Chelsea Hecht, JUNTOS Alumni Board Co-Chair
I remember being asked to sit down for talking during ballet class when I was seven, and it was a crucial moment. That was the first time I was held accountable for my actions outside of home. What I did had value and mattered, and I could use my time and energy wisely or waste it. My teacher was an intelligent, resourceful person who cultivated a sense of drive and discovery in her students. Ultimately, it’s because of her that I kept dancing and continued to find more ways it could fuel me.
The structure of class allowed me to focus and work hard. Later, the freedom of improvising and creating opened many possibilities of expression. Improvisation became a tool to analyze instinct, flow, and choice making. Dancing became an exploration of identity, using it to express and ruminate on emotions, ideas, and perceptions of the world.
I value the arts. It has led me to live in New York City, somewhere I never thought was for me. Working here has taught me to strive for balance, communicate better, and nurture what makes me happy. The community inspired me to get licensed in massage therapy, a continuation of learning about the body and all its subtleties to support my freelance dancing.
I think about how my path as an adopted person would have been different otherwise; would I have found dance regardless of who was raising me? Maybe, and for different reasons, learning different lessons from it. The people you meet have an impact on how you experience and view life. Thinking about this gives me a sense of incredible gratitude and humble purpose. Dancing is a form of self-love and endless possibility, something to constantly learn from. It connects us to others deeply.
Nestor Rodriguez, JUNTOS Alumni, Ambassador ’16 & Teacher
La danza me ha enseñado a que se pueden transformar todas las emociones negativas en energía positiva y también me ha enseñado que se pueden ayudar a muchas personas y motivar a otras a hacer cambios en su vida.
Comencé a danzar sin ni siquiera imaginarlo ya que nunca soñé con danzar pero estoy convencido que Dios me puso en este camino por una razón, y es poder apoyar a mucha gente de alguna forma,
Mi experiencia con JUNTOS es muy importante ya que pude congeniar con un proyecto similar a mis ideales entonces me identifique mucho con la visión de JUNTOS.
Actualmente la pandemia me tiene frenado con proyectos de visitas a comunidades pero estoy haciendo proyectos de danza en línea.
Dance has taught me that all negative emotions can be transformed into positive energy and it has also taught me that many people can be helped and motivated to make changes in their lives.
I started dancing without even imagining it since I never dreamed of dancing but I am convinced that God put me on this path for a reason, and that is to be able to support many people in some way,
My experience with JUNTOS is very important, since I was able to get along with a project similar to my ideals, so I identified a lot with the vision of JUNTOS.
Currently the pandemic has kept me from continuing with projects and visits to communities but I am doing online dance projects.
GivingTuesday is a global generosity movement unleashing the power of people and organizations to transform their communities and the world.
GivingTuesday was created in 2012 as a simple idea: a day that encourages people to do good. Over the past seven years, it has grown into a global movement that inspires hundreds of millions of people to give, collaborate, and celebrate generosity.
This December 1st JUNTOS will participate in this global celebration by kicking off a week of giving with sharing photos, videos, virtual performances, and more! JUNTOS believes in the power of dance to improve mental and physical health, creativity and leadership skills, and community building through arts education and dance performance in our Community Alliances in Latin America as well as our high school and college aged Dance Volunteers.