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Dance Is an International Language

May 2023

A BYU student learns to dance in classical Indian style during a study abroad in India.While studying abroad in Bengaluru, India, BYU dance student Lauren Halversen learned that dance connects diverse cultures and mindsets. Halversen was part of a group that researched how cross-cultural choreographic collaboration fosters empathy and understanding. For a two-week period, a BYU dancer was paired with an Indian dancer, and each choreographed a solo and taught it to their partner. 

The solo Halversen learned was in a classical Indian style. Her partner from India learned a contemporary dance that Halversen had choreographed. There were moments when they felt resistance to each other’s choreography because neither of them had had much experience in the other’s style of dance. But as they worked together, they learned that choreography was a common language. “I saw more distinctly that the movements she created conjured up my own memories,” says Halversen.

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