wisconsin, Madison