Global Motion dances their way to China

Today a total of forty five SMC students and staff members from the dance department will not be heading to class but rather will be heading to the Los Angeles International Airport, to hop on a flight to Beijing, China. The trip to Beijing will be the dance department’s second visit to China’s capital since September of 2013. The objective of this crop of SMC dancers and their instructors is to further amplify their knowledge and passion for dancing by interfusing with dancers from other schools and other cultures. On a larger scale they will represent California and promote Mexican, Indonesian, and Tahitian culture.

The dancing students will be accompanied by staff members which include professor Sri Susilowati ( instructor for Indonesian dance), professor Raquel Ramirez (instructor of Mexican dance Folklorico), and Judith Douglas (dance department chair). As a team they will perform cultural dances at various stages that will be set up across the city tomorrow for the thirteen day-long Chinese Tourism Festival, the same festival where the SMC dance team performed last year.

The SMC dance teams will not be the only school represented at this year’s Beijing festival but will be one of more than a thousand colleges, universities, and professional independent dance schools that will partake in Beijing’s parade on Thursday. Schools representing countries from across the world will participate in this year’s festival. Countries like Australia, Italy, Mexico, United States, Belgium, Spain, Colombia, Turkey, Russia, Brazil, and of course the host country China will be represented.

The independent dance school Ballet Flor De Mayo is collaborating with SMC’s dance team and tomorrow will be on stage together.

The dance teams will be wearing traditional costumes such as brocades (silk fabric with gold and silver thread) for the Indonesian dancers and flower dresses with ballroom dance shoes for the Salsa dancers. The dances that will be performed include Mexican Folklórico from the Mexican states of Jalisco and Nayarit , as well as Salsa, Azteca, Indonesian Legong dance, and the rapid hip-shaking dances of Tahiti.

The opportunity to travel abroad and promote Western culture as well as showcase their dance skills to the world is a unique opportunity, but it came with much effort. This year $50,000 was the goal to reach in order to cover the costs for airline tickets and costumes for all the dancers. The money was raised through donations, fundraisers (the last fundraiser being four days ago as part of the Global Motion SMC World Dance Company), and also funds from the dance department.

Besides the money there were also the long practices. Preparation for the festival has been a five month progress. Try outs were held early May and since then, both dancers and instructors have been meeting and practicing in room 102 from 6:00 P.M. to 10:00 P.M., including during all of summer vacation.

With all the dedication given by both the student dancers and staff members in order to perfect their routine and give the absolute best performance possible, Lead dancer Alondra Ramirez says once in Beijing she wants all the dancers to “really represent the style and culture of the of dance and represent our community.”

Ramirez went on to say that the goal she wants the dancers to achieve on this trip is to “appreciate and absorb the experience because it is a once in a lifetime opportunity to dance at a special festival like this one with your best friends along side you.”

The trip to Beijing, China is on a tight schedule because the venues that they will perform on will be located at different locations across Beijing, and different dance teams will performing during days and times different from one another. But in their tight schedule they will make time to do some sight-seeing as well. The cultural ambassadors plan on eating at some local restaurants, walk around the world-famous city, and even visit The Great Wall of China.