2014-4-22 Hohhot – Aaron

Aaron Claussen 4-22-14 Journey East 2014

Reflection on Collaboration Dance

aaron-claussen-2I was excited about the collaborative dance before we even started our journey to China. Little did I know what was in store for us. On the first collaboration day we learned the basic moves and when it ended I was thinking to myself, “that’s it?!” I really wanted to get good at the dance in the few days that we were provided. The hardest part for me, which may not come as a surprise to some people, was to not get down on myself when I messed up. I had to take into account that the students we were dancing with were handpicked from all around Inner Mongolia for their talent in dance, and they do this full time. I went back to the hotel every night and I practiced the dance, because I wanted to make the group proud, my parents proud, and most of all I wanted to make myself proud. When the second rehearsal came around I had practiced all the moves we had learned, then we were given several more actions to learn. We had our third and final rehearsal the next morning, but then I soon noticed a problem. I knew how to perform all the actions, but I was becoming very confused about the order of the steps and how many times each one was performed. I solved this problem by writing out the order of the dance in my journal and I practiced it thoroughly until I felt I was ready. Soon enough it was showtime. We performed our show first, which I thought was, by far, the best we have ever done. After Monkey Business, we hustled backstage and changed into our super awesome costumes as fast as we could. I had my dancing buddies help me get into costume while the Chorus sang their lovely songs. After the Chorus, all the dancers got into position and it was time for the moment we had been preparing for. We were then at the point of no return. We made our way on stage as the music began and went through the actions as the crowd watched attentively. We were performing it fabulously and were nearing the end; we started amping up the energy and were dancing at our best. We went through the last two actions and then struck a pose when the music ended. The crowd burst with an explosion of applause, I got a feeling I had never experienced before; it’s hard to explain, but it was a mixed feeling of bliss and sadness simultaneously, because, as I stood there soaking it all in that we had just killed it in front of about a thousand people, I realized we were leaving Hohhot in a couple of days. I am really going to miss everyone in Hohhot, because they were so welcoming to us and made us feel like family. I just feel like I could live here forever; I do not want to leave Hohhot. There is an unexplainable aspect to this experience that really distinguishes it as the best experience we’ve had in China. I know that I will for sure make an effort to stay in contact with the friends that I made, and I will definitely try to come back to Hohhot in the future, it’s such an incredible place.

11 thoughts on “2014-4-22 Hohhot – Aaron

  1. Aaron, you write from the heart. I really enjoy your postings. I am looking forward to seeing you dance in your super awesome costumes when you come home.

    • Aaron,
      Your post was wonderful to read. Great emotion in your writing. Enjoy the rest of the trip. Safe travels home. I am absolutely sure you made your parents proud.

  2. Without a doubt…you always make us proud, Aaron! What an incredible journey you have had. I’m so happy for all of you! We can’t wait to see your smiling faces at a very late hour for us…but it will be a wonderful reunion! Safe travels home!

  3. Aaron, this is beautifully written! I don’t think you have to worry about making anyone proud! Your essay definitely had me smiling and tearing up at the same time. Can’t wait to see you all tomorrow night! Travel safe!

  4. This is one of my favorite posts! I wish I could have been there to see you dance! So thank you for painting such a vivid and exciting picture!

  5. Knee How to you all (sorry Chen!!!)
    I have been keeping up with all your adventures and wonderful stories, yet have not replied until now….I am sorry 🙁
    Sincere wishes for a safe, pleasant journey home where you can share your experiences first hand. You will all be tremendous “primary sources” in social studies classes, P.E., English, science….in the school store, the bus, activity room – name it?!
    In your time away, I have had adventures of my own – just not good ones!!
    Cannot wait to see your smiling faces, look at your photos and read your journal entries.
    Thanks for all the excellent writing samples. Each one demonstrated those key elements: Purpose, Organization, Details, Voice/Tone….. hey Claussen – are you yawning?! 🙂
    Kevin – as always – the maestro of technology!
    Take care – and BIG hugs to all!!
    Chappy xxx

  6. Aaron, That was very well written. I could sense your nervousness, excitement, and success! Safe journey Home to you all 🙂

  7. Hi Aaron,
    I was captivated… really. Patrick and I just read your post and you sound like a guy with an international bug. Enjoy and remember everything.

  8. Aaron,

    There are moments and events that clearly demarcate a transition in one’s life. It has been wonderful to watch you and your classmates experience new sights, sounds, and tastes. As you clearly illustrate, living in China has gone beyond the physical senses and has opened all of your hearts and minds up to what is possible…what you can achieve…who you can be…what is out there in this great big world!
    Soak up these last moments as your time in the Middle Kingdom wind down. We can’t wait to see you!
    By the way, pride cannot begin to describe how I feel!!

    Love, Dad

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