Moving to Change in San Diego

This past January has been a busy month for Movement Exchange at UC San Diego! Aside from our weekly outreaches, we also attended a big service event for MLK Day at local Baker Elementary School, and taught a four hour dance workshop for around 30 students, who ranged in age from 3 to 11 years old. The kids were very excited to be dancing with us, and were surprisingly engaged the whole four hours! It was so successful that we are in the process of establishing them as a new outreach site! It is always a moving experience for me getting to work with kids. I notice the differences between the kids at every site I go to, and I am always impressed by them.

Later in the month, we also volunteered at the Triton Dance Marathon which is a campus-wide fundraiser for Rady Children’s Hospital! We played a big role in promoting morale and engaging the crowd by teaching a “morale dance” routine every hour of the 5 hour event to the college student crowd. The event was Disney themed, so we taught choreography to five popular Disney songs each hour. The entire experience was very heartwarming because I got to meet a few of the Miracle kids who’s treatments are funded by the money raised, and see the smiles on their faces as they danced the night away. We created new meanings to these songs for these kids, and the college students as well.

At the end of the month, we also had our third “Move Around the World Workshop,” a free workshop series we began to promote cultural competency on our campus. We bring instructors in to teach varying styles of dance that most people have never tried before. I come from a contemporary background, so learning the history behind and some moves for Swing Dance and Locking this month brought me into a whole new world of dance that I have never ventured before.

Keep moving to change,

– Shannell Ciruso, Dance Diplomat from Movement Exchange at UC San Diego

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