UVU Meets Colombia


Have you ever peeked through a classroom window, stopping yourself to watch because you were so captivated by the energy you were observing? 

camilo jimenez uvu

The combination of a teacher's passion and a student's eagerness to learn can be one of the most beautiful observations.

This week I photographed a class at UVU studying world dance and the different styles and rhythm's expressed in cultures throughout the world.  

It was such a cool experience to be there and watch/listen/and learn from Camilo as he shared a part of his culture from Colombia with a classroom of students majoring in dance. 

Culture plays such an important role in the way we hear, feel and dance to music.

Growing up in the states, for most "dance" is learned as a class. Some form of ballet, tap, jazz or hip hop ect.. A class that is usually very structured and controlled, with a strong emphasis on count, and technique. 

For Camilo, growing up in Colombia, music and dance was not a "class." It was a way of life. No counts, just movement. A complete expression of Colombian culture and their lives. This culture is so rich in sound, immersed in beats and rhythms that most of us growing up in the states (especially Utah) are completely unaccustomed too. Literally they dance to the beat of a different drum. Well, several drums actually.

uvu music

It is not easy as a student (or a human for that matter) to break away from rules we've grown up with when we are asked to try something new. However if you allow yourself to feel that uncertainty, then let go of fear and view it as an opportunity, you will find it to be a very rewarding experience. The world is full of rich cultures just waiting to be explored.

There is a time and a place for everything. There is a time for the ballerina postures, correct feet, pirouettes, and eight counts. There is also a time to let go of those rules and move from the heart to the rhythm of salsa, cumbia, merengue ect. One is not right or wrong, merely different. Both beautiful.

The moral of this post is... don't be afraid of our differences. Embrace them. Learn from them. Learn from each other, learn from the music, learn from the culture, learn from fear. Let go of the fear, connect and move. Let your movements (whatever they are) be driven from the heart.

DanceMindy Johnson