In only my first full day in Panama working with the children from Malambo and the University of Panama students I have already had my expectations for this trip exceeded. Being able to interact with dance students at the University of Panama really showed me that dance truly is a universal language. We were all so united as a community by movement and our passions for dance. Even with the language barrier between our group and the university students or the children at Malambo, we were able to communicate by working together with movement. The kids at Malambo really showed me the importance of playing and having fun, which is something I often forget.
Coming on this exchange I had an idea of what I would be giving the children with movement and attention, but I had no idea that they would be giving me so much in return. They showed me how a simple smile can be used as an invitation to begin to build a bond with someone. They showed me how important community is, and that all the support you need is in the people around you who care about you. Most importantly, they reminded me why I love to dance because it creates such a deep connection between anyone who just loves to move.