Mornings in Panama

By April 19, 2012 December 30th, 2017 International Dance Exchanges

This morning outside the Malambo Orphanage I saw a long train of ants carrying flower petals from the fallen flowers of a tree with bright red foliage, and in the branches was a small hummingbird flitting between the branches – it was a surreal moment, when the luscious plants and reality of Panama sank in deeply. And these moments happen all the time here, in our classes, on the street, in the place we are living: kids running around and dancing with us in our classes. Everything here is so full of life, with a vibrancy of spirit in the hundreds of students we’ve worked with already – young people who are hungry to dance and move and make art together. And also, we have been brought to an energetic and magical place within ourselves, zooming around between the various orphanages and youth organizations where we teach dance technique, creative movement, and at the University and National Ballet School where we teach more advanced technique classes in Modern Dance.

The pictures on this post are from an outdoor class at la Escuela Sara Sotilla, an elementary school in Panama City where we led creative movement exercises and taught little movement phrases to 3rd through 5th graders – after the class was over some admitted that they wanted to do this dance class every day, because it’s not something they get in school. Then several of the kids asked us, “When will you be coming back?”


I said that I didn’t know, but hopefully next year!




– Scotty Hardwig
writing from Panama on the Dance and Cultural Exchange Program, University of Utah & Movement Exchange

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