It has been an honor to be a part of Yale Dance Theatre. As a mere freshman, I didn’t really know what the program was about. I saw the memo about the audition, and I decided to show up last minute. I’m so glad that I did. Working with Urban Bush Women was wonderful. A thousand thanks to Amanda, Courtney, and Love for their guidance and inspiration. It was a pleasure working with them. Some of my favorite parts were the tipping phrase, ping-pong/mother tongue, and of course all of the dancing parties. Over the course of this project, I learned a lot about modern dance, which I had never done before, and I also learned a lot about myself. One of my biggest take-a-ways from working with these wonderful women was honoring — ourselves, the space, and each other. As an individual, we all have different talents, strengths, and weaknesses. Sometimes, you come into rehearsal in the middle of exam period (lol when is it NOT exam period), and you don’t feel like you have anything to give to the space. However, each of us had to honor our bodies and our minds. UBW really encouraged us to use our baggage, “what was on top”, in our work. Baggage is part of a story, and a major part of UBW is sharing and communicating our stories. I really appreciated that we shared our feelings and energy at the beginning of each rehearsal. That we re engaged with one another, that we honored each person before sharing the artistic space with them. I thought that was an incredible element and also what made this semester so wonderful. Dance and life don’t ever have to be separate. In fact, they often go hand in hand. Working with our memories and honoring our bodies was one of the most empowering experiences of my life. I’m so grateful that I got to work with this amazing group of people.