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“Ever since I started directing a youth company I have been interested in figuring out ways to get my high school students involved in dance outreach. I think my dance students will gain perspective about their dance education, make meaningful connections and gain maturity in their performance.” -Michaela Ellingson

In only a few weeks, JUNTOS embarks on our first JUNTOSYouth trip to Oaxaca, Mexico: a 9-day trip for advanced dancers ages 14-18. This is an opportunity for JUNTOS to build leaders amongst young emerging artists, and expose them to a unique opportunity involving dance, community outreach, and cultural exchange.

We will be joined by JUNTOS Alumna Michaela Ellingson who helped spread the word about this new program, and encouraged members of her youth company to get involved. We asked Michaela a few questions about her history with JUNTOS and upcoming travels:

JUNTOS: First trip you participated in and why?
Michaela: My first trip was to Guatemala in 2012 and then I went to Costa Rica/ Nicaragua in August 2013. I wanted to participate in a JUNTOS trip because I had done service trips in high school and I felt like JUNTOS was a perfect way to combine service, cultural exchange and dance.

JUNTOS: Why did you decide to encourage high school students to attend a JUNTOS trip
Michaela: Ever since I started directing a youth company, I have been interested in figuring out ways to get my high school students involved in dance outreach. I think my dance students will gain perspective about their dance education, make meaningful connections and gain maturity in their performance.

JUNTOS: What is one thing you are looking forward to on the JUNTOSYouth trip
Michaela: I am looking forward to connecting again with Amy (Programs Director), Joanna (Executive Director) and Susan (International Liaison)!! I am also looking forward to watching my dance students step outside their comfort zone.

JUNTOS is currently in Guatemala with our first JUNTOSAbroad of the summer. Follow our summer travels here!