The African American Dance Company students and IU faculty departed from Indianapolis and arrived safely in Miami airport on July 2.
But with the flight to Cuba on July 3, the students had plenty of time in the airport to think about their upcoming adventure.
Here are some of their thoughts:
I’m looking forward to taking dance workshops in Cuba, especially with Milagros Ramirez and the Ballet Folklorico de Oriente dance company! She has been so supportive of the African American dance company, and it means so much to connect with her culture and dance with her home company.” — Angie Pan, Senior studying Dance in the Body-Mind
“I’m looking forward to the exchange in performances, both from us, the African American Company, and other performing groups. The sharing of culture, narratives and personal experiences as well as new learned dance repertoires is something that we will all retain and bring back.” — Kelvin Burzon, M.F.A. in Photography
“I am most looking forward to learning about the histories behind all of the different dances. There is so much of traditional Cuban culture ingrained in each dance style, and it will be interesting to explore how each of these dances played a part in Cuban society.” — Ryan Malone, Jr., Senior studying Theatre
“I can’t wait to engage with the locals, I feel that’s where I’ll really get to see the heart of the country.” — Jaylen Ray, Sophomore studying Contemporary Dance
“I am really looking forward to some of the basic cultural differences like food, the energy of the city and the people as well as the excitement of the festival itself. A gathering of dancers and artists is always an adventure and learning experience! I’m also excited about all of the knowledge that awaits us. The dance, history, the people we’ll meet, and the things we will see.” — Amelia Smith, Ph.D. Candidate in African American and African Diaspora Studies
“I’m looking forward to the Cuban culture and interacting with the people. I’m also looking forward to their different styles of dance and food choices.” — Jasmine Jenkins, Junior studying Community Health, Pre-Med
“I’m looking forward to experiencing a culture that I’ve only read about. Reading about a culture is one thing, but experiencing it is almost like relearning it for the first time.” — Camille beck, Senior studying Sociology and African American and African Diaspora Studies
“I am looking forward to the cultural immersion and learning about the different Orishas. I’m also really excited to perform in the festival and share our art and movement internationally.” — Alexis Beverly, Junior studying Neuroscience
“I’m most excited about the festival we’re attending and also just seeing all the differences of being in a communist country.” — Tiana Martin, Sophomore studying Psychology
“I’m looking forward to trying the different foods and experiencing the traditions. I hope to meet lifelong friends and broaden my dance knowledge.” — Sade Roberson, Junior studying Hospitality Management