Creating My Own Project Week

Jessica Ziegler I believe many people in the Latin community would agree that some of the greatest aspects of school are how supportive everyone is of one another, how flexible and accommodating teachers are, and project week. This year, I am taking part in a project week that was not offered by Latin but that, nonetheless, the coordinators are still allowing me to complete. The program is a unique opportunity and it is an endeavor that will require “physical endurance, promote cultural awareness, [and] provide artistic [and] creative opportunities,” which is how project week is described on Latin’s website. Over the summer, I participated in a summer intensive at my dance studio, The Ruth Page Center for the Arts. Monday through Friday consisted of eight hours of dance a day, and Saturdays were four hours. At our intensive, we were fortunate enough to have guest teachers and students from The National Ballet School in Cuba and Mandala Dance Company, Profession Dance, and Opificio in Movimento in Italy take part in the program. The Italians came during the third week, and at the end of their stay, there was an audition for a dance program in Italy called Dance Twinning Week Italy/USA. About a month after the audition, I was notified that I was awarded a full scholarship to participate in the program. Unsure of when it would take place, I was nervous about missing school during my junior year, but I knew it would be worth it. Towards the end of the summer, I emailed Mr. Coberly about the opportunities I had been granted (I had also been asked to train in Cuba for two weeks in October at the National Ballet School in Cuba with seven other students from Ruth Page!). Mr. Coberly and I scheduled a meeting in order to discuss how to go about everything—missing class time, making up assignments, etc. By the time of our appointment, I found out that Dance Twinning Week would take place over project week, which I actually thought was the ideal time since I wouldn’t be missing any more academic classes. I remember that when I shared my news with Mr. Coberly, Mr. Woods, and Ms. McCarthy they were all amazed and excited. I was comforted by their confidence in me. We discussed my trips to Cuba and Italy, and I was overjoyed knowing that everything would work out. At a later date, after I returned from Cuba, I met with Ms. McCarthy to discuss the details of how I would receive project week credit for Dance Twinning Week Italy/USA. I will have to document my experience and present it to a group of people including faculty, friends, and family. I plan to do this by videotaping various parts of the program, taking pictures, and writing a reflection, and then compiling these pieces. I am so thankful that Latin is allowing me to take part in this program for my project week, and I can’t wait to share my experience!]]>