Programme & action: ERASMUS+, Key Action 1: Youth Exchange
Venue: Tallinn, Estonia
Dates: 22-29 August 2016
Participants: Iva Štěchová, Radka Chromcová, Barbora Wagnerová, Lukáš Koupil, Jan Chlápek, Karel Janásek
Group leader: Karolína Matkovská
Please read the info-pack and watch the project video: https://www.facebook.com/Tdm2000Est/videos/1039466479485961/
Participating countries: Estonia, Spain, Italy, Germany, Czech Republic, Romania, Cyprus
Hosting organisation: TDM 2000 Estonia
The project was one big surprise. We – participants – never knew what was on the schedule during the day. Why was that? There were around 40 participants and only two bathrooms. The organizers found out that it is very difficult to start the programme of the day on time, because there were still many people waiting for the bathroom. So the main organizer usually tried to fix the programme by different activities than we were expecting according to the planned agenda.
WHAT WE LEARNT
Although this project should have been about dancing, we didn’t dance the first three days at all (exceptions were only parties after Cultural Evenings where we shared our dance skills). It was disappointing for many participants but instead of that we learnt something about Erasmus+, an active participation, we shared our expectation and fears, we talked about our Key of Value and about stereotypes and prejudices.
OUR FIRST DANCE CLASS
During the 4th day, there should have been a dance class with a professional. The class was a hip-hop class, finally led by the Estonian participant. The Estonian girl is very skilful and she really loves what she does, so the class was really nice. We learnt a hip-hop dance variation and continued by improvisation.
The rest of our dance classes were organized like this: we divided into a few groups and we made our own choreographies. It did not matter which kind of dance we did. We chose music which we liked, we mixed national dances and dance styles. After all we also prepared our costumes from whatever we found in the accommodation (tape and paper, plastic bin-bags, same colour of T-shirts, etc.). The day before departure we went to the main square of Old Town in Tallinn, where we performed our choreographies. There was only a small speaker, so it was not easy to hear the music and people were staring at us. They were really curious what was happening, so came closer and after all gave us their applause. We enjoyed that, it was a good fun and nice experience.
We were accommodated in Liipa, which is a place approximately 20 km far from Tallinn, the capital of Estonia. The accommodation was in a rural area. There was a big garden and also two (artificially made) small lakes. Even though the weather in Estonia was that week quite sunny, it was not too warm. However, it didn’t stop us to jump to the lake and enjoy some time in water.
You can imagine where we lived, so I am going to share something about a “project menu”. There were cereals with yoghurt and a sandwich for breakfasts every day. Meals for lunches and dinners were usually chips with sausages, rice with chicken or pasta. We ate it with plastic cutlery. From time to time we had also a dessert or vegetable salad.
We spent one whole day in Tallinn where we had a free time. Even that time we could not miss another surprise when the organizer asked us whether we preferred to go directly to the city centre or to a dance studio in Tallinn to use a bathroom (unfortunately, both of the bathrooms in Liipa did not work that day).
We did a bit of sightseeing in Tallinn, which was really enjoyable. Even though there was no guide, we saw the main sights.
The day was finished by a dinner in Tallinn. We were excited about tasting something traditional till the time we realized that we were in Azerbaijan restaurant – what a surprise again!
The issue which I (personally) enjoyed the most during the project was spending time with great participants who shared many things about their cultures. Now we know national dances from different states, songs in different languages and many and many other things.
MANY THANKS TO:
European Youth Centrum Břeclav – Czech organization which let us take part in this project.
TDM 2000, Estonia – Estonian organization which prepared the project, the hosting organization.
Erasmus+ Programme – which gives many opportunities to learn in non-formal way.
Simply, this was Dance4Dialogue – the project full of never-ending surprises.
Iva Štěchová (participant)