On Giving and Receiving

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We got on the bus just before 5pm, and after a loving “Ciao amigitas!” from one of our older students, we drove out the gates of Aldeas S.O.S. for the last time. Not only was this our final afternoon with the kids at Aldeas S.O.S., but it was our final moment with any of the wonderful students we have met during our time in Panama, as this was our last set of classes. As we turned onto the main road, I already felt how much I would miss each one of the joyous faces that had looked at me- as a friend, a mentor, a student, and a teacher. While I do speak some Spanish, I will never cease to be amazed at how well I was able to connect with these fellow dancers through movement, both the kids and the Universidad de Panama students I taught. It was a quality unattainable through language alone, only further exemplified by the rather high language barrier we were navigating. Co-teaching with my best friend and greatest partner, Gigi, to students of the Universidad de Panama (day 3) was easily one of the most inspiring teaching and general dance experiences I have ever had. My creativity is flying and my love for dance and dancing with others heightens exponentially in response. Working with the other great friends who joined me on this trip to teach the kids at the different orphanages was then inspiring in a different way, a more complexly simple human way. As a new challenge for me, I found exciting growth in myself almost as much as I witnessed in my students, if not more. I have new insight into the possibilities for how we connect with others and its benefits, as well as the losses possible with its absence. Through all of the classes I participated in throughout my time on Movement Exchange, as teacher or student, I feel I received much more than I gave, even with my conviction to give everything I had in me every day.

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  • What a beautiful reflection Sydney! My favorite part: “Co-teaching with my best friend and greatest partner, Gigi, to students of the Universidad de Panama (day 3) was easily one of the most inspiring teaching and general dance experiences I have ever had. My creativity is flying and my love for dance and dancing with others heightens exponentially in response.”

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