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Marianas Variety: Summer camp participants learn traditional Chamorro dance (July 25, 2019)

MEMBERS of Simiyan Manaina-ta taught Project Proa’s Summer Bridge Camp participants the importance of embracing local customs and culture through the traditional Chamorro dance.

Simiyan Manaina-ta creative director and Rep. LJ Castro, right, back to the camera, teaches students the steps of a Chamorro traditional dance in the Northern Marianas College library.

On July 15, Simiyan Manaina-ta project director and Rep. LJ Castro and six other members of the group shared their traditional and cultural knowledge with summer camp participants.

Summer campers include incoming high school juniors and seniors and recent high school graduates.

The camp, which runs from July 1 to Aug. 9, 2019, aims to help students strengthen their ties to their cultural heritage through various activities.

Through the performing arts, Castro said his group promotes local cultural heritage while promoting physical wellness. “It has been proven that the performing arts are a good workout routine,” he said.

Through traditional Chamorro dance, he said the camp participants also learned coordination and developed confidence.

“The only way that you can learn new things, not just dance steps, but also in life, is to be get out of your comfort zone,” Castro told the students. “Be open to learn new things and alternative ways.”

Aside from cultural activities, the Project Proa summer camp program also engages the participating students in academic sessions to prepare those who plan to enroll at NMC.

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