Dances With Wolves – Latvia


Programme & action: ERASMUS+, Key Action 1: Youth Exchange

Venue: Rites, Latvia

APV (= advance planning visit) dates:14 – 16 April 2017

Youth Exchange Dates: 2 – 11 June 2017

Participants: Karolína Citavá, Filip Janda, Marie Škrdlíková, Filip Kňažek 

Group leader: Pavla Kolářová

Účastníci: Karolína Citavá, Filip Janda, Marie Škrdlíková, Filip Kňažek

Group leader: Pavla Kolářová

Účastnický poplatek: €30 (vybírají si ho samotní organizátoři na výměně mládeže, ne na APV)

Hostitelská organizace: Adventure Spirit

Účastníci se země: ČR, Lotyšsko, Rumunsko, Španělsko, Bulharsko

In June 2017, we went together with rest of Czech participants to Latvia for outdoor dance youth exchange called Dance with Wolves. It took place in peaceful countryside surroundings near Riga at Piedzivojuma Gars´s training site, where we stayed for the first half of week. Aims of this project were to use outdoor and dance methods as a tool for social inclusion. It was important to realize that through dance people overcome their fears, become more aware of themselves and their bodies – in the connection with nature it´s even more powerful and the deeper is the experience.

During first half of the project, we shared our experiences with dance and outdoors through different workshops offered by the participants themselves – e.g. I organized workshop for experiencing a group rhythm and dynamics, Bob from Spain did a contact dancing, or Filip from Czech Republic taught the people how to dance blues. Every day we were divided to groups and developing different dance choreographies regarding the methods and learning points we had during day and performing them in front of the whole group. In the evenings, there were national programs, so every country had to prepare something. Our group decided to organize silent disco with little bit changed rules – every person had its own music device and headphones and we were dancing individually to individual music at night around the house. It was so favorite activity so we had to repeat it almost every evening. And then, evening circles with candle, where each participant had opportunity to share his feelings and thoughts from the entire day, were together with reflection groups nice and magical closing of every day.

For the second half of the week, we went for three days long outdoor part. Even though the first day was rainy, we kept the energy and good mood during 15kms hike and at evening built a campsite (fire, bivaks, cooking) near beautiful lake. Next day, we had another funny and challenging task to perform a choreo in the nearest city for at least 100 watchers. Each group had a video person, so as an outcome of this day, videos were created (you can watch them here at the organizators´ youtube channel

During this project, we have realized how powerful tool the dance is in the interaction with other people and not just English could be used as an international language. We explored how social inclusion and exclusion can happen in different contexts and focused also on self-expression and how it can be used in different environment. Moreover, we strengthened our confidence by a lot of performances in front of other people. EYCB has provided us with perfect opportunity to share our dance and outdoor passion with different people from all around Europe, what was even strengthened by the beautiful Latvian nature, and I hope to speak for all Czech participants while saying that we are very grateful for that.

                                                                                                                                                                                        Pavla Kolářová

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