For the next few weeks, we will be featuring some of our wonderful dance interns in Spain who are joining together to write a series, cleverly named “Dance in Spain.” Our first post is by Immanuel Jones, who both got on a plane and stayed in a hotel for the very first time with our dance internship in Barcelona…
First I would like to say that before spring of last year, I never thought that I would be going out of the country, or even fly on a plane! After listening to previous travel abroad students and professors, I knew that traveling abroad was something I wanted to do so I could grow as an individual. When I figured out that through PAA I could do an internship, grow as a person, dive into a new culture, and dance at the same time, I was sold!
I have been here for 5 weeks and have recently been given a numerous amount of different dance opportunities. It seems as though there is somewhere I can dance every day in any style such as salsa, hip hop, popping, contact, etc. Almost every day I meet with a group of people who go to competitions and believes dancing is their life. It’s inspiring to see such passion and desire for dance since I didn’t see that in the small city of Indianapolis at home. My style of dancing has progressed tremendously as I continue to incorporate more and more dance moves into my repertoire.
As far as who I am and what I have learned about myself, it’s hard to travel abroad and not learn new things about yourself. I have always been an outgoing person but I didn’t know how much confidence I didn’t have in myself when it came to performing in front of other people. I’m still working on that area, and having confidence in who I am. I will always strive to be a better person, be more intelligent, become more knowledgeable of other cultures, and keep being thankful for all the blessings I have.
When it comes to my internship, surprisingly I have already found out that even though I am doing graphic design, I have a stronger passion for doing video work. I enjoy cutting and splicing videos, filming material and making that material pop and stand out. I thought that when doing graphic design, the designing of the logo or cover brought me excitement, but I found out giving the customer satisfaction and happiness was what I enjoyed more. I give a viewer the same joy and happiness through video, and actually have an even wider arena to play with to reach the same goal for the viewer. I’m about to be a senior in college and I’m glad I figured this out before I graduate rather than after.
Lastly, when it comes to me speaking Spanish, every day I stay here is another day I get closer to becoming fluent. There is no better way to get better at a language than living in a culture that forces you to speak it. Many people in Barcelona may speak a little English, but for the most part residents speak either Catalan or Spanish, and that pushes you to practice your speaking and listening skills. When I go back to the U.S., I will be able to say that I am so close to being fluent in Spanish.
Overall, if you haven’t traveled abroad, it really is a great way to learn more about yourself, about another culture, and can even give you a direction of where you want to go in your life.
Written by Immanuel Jones
Performing Arts Abroad Dance Intern in Barcelona