By far one of the most memorable moments of my service will be participating in a dance performance during Novaci’s annual festival “Urcatul Oilor La Munter” (The Sheep Climb the Mountain). Now on its 46th year, the festival is dedicated to the shepherds of Novaci. During this time period, the shepherds take their sheep up the mountain for the summer months and back in August at which time another festival is dedicated for their return. During the festival, folkloric dance groups from the county and near by cities perform AND this year I was lucky enough to be part of my school’s dance group! My students became my teachers and thanks to their patience I was able to “learn” the steps.
While in most cases I keep cool under pressure, I was so nervous because I wanted to make sure I got every step right. For the most part, I would say I was doing just fine but when the mayor noticed me dancing he turned off the music and said something along the lines of “there is our American volunteer dancing”, at that point I totally lost my concentration and had no idea what to do or what step was next. I froze but smiled.
After the performance, I was asked to give an interview to a local TV channel. Somewhere in cyberspace there is a video of me talking in Romanian about my experience. I haven’t been able to find it, but I can assure you it is GOLD! Or so I think so because my students saw me in the evening news and told me I sounded sweet, so I’ll take their word for it.
My five minutes of fame in Novaci ended before I knew it
- Friends back home, don’t worry I’ll teach you how to dance it.
Below are pictures from a group from another city, Sibiu.