In less than 24 hours, I will be in a new country, surrounded by a brand new culture and language. Tomorrow morning, I am headed to the Central American country of Costa Rica. I am going on a study abroad trip to dance with world-renowned choreographer, Jimmy Ortiz. Myself and twenty-three other undergraduate dancers from the Department of Dance here at OSU will be collaborating with Ortiz and his dancers at the Centro de Artes Promenade in San Jose for two weeks. At the end of our stay, we will be performing in an informal public showing in San Jose.
In addition to all the dancing that we will be doing, we are also going to be taking advantage of the fantastic ecotourism that Costa Rica has to offer. We will be exploring the city with our friends and host families in addition to visiting two active volcanos and Manuel Antonio National Park. We also get to spend a lovely day at the beach that Manuel Antonio has to offer.
I first heard about this opportunity towards the middle of my first semester. I immediately knew that I wanted to take advantage of it because it is one of the few programs that allows me to study dance abroad while earning credit towards my BFA degree in dance. I have always known I wanted to study abroad, but I wasn’t sure if there would be many programs such as this one that would fit into my degree program.
I have never been out of the country before except to Jamaica on a short cruise and Canada several times. Even though I don’t really speak any Spanish, I am extremely excited to be going. All of the pre-departure things and arrangements have been stressing me out since January when I was accepted into the program, but I am expecting all of the hard work to pay off in a major way. I think this trip will help to shape my thoughts and opinions as an artist; I want to learn more about choreography and collaboration — a new found interest of mine.
Here’s to Costa Rica and all it has to offer! Thanks for all your prayers and well wishes. 🙂