From Curtis Thomas:
Participating in my now third Juntos trip this June in Mexico, my eyes, heart, and mind continue to be opened and widened in my interactions with all the wonderful people we encounter on our journey. For many of the dancers in Juntos our lives are ones of routine and regime: hours upon hours of working on our technique under the critical eyes of our peers and teachers. With much of the focus of dance training on on getting a step ahead in today’s competitive dance world, I have found it at times difficult to stay true to myself and remember why I am dancing in the first place-not to get a job, and not only because I love it, but because I need it. It is through dance that I feel like I can present myself fully to the world and absorb all that it has to teach me. I believe that a world in movement is a world in harmony and by getting to dance, and share dance in the way that we do, we are one step closer to filling the world with more strength, more hope, and more joy.
An important part of the Juntos trips is the music that we use for our workshops. These songs, in whatever language they are in must uplift and inspire, assisting the teacher cultivate a sense of excitement in the room. An easy favorite amongst the group became “ABC” by The Jackson 4, and a fellow Juntos participant pointed out the line “…that’s how easy love can be” as an idea that really was with her throughout this trip, and soon became my mantra as well. The idea that to be alive every day is an incredible gift, that when we discover the power of simple, honest human connection, through movement or otherwise we open ourselves to love and be loved–with the ability to cherish all that we’ve been given so we can begin to give back. It takes an incredible amount of energy to harbor resentment and negative energy but it is so effortless to let love happen.
By having the chance to dance on this trip I am reminding myself, and hopefully others as well about how easy love can be. To look into the audience and see someone reveal a smile, to have the boys from the workshops dancing with you in their seats during the performances affirms my belief in the human spirit and in the power of movement and dance. At it’s best, dance is freedom, and to share that feeling is something I never want to stop doing.
One of the most amazing things Juntos has given me is the ability to fall in love with moving and shifting again. The shift in my perspective and my artistry, and the deepening of my view of the world has been one of the most influential things that have happened to me. Coming back from these trips however does pose its own set of issues: how can we keep this feeling ignited inside of us? How does this play into our everyday life? How can I see my world in terms of the small miracles that happen everyday as opposed to all the mistakes? I will start by staying true to myself and trusting the the voice inside of me. I will start by dancing.
Thanks for all you do,