Chocó to Dance is a new initiative that sees Colombians offering dance classes online in an effort to raise money for higher education, as Linda Gómez discovers
We all know that Colombians are fantastic dancers. People the world over enrol in salsa classes or jealously watch Latinos wiggle their hips. But what if there was a cheap and easy way to learn, which actually helped people in the process? That’s where the unique and pioneering project, Chocó to Dance, comes in.
The Juan Pablo Gutiérrez Cáceres Foundation, alongside US advertising company MullenLowe, has come up with an innovative way to raise funds for the education of young people in Chocó, from which they eventually hope to lend a helping hand in other regions around the country.
Unlike other donation drives, it’s not only shaking donors’ pockets, but their bodies too. For a modest price, anyone can learn to dance reggaeton, champeta, salsa or even choque – online, with expert dancers. Chocó to Dance offers dance classes for just USD$9.99 per year.
Chocoanos are well-known for their flair for dancing, and they want to share this talent with anyone, anywhere in the world, who wants to be able to dance Latin genres. The foundation hopes that this will lead to an exchange of “education for education”.
“We still don’t have exact figures for how many people are using the service, but we are sure that we have made an impact on the international community,” explains Ángela María Gutiérrez, the foundation’s director.
“In Colombia, we have seen that the project has been widely accepted, we have lots of followers.”
The not-for-profit organisation is dedicated to providing grants and scholarships for Colombians with limited resources, enabling them to attend university and college – and this initiative is a fun and interesting way to raise extra funds.
Chocó to Dance offers more than 100 different classes that are accessible on any device, offering users a simple and entertaining way to learn to dance, wherever they might be.
Gutiérrez continues: “MullenLowe have created something wonderful for Chocó, a department that has been forgotten by many, but which is full of culture and history.”
To date, the Juan Pablo Gutiérrez Cáceres Foundation has provided 224 scholarships to students and hopes to be able to offer even more support to the region’s youngsters in the years to come.
So if you want to learn how to swing your hips like an expert – and help a deprived community in the process – you don’t need to travel far. Internet connection, a laptop, comfortable shoes, a willingness to learn and less than ten dollars should do just fine.
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By Linda Gómez