“Dance Without Borders,” might seem like a self-explanatory program headline with expected outcomes for an Erasmus + Youth Exchange project. But as the project deepened, we began to realize that it was so much more than just better dancing skills that we gained. If you are about to participate in a Erasmus+ Youth Exchange program, better arrive without expectations and let yourself be surprised. Talking from experience, this is precisely what happened to us…
8 different European countries – 40 inspiring and ambitious people
12 days in Ureki, Georgia – and the magnificent black sea
became an experience to remember…
After our landing, we had some time to look a bit around in the historical and cultural Tbilisi, the capital city. Being delighted by the taste of our first Georgian traditional food, Khachapuri, we didn’t stop until our destination to Ureki. Amazed by the peaceful atmosphere and environment, the view from the seashore, the sound of the Black Sea. It was a pleasant first impression for sure. The project started with an intensive first day, where the introduction of the project and the participants took place. The sessions were concentrated on getting to know each other and building trust which was essential to cooperate and work with each other with the aim of a successful project during the next days. We were discussing and sharing our opinions about common agreements, expectations, contributions, and challenges for the best outcome. At the end of all the days, we always gathered in smaller groups managed by group leaders and reflected with individual experiences and skills about the day. Purpose of the week was to conclude all we experienced in a final performance representing the message behind Erasmus+ ” Dance Without Borders,”
A huge highlight and impressive experience was “media and communication session.” We learned how media can manipulate and shape our opinions, thoughts, and acts unnoticeably in a negative way. We began to realize that we need to be more aware of what we read and hear and how to select quality information from the vast quantity that we receiver every day.
This topic leads us to a critical question to our age, the refugee situation in Europe. It made us think how could we find and help with a proper tool to give support and integrate them into our society. How about the dance, body movement or a healthy lifestyle as a universal tool?
With every single thing we did, activities, team building, meeting the Georgian culture – we became closer as a group, more united, more connected, more conscious of being a team. The shy ones gained confidence adńd got a voice meanwhile the more dominant individuals let them be heard, and the flow of energy between us was balancing. Creativity was a constant flow building our days leading up to the final performance lighting up the souls of the participants with enthusiasm, confidence and the passion for a good result.
The final performance was a show in the local theater for school kids and inhabitants of Ureki. For the show, we didn’t use any verbal tools, but our emotions happiness, anger, friendships, love, support, loneliness, union were translated into body movements.
This whole project encouraged us to have a creative approach to use body movements,healthy lifestyle as a powerful and useful tool for social interactions,cooperation and acceptance, tolerance, respect for decreasing negative impact from social phenomenon as migration, about discrimination,media,refugee discrimination, exclusion of minorities and transforming them into inclusion, peace, harmony and integration in our society. We experienced the difference between feeling comfortable and being out of our comfort zone.
We learned how overwhelming feeling it is to speak out and express our mind, emotions, and show our personal skills. How we can benefit by using body language – mimic as a successful communication tunnel. How can we be more responsible citizens by caring more about our life and society. How important it is to be yourself. And besides all of this, we met new interesting, inspiring, strong and talented people, the main casts of the Erasmus+ project.
I believe I can say this for all of us, we feel very grateful and lucky to have had the chance to represent Norway. To be involved and gain beautiful memories and self-developing skills. As the Georgians wish good health, Gagimarjos!