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I was the youngest person there…

Profile picBeverly Diaz was a PAA Dance intern in Spain in the Summer of 2015. This is the first of 3 blog posts she wrote on her personal blog about here experience.  Stay tuned for parts 2 and 3. 

I was the youngest person there.

But in soul, not so much.

Cue an empty theatre. I’m waiting, antsy, in the corner, so as not to get in the way. It’s a waiting game of projection tweaks and light checks. I just know I’m there to take photos.

I hear them outside, their voices multiplying and seeping through the doors. It’s a waiting game of anticipation and curiosity. A tall man assisted by a cane enters through the doors and asks what I assume is something around the lines of: “Can we come in yet? There’s a lot of us outside waiting.” – It’s Catalan, so, he could have also been asking if he could bring in his pet turtle for all I know.

After some minutes, the doors are finally opened. I peek around the pillar to see them enter. A flood of eager humans putter in and find their seats. The lights dim. I wake my camera and hold it up to the scene. Over 90 elderly people, ready and eager to learn!

Toni walks onto the stage and begins his presentation. His body moves to demonstrate the history he speaks of. Dance History.

Explica Danza, one of the companies I’ve been working with for the past six weeks, strives to educate audiences of all ages, origins, and passions, about the history of dance. From Ballet to Pina Bausch. Toni Jodar, a mature dancer, uses his physical abilities to illustrate the stories he tells through dance. He creates his own score using his energy and passion to tell the story of the universal language.

I have had the privilege of attending another performance of Toni’s at a high school, where he worked with Theatre Students. That audience was made from an entirely different generation, entering with an entirely different personal history. However, both times, Toni captivated them. I could see the interest growing inside them as they watched with eager eyes glued to his every word and every move.

What do I do? Well, since you asked: In addition to taking photos, I translate publicity and articles into English, write out summaries and translate them to Spanish, and provide research for an upcoming project. I have never approached dance from an angle quite like this, and I am loving it! I hope to continue helping Explica Danza share their passion for dance and history with the world.

Applause fills the room and Toni takes a bow, one of a seasoned dancer, with a smile of gratitude and a full heart. But he’s not done. “Ahora, bailamos! Now, we dance!”  A murmur fills the room, clearly he’s joking – dance?

But dance they did, lifting one foot after the other while still in their seats, accompanied by arm movements. Smiles conquered every face, slashing away any skepticism…and eventually, everyone was one their feet, laughing, enjoying, dancing.

I was the youngest person there – but in soul, not so much.

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