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#GivingTuesday 2021 : Looking Back at our First Year of JUNTOSVirtual

By November 30, 2021No Comments

Over the last year of JUNTOSVirtual, the hard work of our Collaborators team has resulted in ripples have broken the confines of the Zoom box to impact over 215 participants from 12 organizations in 5 different countries, on top of the 28 new graduates of our Global Teacher training program and 5 Master Class instructors, all of whom continue to create change in their own communities!

This #GivingTuesday, JUNTOS is aiming to raise $10,000 to support further development and growth of JUNTOSVirtual. During the winter of 2021 and spring of 2022, we aim to provide over 200 hours of virtual dance performance and arts education programming to underserved communities – both in the U.S and internationally!

Keep reading to learn more about the incredible range of impact offered by our JUNTOSVirtual programs!

Since March 2020, our JUNTOS Collaborators have been working hard to ensure that our virtual programming holds the same impact that our in-person programs did. Our first JUNTOSVirtual program was the Summer Series #1 + #2, a virtual extension of JUNTOS programming through which we were able to continue community building, educating, and performing in new and innovative ways.

Through JUNTOSVirtual we were able to share important virtual teaching skills with our Dance Volunteers to aid them during this time of technological transformation.

"Teaching virtually is a new world of teaching. When teaching online classes, I have to remember to set up the music and sound check, learn how to teach without directions and with new landmarks, and figure out what orientation works best when teaching; facing or turning my back so the students are clear on directions[...] A larger effort of communication is needed for clarification when teaching through a device, and that is another unique challenge we face when teaching virtually[...] But, I learned how to navigate these issues promptly and swiftly, and these are great skills to gain as we enter this era of classes and dance resources being offered online. I am grateful for the experience, and it’s comforting to know we are all experiencing these challenges and difficulties together. So, there is a communal empathy and understanding for each other’s online troubles.”

– Zara AnwarDance Volunteer and Global Teacher (Jan 2021-current)

Giving Tuesday 2020: Taste of JUNTOS + Final Fall Performance

Taste of JUNTOS was our kick-off for last year’s #GivingTuesday campaign as a celebration of all things JUNTOS! From the cultures that are represented in our global communities to the beautiful choreography that we perform, this week was filled with connection, dance, learning, and love. 

Our Community Workshop Final Fall Performance closed out #GivingTuesday2020, showcasing our Dance Pals, high school volunteers who have created their own short dances with folklorico dancers living in Oaxaca, Mexico in addition to our college-aged dance volunteers performing with the Community Alliances they had been working with in Guatemala.

“Thank you for giving this happiness to the children.”

– Casa de Luz y Descanso para Niños con Cáncer Mary CarmenMéxico

JUNTOSVirtual Global Teachers

JUNTOSVirtual Global Teachers is a unique opportunity for emerging dance professionals to be trained by JUNTOS staff to use our dance pedagogy. Following training, participants will have the opportunity to gain hands-on experience by leading virtual Community Workshops in both English and Spanish, all while building a worldwide network of artists, educators, and community builders.

"Humans are like rivers:
when something is blocking our path, we simply find another way to flow forward."

– Amy McMurchieFormer Programs Director

JUNTOSVirtual Master Class Series

JUNTOSVirtual: Master Class Series is our newest program for high schools, colleges, and dance studios internationally. This is an opportunity to bring  dance artists from Guatemala, Nicaragua, Mexico and the United States directly to your students virtually. Choose from cultural dance classes such as Salsa, Bachata, Afro-Latin, Afro-Cuban, and more, with experts from around the world!

"This is what our dance volunteers and community alliance members demonstrated through our virtual programming: an ability to adjust to a new way to share and learn dance from one another. It was a tremendous joy to see both parties working through the constraints of being far away from one another, various technology blips and sometimes significant language barriers. Regardless of these difficulties, at the end of each workshop, every individual left their computer screen feeling better than when they had arrived. That is the work JUNTOS does: we leave people better than we found them, whether near or far."

– Amy McMurchieFormer Interim Executive Director

JUNTOSVirtual Semana de Movimiento 

Semana de Movimiento was a week of masterclasses with teachers from Guatemala, Mexico, and Chicago. Styles ranged from Salsa to Contemporary; there’s something for every dancer at any level! The event ended with a performance of each of the Master Teachers.

Help us continue to make an impact from beyond our Zoom boxes! Click here to donate!