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#Giving Tuesday 2021 : JUNTOS Moves Outside the Box with Cuerpo De Baile & Global Teachers!

By November 23, 2021No Comments

“We are glad to share this dance with you. For us, dance is so important, especially here. In some places in our country it’s difficult to have these kinds of lessons, only in the capital of our country is it possible to have professional dance lessons. We really enjoyed this experience and the teachers were wonderful. They were fun and they knew a lot about the technique and could teach it so clearly for us. These girls learned a lot from you.”

Daniela SumDirector of Cuerpo de Baile

Our JUNTOSVirtual Global Teachers program offers JUNTOS pedagogical training, hands-on experience teaching dance virtually to communities across the US and Latin America in English and Spanish, and connects participants with an international community of emerging dance professionals. This fall, our JUNTOSVirtual Global Teachers worked with the dancers of Cuerpo de Baile, located in Quetzaltenango, Guatemala.

This school is the first of its kind in Xela, offering accessible dance education to local students where it never existed before. In Guatemala, most formal dance training happens in the major capital cities and is very hard to access for those who live in the smaller surrounding areas. Cuerpo de Baile began to use dance to represent change, progress, and social activism in their community, but until now, it has only consisted of ballet training.

For this reason, their students and teachers alike were very excited to work with JUNTOS Global Teachers. The workshops, led by Global Teachers Coriselle Martinez, Brooke Sinton, Madeline Dwyer and Addison Hand, were inspired by classic modern and jazz, as well as contemporary techniques, providing a window into a world of movement that was new to them, both complementing and supplementing their already strong ballet technique. The excitement that this dance exchange brought to the students and the teachers has sparked a beautiful relationship between JUNTOS and Cuerpo de Baile, one that we believe will extend far beyond the zoom box.

We’re anxious for the day that we can return to Quetzaltenango so that we can spend more time dancing with and learning from our new friends at Cuerpo de Baile!

Cuerpo De Baile with Global Teachers Madeline Dwyer and Coriselle Martinez

“I would say that it’s important because we don’t usually focus on our emotional state or the way we are moving our bodies. We’re constantly going ‘let’s go to work,’ ‘let’s see some studying,’ and there is just one line of thought. So having something that they have not experienced before, and having something different, something that makes their mind work, that doesn’t just keep them in a bubble and helps them move out of it is one of the most useful things these days – even for me! So I think as much as I can receive something from them, they receive even more because with JUNTOS providing the aspect of dance, it can help them feel good about themselves and feel powerful.”

Coriselle Martinez, Canóvanas, Puerto RicoJUNTOSAbroad: Guatemala (2018); Mexico & Colombia (2019) | JUNTOSVirtual Global Teacher: (October 2021 - present)

Click here to learn more about Cuerpo De Baile!

“A lot of the things we’ve been talking about recently have to do with dance and healing and the way it just makes you feel more whole and connected through your mind, body, and soul. Something that gets overlooked often is how we can use dance therapeutically to work through emotions. With JUNTOS, I’ve learned that the majority of the people we work with don’t have a lot of control over their lives or haven’t felt like they have control over their bodies and [dance] as a way of instilling that power and giving them that autonomy.”

Brooke Sinton, San Francisco, CAJUNTOSVirtual Global Teacher (January 2020-present)