Teaching your peers is one thing, teaching your peers in a different country is another. Teaching at the University of Panama was an experience beyond words. Prior to going in and prepping beforehand, we didn’t know what to expect. We were nervous about the reception of our choreography and how the students would react to it. Also, how well we would be able to teach it considering the language barrier and cultural differences. We were overall scared hoping the students would like our choreography and be able to understand it. However, once the class begun it felt like any other class we have taken/taught before. The entire class was solely about the movement and good vibes. This experience and class was a prime example of the power of dance and how dance really is a universal language. It was incredible to see how we were able to communicate without directly speaking at all. We had a translator, but it almost wasn’t needed. Just through dance, the students were able to interpret what we were saying and execute the piece flawlessly while adding their own style to it. The students understood simply by watching our moves and listening to us recreate the beats in the music. All dancers have an unspoken connection and understanding where talking isn’t necessary to be all together in one space to dance. We feel, we move, and we dance together no matter where we are from.
– Aja Loo, Dance Diplomat from UC Irvine