Muchos abrazos!! Day 4 in Panama!

By March 11, 2014 December 30th, 2017 International Dance Exchanges

Today was indescribable. I’d say the best day we’ve had so far in more ways than one! During our reflections at the end of the day today, everyone had so many great things to say and I think  there was a general consensus that today was incredible. We started off the day taking a hike up Cerro Ancon, where we got incredible views of Panama. We could even point out our hotel which was pretty neat!! After the hike, all of our calves were a little on the sore side, but the view was most definitely worth it. Afterwards, Emily and I taught a class at the University of Panama. We taught a modern/contemporary class and it was really inspiring to see everyone move. I loved seeing our fellow Move-Ex members from SMU dance because they were beautiful (of course) and the University students were absolutely incredible as well. The way they moved was so different from the way I normally move and they really made the movement their own. Many of them were really emotional with their dancing, which I think is something we lack a little bit in the States so it was really inspiring to see that. I really had a great time teaching them and got some great feedback from my fellow Move-Exers 🙂

Here’s a quick pic of the class:



We then headed off to Malambo for the second day. We had the older girls first and we worked on their pas de bourres again! We spent some time working on them and combined them with chasses across the floor and they did it beautifully!! We then worked on the fun salsa-y combination again and they really had a ton of fun with it. One of the girls, Julina, knew every single step and I was really proud of her. After quite some time, we switched groups and had the younger girls. They were CRAZY at first. Absolutely insane. We finally got them to calm down a bit, but it definitely took some effort. I definitely noticed today how much our tone affects how involved the kids are. The more energy, the better!!! At the end of the day, we had a show with all of the girls so they could show their dances to all of us. All of the dances they learned were so diverse and different and I’m so glad we can leave these girls with a wealth of dance moves for them to practice. It’s nice to be able to know we’re leaving them with something for them to hold on to and practice. I was talking to one of the girls and she said she was going to practice and I really think they will 🙂

Everyone at Malambo:

The hardest part of today was saying goodbye to the girls. Knowing that we may never (and probably won’t) ever see these girls again was a crazy concept for me. I really didn’t want to leave and I wanted to get to know these girls more and more. I felt like we connected so much with them just within two days and I couldn’t imagine how close we would get if we had more time. Regardless, I knew we had to leave and I’m still extremely excited for the orphanage tomorrow and all the knew kids we are going to be meeting. I’m getting  a lot more comfortable with the kids and speaking in Spanish to them, which is definitely boosting my confidence while teaching! I am so incredibly grateful for this experience and it has already taught me so much about dancing and how universal it is. I know dance warms my heart and it’s incredible to see it warming these kids hearts as well. 🙂


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