Intercultural Dimensions

Crossing Cultures Senegal, West Africa Program


Intercultural Dimensions ©2009,, telephone: 617-864-8442

Helen, Orleans, Vermont

My journey through Senegal with Intercultural Dimensions was not only one of the turning points in choosing and succeeding in my career as a dancer, but was one of the most important experiences of my life. I was forever changed. Because of the program's flexibility, my experience was tailored perfectly to my interests. I traveled throughout the country meeting artists, exchanging ideas and creative work. It was the first time in my life that I had felt truly free to dance.

I felt free to create and learn and share. I spent an extra three weeks at the end of the program learning traditional dances of the Casamance region and apprenticing with a master balaphonist to make and eventually play my own instrument.

The rhythms of Senegal changed my dancing. My interaction with the culture opened my mind and left me with a sense of joy in moving that I had never felt before. It was during this program that I decided to pursue dance as a career and that I realized its importance in the world. When I eventually moved to NYC to teach dance and started my own dance company, I was much more desirable as a teacher and as a grant recipient because of my diverse background. I believe that I am a fuller, joyful person, and a successful artist because of my experience with Intercultural Dimensions.

Helen dancing, center

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