July 6, 2015
Landing in the Czech Republic on Friday morning was an exciting moment for members of Contemporary Dance Theatre (CDT). It meant after all the practice and preparation, they had arrived in Europe at last! The group is eager to share their dancing and expertise. After a quick check-in to their Prague hotel and lunch, the group set out on a trip into the countryside. In a little town, Dobrichovice, surrounded by cherry trees and wheat fields, the group spent 90 minutes with a group of orphan children at Flight's Children's Home. Together they toured the facility, exchanged English and Czech sayings, and practiced cartwheels and handstands. Afterwards, the BYU dancers performed several dances for the children including American dance styles, Lindy Hop and tap dancing. Then the children joined the CDT dancers in learning a simple yet fun-filled line dance. Many hugs and well wishes were shared during the reluctant goodbyes. <h6>Many hugs and well wishes were shared during the reluctant goodbyes.</h6> Next the group traveled to and toured the Karlstejn Castle, one of the homes of the 14<sup>th</sup> Century Bohemian King and Holy Roman Emperor, Charles IV. The history lesson continued the next day as the group traveled to UNESCO sites in Kutna Hora to better understand medieval history. The Gothic cathedrals and bone church, Kostnice, reminded the students of the long and storied past of dedicated believers. Saturday evening, Contemporary Dance Theatre students spent a rewarding exchange with the Young Single Adults of the Prague and Brno LDS branches. Dances were performed by CDT and then taught to the Czech members. New friendships were begun that would be furthered the following morning as CDT joined the members of the Prague Branch in their Sunday services. The Branch extended themselves showing love and generosity towards the BYU performers by providing them a meal and attending their devotional that evening. The Mission President, James McConkie, conducted the devotional presented by the CDT dancers, which was well received. More reluctant goodbyes were had as the students left. President McConkie expressed gratitude and thanked the group for coming to visit the members in Prague. The group is excited for the festivities of The New Prague Dance Festival to commence on Monday. They look forward to sharing their talents and friendship with the other festival participants this coming week.READ MORE
Shelby Tagge hugs her new friend at the Flight's Children's Home in Dobrichovice, Czech Republic
Members of Contemporary Dance Theatre pose after a workshop with the Flight's Children's Home in Dobrichovice, Czech Republic
Members of Contemporary Dance Theatre cheer with members of the Prague, Czech Republic LDS Branch.
Contemporary Dance Theatre members pose in front of Karlstejn Castle in the Czech Republic
On their way to a workshop, Cayel Tregeagle, Seth Taylor and Shane Wright visit the Ossuary in Kutna Hora
Cayel Tregeagle celebrates with his new friend in Prague, Czech Republic
The American Folk Dance Ensemble arrived safely in Zagreb, Croatia on July 3rd. After a pleasant day of sightseeing at historical sites, the Folk Dancers met that evening with members of the Zagreb LDS Branch. The Folk Dance Ensemble performed several American dances, after which they danced with the members, learning simple "pioneer" dances taught by Colleen West. One of the branch members brought a friend to the activity who had previously danced professionally with the "Lado" Croatian Dance Ensemble. He taught everyone Croatian dances, which was thoroughly enjoyed by all. <h6>The group is now headed to Karlovac, Croatia to participate in a folk dance festival with other dance groups from Bulgaria, Slovakia, Croatia, Macedonia and Polynesia.</h6> The group is now headed to Karlovac, Croatia to participate in a folk dance festival with other dance groups from Bulgaria, Slovakia, Croatia, Macedonia and Polynesia.READ MORE
The American Folk Dance Ensemble and local church members learn from a Croatian dance professional.