ACE youth in Amsterdam // Day 5

5“Bria again and another day in Amsterdam… Today has been such an eventful day! First, we started with a class from Desta where we rehearsed our performances for tomorrow and Saturday. We were able to add three new sections which finished the dance piece. Next we need to work on the material and timing to make sure we are all in sync. After class it was time to get ready as we were going out to visit the city of Amsterdam. This was a great time as we traveled by metro and were able to experience life in Amsterdam. In the city, we went on a boat trip where we had a tour of black history, visited famous monuments and learned about Dutch history. After the tour, in our groups with Untold, we were able to walk around the shops to have a feel of life in Amsterdam. Later on, as a group we went to Vapianos where we had a nice meal with everyone and spent more time bonding before catching the tram to a block party. Today I really got a feel of Amsterdam and enjoyed the day, even though it has been very long. I am going to enjoy the last few days of the exchange and make sure I make the most of it.”

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Here we are with Untold at Dam Square, returning from our Black Heritage Tour

Ayanna

“Hi I’m Ayanna and today was our sharing day! After days of rehearsal the piece was finally complete and today was for cleaning up the routine. It was a great experience getting to perform to Untold and Untouchables friends and family and also seeing their performances. We have not previously seen them rehearse their style of dance which is African and Hip Hop. At the end of the show we played two of our favourite dutch songs and took pictures to add to the many memories we have already created. I am looking forward to performing at Kwaku festival on the youth stage to present the performance and bring the exchange to a great end.”

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Bloc Party!

rhia“Hi I’m Rhia! Today was by far the most cultural day. We began the day with a class led by Desta to continue our piece. After rehearsing the sections of the dance that we already created we went on to choreograph a new section exploring the fusion of African and contemporary in a sharp dynamic. The new choreography was very successful, it looks great and feels great to dance. We then created an ending for the piece, mirroring the beginning which was a really nice way to end the piece and a great concept from Desta. We ran the whole piece then all went for showers, excitingly anticipating our trip to downtown Amsterdam. We took the metro to the central station using electronic tickets much like the underground in London. Upon arrival we were greeted by two tour guides that took us on an incredible boat ride around the beautiful canals of Amsterdam. We learned about black history and saw sites that are important parts of the black history of Amsterdam. The tour guides took us through the red light district which I think surprised everyone as I don’t think any of us realised how open it is and how highly advertised the women that work there are. We were told that we weren’t allowed to take photos whilst in that area and we later found out that it was for the safety of the women who operate there. We finished our tour at the town hall and went to have look around the shops. A few of us bought some nice cheeses for our families and some others bought clothes. We found that many of the shops are the same in England as in Amsterdam. At a lovely Italian restaurant we all shared a variety of pastas and pizzas for dinner. Everyone had a great time socialising and enjoying a delicious meal together. After that we took the tram a little way out of town where there was a BBQ event going on. When we got there we found people of all different races chilling out, eating, learning salsa, hula hooping and having a drink. The music was as good as the vibes and after a good hula hoop, a dance and a few snapchats later we got back onto the tram and a sleepy ACE youth returned home to our hotel. We discussed the day a little and how much of a lovely time we had all had mingling with Untold Dance Company. After our short family meeting, ACE youth clambered though the showers and into our beds.”

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Kaylah giving Hoola Hooping a try! 

kaylah

“Kaylah here! We started off the day with the usual class delivered by Desta in preparation for the performance on Saturday. I found the class calmer and less hectic than usual as the piece is starting to come together with extra dance material added. After the class we all freshened up to get ready to go into the city centre, I was excited because we have mainly been in the dance studio the whole time since we’ve been here so it was nice to see more of Amsterdam’s landmarks. We caught the tram into the city and went to the canals for an informative black history boat ride tour which I found very interesting as I learnt a lot about the importance the canals had hundreds of years ago. After that we went to a few shops in town and out to eat at the Italian restaurant, Vapianos. Once we had eaten we were taken to a block party which was full of people from the local community. I enjoyed today as I got to explore more of Amsterdam and I was able to bond more with Untold and The Untouchables.”