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May 9, 2017
The Ballroom Dance Company has completed three of its nine shows during the first week of touring South America. On the first Sunday of the tour, the group held a devotional in Santiago, Chile, that included a message from Antonio F. Faúndez, an Area Seventy of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. The Ballroom Dance Company had the pleasure on Monday to work in a combined workshop with the Academia de Baile José Luis Tejo, a dance company that specializes in ballroom dance, and with the children from Colegio Liahona. On Tuesday, Wednesday, and Thursday evenings, the group presented their show to the audiences of Santiago and Concepción. <h6>The Ballroom Dance Company held a free demonstration in the community of Hualqui, which was recently devastated by fire.</h6> The group had another workshop on Friday with Compañía Tabú and Universidad de Concepción. In these workshops, the Ballroom Dance Company taught, learned from, and danced with the students. On Saturday, the group had a workshop with Antulaf, a group of young women who ballroom dance without partners. This meeting was the first time this particular group of girls had danced with boys. Later that evening, the Ballroom Dance Company held a free demonstration in the community of Hualqui, which was recently devastated by fire. All proceeds from the group’s performances are going to the charity COANIQUEM BCF. The members of the group will remain in Chile until Thursday, and then they are off to tango in Argentina!READ MORE
The Ballroom Dance Company stands in front of the Palacio de la Moneda in Santiago, Chile.
The Ballroom Dance Company members visit COANIQUEM BFC, a rehabilitation center and foundation for burned children.
The Ballroom Dance Company dancers stand with audience members.
[embed]https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=uHhJyCdbNbY&feature=youtu.be[/embed] This past week, International Folk Dance Ensemble focused on serving the communities of Thailand and supported multiple charities and shelters. On May 5, International Folk Dance Ensemble performed for children housed at Bangkok’s Mercy Centre, a foundation working to help alleviate the effects of poverty. A day later, the group held a charity performance in Pattaya and donated the proceeds to the Father Ray Foundation and its Vocational School for People with Disabilities. In addition to these two events, the group performed at a major dinner gala. The gala supported the Pratthanadee Foundation, an organization for disadvantaged women and girls. <h6>A day later, the group held a charity performance in Pattaya and donated the proceeds to the Father Ray Foundation and its Vocational School for People with Disabilities.</h6> In addition to serving the community, BYU Folk Dance members experienced Thailand’s culture by seeing the living conditions in the Bangkok slums, visiting the World War II prisoner-of-war camp near the bridge over the River Kwai, and learning what it takes to ride an Asian elephant. Those who came into contact with the group had high praises. “I thought they were just another university group, but after seeing them perform I see they are a first-class professional group,” says the group’s tour guide. “And they are always smiling and happy, even when they are tired.” The group members plan to continue to connect and uplift people as they make their way through Thailand and journey on to Cambodia.READ MORE
The BYU group poses with children of the Mercy Center school in the heart of Bangkok.
Flowers were presented at the Pattaya, Thailand performance recognizing support to the children helped by the Father Ray Foundation.
Orion Howard (left) and Jacob Madsen (right) ride their elephant right into the River Kwai on their excursion around the area.
Living Legends has been to four cities during its first week on tour. The group performed for audiences in Wichita, Kansas; Independence, Missouri; Chicago, Illinois; and Milwaukee, Wisconsin. Audiences in Wichita loved Living Legends. A representative from Mid-America All-Indian Center commented, “We enjoyed the performance very much and loved seeing the well-made regalia and excellent dancers in the production. It was so nice to see young people connecting to indigenous dance and song.” In Independence, the Community of Christ Auditorium was filled with more than 3,000 patrons coming to see the Living Legends show. The group also explored Liberty Jail, an important place of history for The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, and had the opportunity to sing the Samoan tune “Humble Prayer” for the missionaries who were working there. <h6>"It was so nice to see young people connecting to indigenous dance and song.”</h6> Taking a break from the stage, the group spent a day sightseeing in Chicago. That evening, a local Spanish ward of the Church invited the group to a Cinco de Mayo fiesta. During the party, Living Legends performed for the ward members, who demonstrated their talents in return. In Milwaukee, Living Legends director Janielle Christensen had a special homecoming and shared Living Legends’ message with her hometown. This upcoming week, the group will travel to Naperville, Illinois; Minneapolis, Minnesota; Fargo, North Dakota; and Sioux City, Iowa.READ MORE
In Chicago, Illinois, Living Legends members visit the Cloud Gate sculpture (also known as The Bean).
Living Legends tours Liberty Jail in Missouri.
[embed]https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=daOSjZLe5D0[/embed] Young Ambassadors has visited three cities in Brazil this week. In Manaus, 50 people bearing gifts greeted the group at the airport. Three hours after arriving in Brazil, the BYU group gave a devotional to more than 1,200 members of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. On Monday, Young Ambassadors held a dance workshop with the Corpo de Dança do Amazonas. The group also performed in two theatres that were filled to capacity. <h6>With Mormon Helping Hands vests on, Young Ambassadors went to a public school for underprivileged children, where group members sang, played, and danced with the children.</h6> On Tuesday, Young Ambassadors had the opportunity to explore Brazil’s natural wonders. The group members enjoyed a boat tour of the Amazon jungle and saw where the black water of the Rio Negro meets the brown water of the Rio Solimões. Members of Young Ambassadors also visited a native Amazon village, held a sloth, and swam with pink dolphins in the Amazon River. With Mormon Helping Hands vests on, Young Ambassadors went to a public school for underprivileged children, where group members sang, played, and danced with the children. In Belém the group was welcomed with a chant of “Crazy for you, Young Ambassadors,” and a short cultural performance from the locals. In Fortaleza, nearly 100 people in traditional costume greeted the group with a performance on drums and other native instruments. While Young Ambassadors has stayed busy—with six shows, three devotionals, and one Mormon Helping Hands project—the group is excited for what the upcoming week has in store.READ MORE
As part of a devotional and activity in Manaus, members of Young Ambassadors learned Amazonian dances from the local young single adults of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints.
Group members play with children from a public school in Belém, Brazil as part of a Mormon Helping Hands project.
Young Ambassadors poses in front of the Manaus Brazil Temple.