“Our Dances” was a youth exchange project that reunited 48 young people from Hungary and Romania that worked and collaborated together in order to tackle the issue of little intercultural understanding through dance and movement improvisation. They tackled the problem of having limited beliefs and stereotypes when it comes to interact with people that are from other cultures by using dance as a mean to promote diversity, solidarity, tolerance towards other cultures as well as a mean to actively exert citizenship and propagate opinions. The goal of the project was to develop competences of 48 young people supported by 10 group leaders, facilitators and staff members from 2 partner countries Hungary and Romania in the field of intercultural understanding through dance by organizing a youth exchange between 26.01-03.02.2019 in Telkibanya, Hungary.
Each partner selected 24 young participants aged 16-18 years old, 12 of them facing fewer opportunities (geographic, economic and social obstacles) from rural and small urban areas. Most of our participants were high school students coming from environments with scarce intercultural interaction. This project represented for most of them the first transnational project in which participated, but opened for them new opportunities. The objectives reached by the end of the project are the following:
1. The 48 young participants developed competences that will help them adapt to intercultural environments by making full use of the freedom of expression through dance.
2. The 48 young people increased their level of tolerance and solidarity towards other cultures, and are more aware of the importance of nurturing diversity.
3. The two partner organisations improved their capacities to promote intercultural understanding and involvement in international activities in non-formal context.
The participants developed through our project trans-disciplinary competences. The participants took an active part in discovering intercultural understanding through movement improvisation and dance. For most of them this was the first encounter with the nonformal learning methods.
Our participants organised follow-up activities aimed to promote the topic of intercultural understanding in their communities. They became more aware of how they and other peers could benefit from other opportunities of the E+ programme, once they go to university. Our project encouraged a positive attitude of the participants towards society, in general. We empowered our participants to engage and contribute to the creation of other E+ projects, on the medium term.
On a long term, the project contributes to the European policies in the field of youth by creating favorable contexts for young people in which they can develop and have an active part in their development process. Also, by addressing the topic of intercultural understanding through this project, young people became more aware of dancing and movement as means to explore and create common understanding between cultures.
In Hungary, the group of participants organized a dissemination event in the high school where they study to present project results and to promote participation in Erasmus + projects among young people. Also, part of the Hungarian group organized a discussion group with high school colleagues to discuss and analyze what challenges they are facing and how they could be addressed through the E + program.
In Romania, the young participants presented the results of the project and their experience during an informative session in their high school. They reported to their colleagues and teachers the competences they acquired, informed them about the Youthpass certificate and its role in the learning process.
All young participants disseminated the results to the school colleagues, promoting the opportunities of the Erasmus + program and the experience gained in the project.