Tag Archive | "dance improvisation"

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Dancing in Another Language

Posted on 14 November 2008 by Deborah Friedes Galili

Studio at Adama in Mizpe Ramon, Israel

At my first Hebrew lesson last year, I approached my tutor with this request: please teach me the names of body parts.  I realized that this vocabulary was essential if I wanted to conduct physical research in dance classes and workshops.  Yes, teachers were happy to translate their instructions into English for me, but I also wanted to understand their Hebrew instructions and their comments to Israeli students.  Just as the body is central to my research, it was the logical starting place for my study of the Hebrew language.

By the end of the year, I had mastered the names of numerous body parts and of many verbs commonly used in dance classes.  My teachers no longer needed to translate quite as much for me, and I felt I was more fully grasping their instructions by operating in their native tongue.  Now I’m continuing my quest to dance in another language by studying Hebrew in an ulpan, an intensive 5-month long language program.

I wrote the post below for my website on October 19, 2007.  Though I still have a long way to go with my Hebrew skills, it is fun for me to read this and recognize my progress!

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