From 24th April to 1st May 2022, the third part of the Khaita Educational Program took place in Phendeling, Czech Republic. With these eight intensive days, the first year of the three-year Educational Program comes to a close. As usual, the course was held in a hybrid way: while seven participants were welcomed warm-heartedly onsite in Phendeling, other dancers from all around the world joined the program online via Zoom. In total, we were 17 participants, with two more joining onsite at the weekend.
In these eight days, we did not only dance, study the history of Khaita and its larger meaning but also worked with Elisha Koppensteiner on the voice and Klára Markuciová on Montessori pedagogy. In addition to that, we listened to a talk by Menpa Phuntsog Wangmo on the benefits of dancing Khaita and Vajra Dance. All of this contributed to the program’s richness and represented the multiplicity of Khaita with its numerous areas of application.
Under the dedicated guidance of Adriana Dal Borgo, we studied several Kordro dances in detail, focusing particularly on their movement qualities, meanings, and the coordination in the group. Adriana also shared precious material of Rinpoche explaining songs, commenting on dances and talking about the relevance of dancing Khaita as Dzogchen practitioners. This further opened our understanding of the deep meaning of Khaita.
Since the Khaita Educational Program aims at training new Khaita experts and instructors, the third course of the first year concentrated on pedagogy and the didactics of teaching Khaita. For this reason, we dissected steps, looked at them at detail and tried to find words and movements to explain them in simple ways to others. We also had brief mock teaching sessions in which we could take on the role of an instructor, observe and discuss its challenges. Elisha’s input on working with the voice while teaching was thereby very useful and facilitated the process. On Saturday, Klára taught us how to work with young children and motivate them for Khaita. She provided examples for adequate learning settings and solutions for conflict situations. Her experience with and commitment to teaching children was touching.
We left Phendeling inspired, full of joy and with a lot of information to process. The next course of the Khaita Educational Program will be held from 10th – 17th July in Zhephenling, Rome. Registration for the full as well as part of the program is open to anyone interested.