Apart from English, we also taught the children in the school our dances. Living in a UWC gives us the wonderful opportunity to choose from a vast variety of dancing styles from all over the world. That is why, like in every project week I have undertaken so far, we organized a small performance containing different dances and songs, namely from Africa, Latinamerica, France and Spain. We showed off the LPC-legendary French “Banana Dance“, a new version of Waka Waka and – as you might guess from this entry’s title and from the fact that we had two latino students leading the trip – Salsa! Especially the Salsa was a big success with the students, and they were incredible eager to learn this dance from us.
Like for the bamboo dance, we worked in pairs to teach each other and once again I got to work together with the very talented dancer. This however appeared to be a little more difficult than for the bamboo dance, because she had learned some Latin-American, yet different steps before and hence I spent most of the time trying to get her out of her dancing and posture routines. The main problems that I faced in this collaboration concerned how I could not communicate with the girl due to my lack of Chinese skills and her very scarce English knowledge. Every once in a while I had to ask one of our Mandarin speakers to come and help us and translate the advise I gave the girl for her posture, or the orders I gave her on when to do which step. When nobody was around who could help, I used my hands and feet to convey my guidance, or simply placed her arms and legs wherever they belonged. It worked out really well in the end, and we were very proud of each other when we finally mastered the choreography.
This dancing experience was very meaningful for me. On one side it was, because I love dance of all kinds in general, and because the interaction and communication through dance is one of my favorite parts of sharing and teaching culture. On the other side it was, because it let us get to know the students a little closer. We bonded with them in a very personal way and for the afternoon, we truly felt like friends. That’s why that afternoon, dancing Salsa with the students, was such a distinctive and special part of this year’s Project Week for me.
* Title Explanation: 我 = I, 爱 = love . As whole it means “I love Salsa”, which is the title of the Salsa song that we danced to.