My first experience at KCDC’s International Dance Village in Kibbutz Ga’aton was at their Summer Intensive dance program which I attended while visiting Israel when I was eighteen. In those two, short weeks, I fell in love with the kibbutz itself, the Company, and most of all, I fell in love again with dancing.  It was also during that intensive that I discovered the Dance Journey program.

I was in the middle of completing my BFA in dance performance at Butler University, in Indiana. But I felt something lacking in my training, and I knew I could not wait till graduation to return for the Dance Journey program. I worked with my university and managed to obtain a semester study abroad for the five-months.

Those five months opened so many doors in my dancing, and gave me the courage to redefine my relationship with dance:

The technique classes, which challenge you to approach movement outside the box, the belief in fostering (not repressing) one’s individuality in movement, the demanding repertoire classes, ranging from work by KCDC’s Artistic Director Rami Be’er, to Mats Ek, to new studies by KCDC company dancers, and the chance to create your own work, all contributed to an environment of immense artistic growth.

However, what was so unique about the Dance Journey program specifically, was the opportunity to surround yourself with dancers from all over the world, who each had different backgrounds, training, and life experiences.  Each day I was newly inspired by the diverse spectrum of dancers around me. Living with nearly forty other individuals in close quarters, on a tight-knit kibbutz, made them not only your fellow classmates, but provided a sense of family. Nearly two years later, I still maintain extremely close relationships with many of the dancers in my program, whether they also live in the US, or anywhere from France to Singapore.
After completing my degree and graduating University, I have now returned to Israel to dance, and I know that it was my experience at KCDC that lead me to where I am today.

Alexandra Zaslav
Richmond, Virgina (USA)

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