It’s actually quite refreshing to not be able to understand everything people are saying- it’s peaceful to hear the poetic tones of the Spanish language, and so intriguing to see how a wordless vocabulary can reach others.  I love dance.  I love the action, I love the performance, I love watching bodies move through space, and I love the pedagogy.  But the most rewarding part for me is watching kids interpret what they see and how they make it their own.. or maybe how they struggle until finally they’ve conquered a step ball change or pas de bourree.  That’s what it’s all about for me: educating others to discovering new things they may have never thought of doing.

This morning with the help of the Move-Ex team, I  taught a jazz class at la Universidad de Panamá.  A) I’ve never taught university age students B) I’ve never taught students who don’t speak ingles.  The class flowed much easier than expected and the students from both Panamá and the US were extremely eager to learn- that was the biggest compliment for me.  Seeing my friends whom I admire and value so much alongside complete strangers who were so focused and interested in what I was doing.  Moments like those make me confident about and excited for my future as a dancer.

 

After class at la Universidad de Panamá

 

Later in the day we went to an orphanage referred to as Malambo.  Because I have knee injury most of my friends took the control of the classes we taught.  We played an animal game with the first group and the girls, ranging from ages 8-10 and las niñas had such a pleasure teaching us the names of different animals in spanish and movements they associated with those animals.  Keeping their attention was not an easy task, but we’ve devised secret strategies to help the process go more smoothly tomorrow.

 

Beautiful Malambo

 

After the long day, we took a walk around Panamá, learning about the history of the many times conquered country.  Why was the canal built in Panamá and not Nicaragua, you ask?  Because Panama is more resistant to earthquakes.  Through the night we ate delicious pizza and ice cream and talked to some locals about Panamanian activities.  …More on those activities in the coming days!

Panamá at night

 

I taught Florencia how to take a selfie today!

What I saw: Community (and the Panama Canal!)
What I heard:
¿Eres un niño o una niña?  My answer: NIÑA!!
What I smelled:
The ocean
What I tasted: 
FRIED PLAINTAINS, I asked for muchos
What I felt: 
Humidity and warmth, just like home
What I learned:
Beyoncé is universal & how to say monkey in Spanish- mono

 

Lunch at la Universidad- Arroz, frijoles, pollo y platanos

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