This program is just one of those events in life you need to live through and experience to know how lucky you are to have gotten that opportunity.
In all honestly the Dance Journey Program is one of the best things that has ever happened to me. It allowed me to learn about not only dance but about myself, culture and the world in a way that I could have never imagined. There are really no words to describe the incredible 'journey' and special experiences that happen on Kibbutz Ga'aton.
I have been dancing my entire life but I have never found a place that rivals the KCDC’s International Dance Village. Based in Kibbutz Ga’aton, the Dance Village was like a natural oasis filled with dancers. This meant that community members were not only engaged in the same art form, but they were constantly thinking similar thoughts and experiencing similar things. If I ever wanted help with a dance move, I only needed to turn to my neighbor. Support, encouragement and compassion were never hard to come by. Massages to ease throbbing muscles were always easy to obtain. Music continuously flowed through the kibbutz.
Aside from being surrounded by a community of dancers, us Dance Journey participants were fortunate to receive the mentorship of KCDC’s main company dancers. Not only did they teach our classes, but we also had the opportunity to perform at their annual Gala, as well as for the [then] President of Israel, Shimon Perez. At the end of the Dance Journey program, we were able to audition for a possible spot with KCDC, or given other opportunities to dance on the kibbutz.
Our days were packed with dancing from morning to night with classes in ballet, Graham technique, jazz, modern and repertoire, and we also toured the country, while learning a bit of Hebrew. Once a week, I volunteered at a center for physically disabled individuals, while others worked with at-risk youth.
With individuals from 12 countries, including Slovakia, Russia, Uruguay and Mexico, the Dance Journey participants not only grew together as dancers, but we discovered Israel together. While preparing dinner together on many nights, we had long discussions about our cultures and traditions, each with his/her own perspective.
We ended the program with a big performance featuring the KCDC repertoire and our own choreography. Our friends and family in Israel came to see it, as well as other Masa Israel Journey participants and staff.
Boston, Massachusetts (USA)