“Monkey Business” Performance Dates in May

After a month-long performance tour of China, Journey East will present its home show throughout the West River Valley. In the vaudevillian tradition, “Monkey Business” is filled with comic skits, music, dance and mime and is suitable for all ages.

Where Date Time
Townshend Elementary May 13 1:00PM
Valley Cares May 14th 1:00PM
Jamaica Elementary May 19th 1:00PM
Wardsboro Elementary May 21th 1:00PM
Dover Elementary May 27th 1:15PM
Newbrook Elementary May 28th 1:00PM
Marlboro Elementary May 30th 1:00PM

Poster-Journey-East-2014CC English Guiyang530

Leland and Gray’s “Journey East” presents “Monkey Business”

Leland and Gray’s “Journey East” presents “Monkey Business”

DSC04608After a month-long performance tour of China Journey East will present its home show in the Leland and Gray gymnasium on Friday, May 2 at 7:30 P.M. In the vaudevillian tradition, “Monkey Business” is filled with comic skits, music, dance and mime and is suitable for all ages.

Slides of the journey, which involved extensive travel through Beijing, provinces in southwest China and a 9 day residency at the Arts College of Inner Mongolia University in Hohhot, will be shown at 7:00 P.M.

The 16 students are anxious to share their experiences and audience members are encouraged to come with questions.

The performance is free and open to the public

Photos of the journey and student essays may be viewed at: www.journeyeast.csrworld.com


2014-4-22 Hohhot – Aaron

Aaron Claussen
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. Continue reading

2014-4-21 Beijing – Emma U

Emma Urbaska

                Emma-Urbaska-2My stay in Inner Mongolia undoubtedly changed my life. I never thought that just nine days in a new culture could have such an impact on me, but it has. The Mongolian people are people you would be lucky to have the opportunity to meet in a lifetime, especially the folk I was surrounded by during my visit. The Mongolian culture is a unique one, filled with passion, confidence, understanding, and love. A Mongolian is passionate in everything that he or she does which brings out his or her natural confidence when you meet them. As you develop a friendship with a Mongolian they start to learn about you and understand who you are, and this brings them to develop a love for you. This kind of encounter is incredible to experience because it all happens so fast. I am close with a few Mongolians in particular and we only had less than a week to really develop a connection. It’s remarkable to me that these people will never question you or doubt you, they simply trust and appreciate you for who you are and the good qualities you possess. The Mongolian people and culture definitely brought out some of my good qualities. Continue reading

2014-4-20 Hohhot – Jennie

Jennifer Connor

Over the last month we, Journey East 2014, have had the opportunity to explore and consider the differences in US and Chinese educational systems. We visited a Mongolian kindergarten where Summer insisted that she had brought an empty backpack so that she could fill it with one of these pint sized Mongols and bring him stateside.  Aaron’s connection to his younger brothers was apparent as he ran through the playground chased by a small hoard of would be Ghengis Kahns. At middle schools, students were anxious to try out their English language skills and to exchange “selfies” and email addresses with our students who look like teenagers in Chinese ads where marketing to Chinese students means light skinned models with Caucasian features. Continue reading

2014-4-19 Hohhot – Caroline

Caroline Tietz

Day 25 Time with an Old Friend

Caroline-TietzIt was almost like we got to sleep in today. Our wakeup call was at 7:30 this morning, but I don’t think I woke up until about 8, this was a real treat. For our first activity of the day, we went to the Inner Mongolian Museum. This place was huge! There was turf grass covering parts of the building and steps going in all directions. It all reminded me of a futuristic home.

Our group went to five different exhibits. There was only so much written in English in each one so you couldn’t read about the artifacts and statues. Out of all the exhibits, my favorite was about fish in the ocean. It showed their skeletons and on display was some organs from a whale. The heart was almost two feet wide! After we were finished with each room, we would all wait outside in the hallway and end up sitting on each other and eating whatever food we had. Continue reading

2014-4-17 Hohhot – Charly

Charly Sperling

                Charly-Sperling2This morning we headed over to the Arts College to rehearse our performance for tomorrow. It’s been really amazing to work with the dance students because of their experience, talent, and determination to do the best they can possibly do.  These students are selected from all over the Inner Mongolia to go to this arts college for their particular talents.  So their whole future depends on how well they do now. In America, it’s a completely different story. The students themselves choose what they would like to do, and half the time they don’t even stick with their original decision.

During our rehearsal, the girls and boys practiced separately. The style of dance is extremely different from what we’re used to at home. First of all, the boys in our group have never really been exposed to dance lessons, so almost everything is new for them. Most of us girls are used to trying to be “graceful” and “pretty” in ballet lessons from our early childhood, and even presently in Mariah’s case. The style here for the girls is more sudden and sharp; and includes a lot of stomping, which is a pretty drastic change from what we’re used to back home. Continue reading

2014-4-16 Hohhot – Casey and Sam

Casey and Sam

Casey and SamOur day began with another early wakeup call and an hour bus ride. We arrived to our destination which was the Yili factory (“dairy farm”) where we were met by our guide. She began the tour with showing us a scale model of the three parts of the Yili dairy “farm” in Hohhot. Our guide then gave us a brief description and background of each section. The area we were located in is also known as the eastern section. This handled most of the testing, product processing, shipping, and packaging.  Next we were introduced to the central processing area, which is soon to be home to the first dairy farm museum. It also provides housing to seven-thousand low and high wage earners. The last section, but certainly not the least, holds sixty-thousand cows and provides the factory with two-thousand tons of milk each day. Continue reading

2014-4-15 Hohhot – Emma U

Emma Urbaska


Emma-UrbaskaThis morning felt like any other morning I’ve had in China. I woke up, went to breakfast, and hopped on a bus headed to the Hohhot International Experimental School. Our group was lead to a conference room that looked like any other Chinese conference room I’d seen before, a long wooden table filled the room and big leather chairs lined the table. A head teacher of the school came in and gave us a brief history of the school and that’s where the familiar sights and actions changed into new and interesting information. The man told us that the school was founded in the 1800’s and how it started off with less than a hundred students enrolled. Currently, there are over 2,000 students in this school and I learned how important each and every one of those students is to the saving of the Mongolian culture and language.

Although Mongolian language is a big part of this school, the students are also required to learn English and Chinese fluently before graduation. I thought this was extremely prestigious, though the staff talked about it like it was nothing. Continue reading

2014-4-14 Hohhot – Kayla

Kayla Williams
April 14, 2014


Kayla-Williams-2Today was our first visit to Inner Mongolia University Arts College and it was amazing. We had a meeting with President Li Yulin and some of the teachers we would be working with for the next nine days. After the meeting we had some free time and most of us played soccer with some of the students at the College, it was a lot of fun to play with them, even though I find soccer challenging.

After playing soccer, we went to a choir class and it was the most amazing thing. We talked for some time and then they sang for us. It was unbelievable. I honestly don’t have any words to describe the experience. It gave me goose bumps. We also went to a rehearsal tonight at 8:30 and we exchanged performances and when they sing the girls sound like one voice. It’s amazing how they can do that. Continue reading