Ignorance is a bliss.

That phrase was very true for my first day at Malambo.

First day at Malambo was actually a blessing and was not too hard for me because I was unable to understand any of girls’ bad mouthed words and teasing. (Shoutout to my teaching partner Heidi who is fluent in Spanish).

Second day was much the same, but harder.

After hearing what Malambo girls said to each other, it was a bit tougher to keep my cool. Teaching older girls choreo was challenging with some of them leaving every other moment and staying inattentive.

But as the time went on, I began to focus on the girls who did not leave. Job got much easier. And soon I was looking at group of ten, fifteen Malambo girls dancing.

However, my favorite moment of the day did not come until post performance.

After performance, when I was helping a kid with a basic c-walking step she had question about, Kimberly came to ask me to do a Nike freeze for a kid. Once I did, I was surrounded by curious eyes, and was bombarded with bunch of Spanish words I did not understand. I then spent next 15 min running between girls standing upside down, speaking little Spanish I knew.

I still do not know all the good and bad things those girls might’ve said to me. But at the end of the day, they were just girls who are curious, and wanted to have fun. Had I understood everything they said to me, I probably wouldn’t have had that awesome 15 mins. Ignorance was a bliss, but what I needed might’ve been just a bigger heart to lift their wall.

- Taeksu Kim, Move-Ex Dance Diplomat
UC San Diego