Catherine VanNess, JUNTOS Board President
Cristiana Cavallo, JUNTOS Programs Manager
The most valuable lesson that dance has taught me is that it is not what we do, but how we do it, that will dictate the value of our experiences and will measure the impact we have on our world. Too often in life we focus more on the product than the process, neglecting the lessons that we learn along the way. So focused on the end goal, the outcome, the finish line, we forget to fully invest in the steps that get us there – and this is where the benefits really lie.
Hands down, the most valuable, enlightening, and memorable experiences I have had in dance have taken place in the classroom. Whether as a student absorbing information, tackling challenges, and creating community, or as a teacher discovering the ways I can share and connect with students – the dance class experience has always been my richest and most fulfilling environment. Here I have learned that the performance – the stage, the lights, the costumes – is just the product. It is the journey, the hours of practice, the thought, the preparation, and the teamwork that will determine its value. And I believe this is true for all work.
Having joined the JUNTOS team during a time when travel and in-person experiences are not possible, the challenge has become this: How do we provide opportunities for dancers and communities to connect across the globe, when we can’t be together physically? Again, I return to the process. We as a team are putting the time, the thought, and the practice into exploring a new virtual world where we can create these experiences. We are brainstorming, we are testing new ideas, we are listening, and most importantly – we are working as a team. Keeping in mind yet again that it is HOW we approach this new world – with optimism, creativity, adaptability, and determination – that will bring us and our communities the success we strive for. The journey is the real gift – the performance is the bow on top!
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.