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GUEST BLOG: Eryc Taylor Dance in Mexico - Day Three in the Yucatàn

Eryc Taylor in Chocola, Mexico
Eryc Taylor in Chocholá

Thursday was our second day of workshops in Chocholá. But before traveling to Chocholá from Mérida, we headed to Teatro Jose Peon Contreras for a press conference. A planned 45-minute press conference was extended to 90 minutes! We are so grateful for the support from local and national newspapers and the radio and TV interviewers, who were so interested in our upcoming performances and the ETD Movement Outreach programs we conduct in NYC. ETD Outreach is tailored to vulnerable populations in NYC who live in supportive housing sites and homeless shelters. There we use dance as a therapeutic outlet for self-expression, and that is what we translate into our workshop classes in Chocholá.

GUEST BLOG: Eryc Taylor Dance in Mexico - Day Three in the Yucatàn
Press Conference in Mérida

After arriving in Chocholá, we began another set of triple back-to-back one-hour workshops with the same groups from the previous day. The children were already more open and relaxed, laughing, and having a great time. It's a rewarding experience to see all the students having so much fun with us. They really seem to enjoy all of the modern dance exercises and improv games they learned from the company. To vary the exercises from yesterday, we taught variations of the improv, continued working on our modern dance warm up, and finished with a "mirroring" game. Once we finished, all of the children asked for our autographs! They were adorable. It seemed like class ended too soon!

The second class was for the group of older women. We made up a new exercise, using our voices to vocalize small gestures, having them move in and out of a circle. Within ten minutes, everyone was relaxed, laughing and being so creative - it was amazing to see. With the workshop hour coming to a close, we worked on refining the movements from the combinations we taught the group yesterday. They were so receptive to trying new things, and stepping outside of the box. We were very impressed.

GUEST BLOG: Eryc Taylor Dance in Mexico - Day Three in the Yucatàn
Eryc Taylor Dance Company Members

The last class of the day was for the 14-18 year olds, who would be performing with us the following day. We had work to do! We had an hour and a half to warm them up quickly and then teach them the three minutes of choreography. The language barrier during this process is always challenging. I let my dancers take the reins. Even with all of us trying to teach, it's often a struggle in trying to convey complex choreographic phrases. Luckily the kids were so smart and so willing to learn, they helped us through everything.

Within the allotted time frame we were able to choreograph the entire piece, and even rehearse it a few times! My dancers were a huge help and I couldn't have done this without them.

Once we finished up teaching our friends in Chocholá, they gave us some food to go, and we headed back to Mérida.The Company and I ended our night sharing stories and a bottle of wine. It was a perfect end to a great day!

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