Dance Adventures: True Stories About Dancing Abroad by Megan Taylor Morrison – About the Book
Dance provides a way to travel far beyond the typical tourist experience. By connecting with local people through a shared love of movement, dancers catalyze many unique opportunities. They build cross-cultural friendships with dance as the only shared language, discover ways to train with celebrated teachers, experience cultural immersion key to their personal development, and more.
In this book, dancers share epic tales from their journeys across North America, South America, Africa, Asia and Europe. They highlight various dance traditions, in addition to unique aspects of each country’s geography, history, demographics and educational systems. Through these short stories, Dance Adventures celebrates the power of dance to connect us to the best parts of humanity, as well as to the best parts of ourselves.
“Dance Adventures: True Stories About Dancing Abroad” is a series of short stories that takes you beyond the physicality of dance and takes you right to the heart of how it makes people feel. Add the road less traveled element plus a dose of self-discovery for each of the authors and that is the best summary of the book that we can give.
Some of the writers are trying to find their roots, others are trying to find themselves and still others are just giving in to their love of travel. It’s no surprise that Morrison is at the helm of the book. She founded “Dance Adventures” – a now-defunct travel company geared toward dance lovers and she continues to lead trips as an independent tour guide. Her own trip to Guinea to train with West African drummers and dancers is the final story in the book.
Each story was compelling in it’s own right but there are a few that will stay with you. Makeda Kumasi’s trip to Senegal to gather first hand knowledge of West African dance and culture was particularly moving. Her description of Gorée Island, off of the coast of Dakar, Senegal, the location for the House of Slaves is haunting. Kara Nepomuceno’s travel to the Philippines to learn more about her own culture and to study Igal Kabkab (the fan dance) is interesting. She describes a dance, that is very hard to explain, in a visual way. Finally, Natalie Preddie communicates her own experience as a bi-racial ballet dancer. She showcases the exclusion that she felt growing up outside of the GTA and the acceptance that she received dancing in London in a way that is heart-wrenching.
The book is an impressive combination of travel and dance with an emphasis on BIPOC dancers. You will learn about culture and more about countries that may not have previously been on your bucket list. The best way to enjoy “Dance Adventures” is to read a story, then watch a YouTube video of the dance described. It brings the words alive and compliments each author’s words. We highly recommend the book not only for dance lovers, but for people who love to travel. The pages bring the culture and people in countries like Angola, Morocco, Ghana, India, Hungary and more to life.
Favourite Line From the Book
“I felt that there wouldn’t be judgment about the fact that I had chosen to dance, the way I moved, or how my body was built.”
-Khalila Fordham – “I am Here” on dancing with abandon at a club in Ghana. After all, who wouldn’t want to feel that kind of freedom?