Teaching this week in Panama has been a phenomenal experience. It was wonderful to be embraced in a new community that has culture different from my own. The students were warm and eager to learn. It was really satisfying to see their improvement and investment in the classes progress. Everyday we started class with a name game and each day I saw students become more creative with the movement that would accompany their name. Over the course of five days I saw level changes, turns, and the use of rhythm added to movements in the name game. WOW!
I also saw a developed confidence in students as they grew in competency. The culminating performance was an event that involved the entire community. Everyone came out to support the children of Tanera Public School. It was a day of sharing dance. I, along with other teachers performed as well as coached our students throughout their performances. Each child was given a toy after performing. Many students insisted on taking pictures with all the dance teachers and thanked us for this life changing experience. The truth is I’ve been changed by them. It was fulfilling to give dance to these children and be a part of their introduction to the expressivity of the art form. These students discovered their own personal expression and I’m honored I got to witness and be a part of the process.