It’s getting down to the nitty-gritty. I’m cherishing these few days before we leave because nothing is like the excitement of heading towards the unknown. I think it is safe to say that after a full semester, foggy finals, heavy planning, and lightly packing, we can breathe a sigh of relief and get ready to travel to another part of the world!
Recently, I have been reflecting on a community dance class that I attended in early December, led by Johnny Scovel. He taught us some Haitian dances, most of which are influenced by West African dance styles. I was amazed to find that many of the women in the class had been dancing for about fifteen years. I was glad that I accompanied them, let my guard down, and had fun. One woman even gave me a sarong to make me feel like a part of the group. It improved my dancing, of course!
At times I didn’t understand what I was doing or if I was executing the dance moves correctly. While I may have found this frustrating it caused me to reorganize my apprehensions. A most important thought, that I am sure I will be reminding myself of while in Ghana, is that music is meant to involve people with their community, promote social interaction, and encourage participation. I’m ready to become actively engaged in my surroundings and not worry about the fact that I will not always understand what symbol or message is being conveyed. Having completed our Ghanaian Arts and Culture class I am confident that being immersed in what we have been studying will make this a very special endeavor yet!