Today, (Tuesday) we got to get up a little earlier to take an improv class from a Cuban instructor before we went to take class at the University. Although we knew we were going to be dancing a lot on this trip and in humid weather, I was excited to have the opportunity to actually teach dance and take dance in a foreign country. Even though some of what we were doing was different, because most people spoke Spanish, it didn’t matter because dance was the same in every language. The Cuban instructor luckily spoke English. The class was mostly modern and we did a lot of neat movement with our body that went from simple to complex. It was fun to see how other people danced in other cultures and how it had similarities to our own. It opened up new insight for myself to want to engage in different types of dance, because there is so much out there to learn that I don’t know.
After his class, we drove to the University to take class and Syon, Brittney, Madison and myself got to teach. It was fun interacting more with the University students and the girls on our team through challenging each other with dance or introducing new dance steps. Each day was something new and exciting. We learned more Spanish and really started counting cinco, seis, siete, ocho!
Afterwards, we all shuttled to our locations again where we taught the kids. The second day the kids were a little different, they were a little harder to handle. Kids will always be kids. It was tough because although I knew these kids came from broken down homes and horrific backgrounds I still knew there had to be a balance with discipline and fun. Almost like tough love. I know that its good for every kid to have that balance, so we tried our best to do that, and towards the end of the week I think they loved us and appreciated us even more for it.
When we got back after teaching, we usually do dinner on our own because we all end at different times, then meet up later for reflections. It was interesting because some of us stated that a lot of times, when were are teaching dance we are not teaching them to be happy, we are teaching them to express emotion. It is healthy to express all different types of emotion, sad, angry, happy or joyful. One of the girls a couple years ago said to Carina (one of the people with movement exchange)
“She has started to like dancing because for that 1 hour, she can forget all her worries and troubles and just be living in the moment.”
I think that this is exactly what Movement Exchange wants to do. Dance is something where you can forget all your troubles, and live for the moment. That’s why I dance and why a lot of other people dance.
Taking dance class with a cuban instructor.
Maddison and I doing a move from what we learned in class.
Brittney, Maddison, Syon and I with the Cuban instructor.
Eating the best ice cream I’ve ever had with Brittney, Sarah, Nora, Maddison and Syon!
Eating dinner at a local place in Casco Viejo with Syon, Sarah, Brittney, Carina and Maddison.