From Frankfurt to Fort Yuma

January 20, 2021 11:00 AM

Germany, 2018; Brazil, 2019; Arizona, 2020 | Sources: BYU students Naakaii Tsosie, Moroni Lopez, Kaika Cole, and Sunni Begay; Fernanda Bianchini, director at Brazil’s Association of Ballet and Arts for the Blind; Kim Broby, teacher in the San Pasqual Valley Unified School District (near Fort Yuma)

“My favorite outreach [in Germany] has been when we were dancing for the little kids at the elementary school, just because they were so excited to see us and they were so happy afterwards. It was really fun to interact with the kids and see them smile.”
— Naakaii Tsosie, Native American Section

“BYU is meant to help us to go forth, serve, and keep lifelong learning. And as part of that, as we go out and tour, we are able to experience these things that set a tone for the rest of our lives.”
— Moroni Lopez, Latin American Section

“The BYU students visited us in our dance studio today. This visit has been very important. The young men and women could watch and appreciate different groups that dance different styles. And there was so much of the Holy Ghost present! So much light and everything! That’s exactly what I felt here today: the presence of the Holy Ghost in this exchange.”
— Fernanda Bianchini, Association Director

“One of the most memorable experiences we had in Brazil was at the school for blind ballerinas. When we got there, they performed for us, and we danced for them. But watching them was really amazing to see these blind girls dancing so well. And the way that they interacted with us, teaching us—it was really special.”
— Kaika Cole, Native American Section

“San Pasqual Valley Unified School District had the opportunity of having Living Legends visit. The district’s student population is about 55 percent Native American and over 30 percent Hispanic. Through the Living Legends performances and their interactions with our student body, our students had the opportunity to be exposed to many cultures. It increased their sense of pride in their own culture and gave them a greater appreciation for cultures other than their own. I was very impressed with how Living Legends was so accommodating to the needs of our population. I had one student tell me, after talking to one of the performers, that she wanted to ‘go to her school and be just like her.’ We feel extremely blessed for being the school chosen to have our own special performance.”
— Kim Broby, Teacher

“I feel like the outreaches we do at the local schools are probably my favorite experiences of everything we do. I think I enjoy them even more than the actual shows! Being able to get a little more personal time with the students means the most to me—showing them that they can accomplish anything they put their mind to. Many of our group members came to BYU because they watched Living Legends at a school outreach, inspiring them to further their education. I love meeting and interacting with the kids, sharing cultural dances, and showing them that they can have a future education and continue to preserve their culture.”
— Sunni Begay, Native American Section