A lot has happened since I returned from Mexico on May 24th, but reflecting back on my five day visit, I had an incredible time as a guest judge during the International Dance America Dance Contest in Merida, Yucatán, held at the beautiful José Peón Contreras Theater! I was a little apprehensive about judging a dance competition knowing that it was a tremendous amount of work (9 hours for three days straight) however, witnessing the incredible talent of the young aspiring dancers made for an extremly rewarding experience.
Thank you so much to my colleagues and new friends Juan Hernandez, Chief Dance Critic of El Universal, and Cristóbal Ocaña, the Director, who orchestrated this mega event. We awarded every participant with a Bronze, Silver, or Gold metal and the top 5 winners received the opportunity to to travel to New York City next Spring and take workshops led by ETD.
During my trip, I also took time to visit the girls who live at Casá Crisal, a home with the objective of helping abused girls and adolescents rediscover the desire to live and reintegrate into society, ready to fight for their happiness.* On past tours, they had taken our ETD workshops, so they were very excited to see me and talk about world traveling, dance, and the arts. They even shared special jewelry with me to bring back to my dancers in NYC! We look forward to working with them again this Fall during our third tour to Mexico. For information on this program and how to donate, visit our website www.etdoutreach.org
To learn more about the competition in Yucátan check out this article by Juan Hernández!
*More about Casá Crisal: https://translate.googleusercontent.com/translate_c?depth=1&hl=en&prev=search&rurl=translate.google.com&sl=es&sp=nmt4&u=http://yucatan.com.mx/merida/la-casa-crisal-un-sueno-compartido&usg=ALkJrhj1RuZp7_q3-IdWKtZ7xSTwxKsc6A#sthash.pXCs4CfI.