Going to Israel and being apart of Kibbutz Contemporary Dance Company’s MASA Israel Dance Journey program was, without a doubt, the best decision I’ve ever made, both for my dance career and my life.

The movement/style of Kibbutz Contemporary Dance Company (KCDC) is very specific and detail oriented. The teachers really put an emphasis on the importance of every little movement or posture or the way you’re breathing from the very beginning of the learning process.  I’m speaking about classes in correlation with their repertoire, specifically.  You work with company members, either in ballet, floor work, modern, repertoire class, or working on the company member’s choreography you’ve been placed in to help create.  I became very close with a handful of the company members, but even if you aren’t close on a more personal level, they are always willing to help you in anyway they can, in and out of the studio.

Because you live in a kibbutz, you’ll bump into the same faces everyday… I loved it. I loved the small community.  Luckily, getting around is very easy.

Tel Aviv is only a couple hours south of the kibbutz, so it’s really convenient to go by train. There are endless things to do throughout the country, and the program includes a number of field trips.  I’m confident you’ll fall in love with Israel, its people and its rich culture.

Back to the dancing portion, you are exposed to many different styles.  Native-Israeli guest choreographers come and give workshops, so you get to learn about their individual experiences being young dancers and their travels and how they were shaped into the dancers/choreographers/company artistic directors they are today.  It was personally very helpful for me to hear testimonies from so many beautiful people, both those who I became close with in the program and the company, and the choreographers passing through.

Schuyler Whittemore
Dallas, Texas (USA)

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