Movement Exchange: Free Education and a Stage for Cross-Cultural Understanding (UC San Diego)

Team Members: Alice Lu, Li Yen Tan, Xiangdi Emily Zhang, Nitika Jain, Natasha Spivak

School: UC San Diego

Movement Exchange UCSD Website

There are over 100 languages spoken in San Diego, and its 1.3 million people population is majority comprised of minority individuals. However, there is a lack of knowledge and awareness about different cultures, especially in children from marginalized communities living in a political climate of divisiveness. Movement Exchange at UCSD is part of a global community of dance diplomats creating positive social change through dance. The chapter was founded last year, and notably brought diverse cultural dance to partnered orphanages in Panama for the first time this summer. Dance education benefits child development and cross-cultural understanding, particularly in the second largest city in California, San Diego that is cross-border and majority minority by census. This project will develop the first informed curriculum for free and child-friendly culture and dance lessons, spearheaded by a diverse team of dancers. The team intends to trial evidence-based lesson plans, host an inaugural community-sponsored showcase, and expand internationally.