UMDT Travels to Mexico City
Sept. 13, 2012
In August 2012, the University of Minnesota Dance Team had the opportunity to send three team members and Coach Amber Jackson to Mexico City. Over the course of one week, they held eight dance clinics at the Dragones Dream Center to teach all the dancers of Mexico! The clinics gave the dance team members the opportunity to share the University of Minnesota Dance Team's technique, style, and choreography, and received so much more in return.
In their own words, each team member describes their personal highlights from the trip.
Being on the U of M dance team, I have had a lot of experiences that most people will never have. Our trip to Mexico this past August was an experience that has forever changed me. Initially we were invited to Mexico to teach dance, but it became so much more than that. We found ourselves sharing how to be a better teammate and how to love being a part of something that is much bigger than just you.
One of the greatest things I learned from this experience was taking the time to step back and think about what motivates me to do what I love. It is such a humbling experience to hear that the dancers in Mexico look to our team as motivation. Hearing those comments made me think about what motivates me, not only to keep dancing, but my motivation for pursuing a career in medicine. I found myself reflecting on the kind of person I want to be and how I can use my passion for dance to shape myself into the kind of doctor I will be one day. I don't think the people we met in Mexico will ever fully understand the impact that they made on each one of us. This was truly an unforgettable experience.
Having previously traveled to Mexico to work at an orphanage, I was ecstatic when I heard that the Dance Team was asked to teach dance at Dragones Dream Center in Mexico City. In addition, I am finishing up my senior year in the Elementary Education Program at the University and enjoy whenever I have an opportunity to teach.
That being said, my favorite part of our trip was teaching the different combinations, technique, and sharing insight on how to be a better team member. One specific moment that stands out to me is when we were working on turn technique with a group of dancers. We were giving one on one feedback and in the 30 minutes that we worked with them, they not only improved but their expression on their faces said it all. Whether it was working on turns or teaching portions of our Nationals routines, their reaction was the same - PRICELESS! This feeling held true when we had the opportunity to perform for them. Seeing their expression as they watched us dance was uplifting. They brought something out of us that allowed for an indescribable moment between everyone in the room. The moments and friendships we created while in Mexico will last a lifetime and I feel so fortunate to have had the experience.
Our experience in Mexico City is one I will cherish for the rest of my life. Going into the Education field, I was excited to get the opportunity to teach dance in a different country. I couldn't wait to share my dance knowledge with the dancers and learn from their dance experiences as well. What I didn't realize is how much I would take away from this opportunity. The dancers we taught were such hard workers and they didn't take a single moment of their time with us for granted. They were able to remind me of some of the most special moments I have been a part of while being a member of the University of Minnesota Dance Team. I was reminded of how lucky I am to be dancing beside the amazing dancers I call my teammates. I have never felt so welcomed by a group of people. It was so humbling to hear that our dance team was their inspiration to keep dancing. I feel so blessed and motivated going into our 2012-2013 season.
In 2010, I had the opportunity to meet Coach Susana, Owner of the Dragones Dream Center, at the 2010 ICU World Championships. I was the head coach for Team USA and she was the head coach for Team Mexico. Since that day, she has been trying to make this trip a reality. For that reason alone, this trip was amazing!
Throughout our time in Mexico, I was filled with emotions from inspiration to pride. I was constantly inspired by the sheer amount of passion that each dancer and coach in Mexico brought to the clinics we taught. I was humbled by their knowledge of my team, their respect for our program and the dedication to move not only themselves and teams, but their country forward in the area of dance. And finally, I was filled with pride. This pride was for the three team members that I selected to bring on this trip. They represented the team and university beyond my expectations. This was truly a once in a lifetime experience. Thank you to Coach Susana for making this happen!
Thank you to all the dancers in Mexico for being our inspiration!