Last Friday I was at school and heading to a class when Doamna Angela, a 3rd grade teacher, approached me and asked if I was busy that afternoon and evening. Doamna Angela and her husband, Alexandru, run the traditional music and dance school in our village. I told her I didn’t have plans and she asked me if I had my camera with me (I did). “Perfect!” she said, “Will you come with the dance ensemble to a competition in Chisinau and film it?” I absolutely love the rare opportunities to watch the dance ensemble, made up of about 20 8th through 9th grade students I teach at school, so I immediately said yes.
I’ll be honest- I really didn’t know any details when I said yes except that we would be leaving right after my class and that it was in Chisinau. On the bus on the way to Chisinau, Angela and Alexandru said that we were going to a festival and competition called Constellation of Talents and that it was an international talent competition. My students didn’t end up performing until almost 10 in the evening (the video above), but I got to hang out with the group until then and watch the rest of the concert and competition. There were at least 13 countries represented, mostly from Eastern Europe but also from Vietnam and a group from an African country.
There were various categories including modern dance, traditional dance, singing, verbal art (poetry), and modelling. Our group was competing in the traditional dance category. Groups that the judges felt did a good job on the first and second days of the competition were called back to compete in the final round on Sunday. My students did a fantastic job on Friday, and though I didn’t accompany them, were called back on Sunday, and won grand prize!! They also received invitations to two other international competitions, one in Romania, and one in Bulgaria. My students were so excited to tell me that they had won when I saw them in class on Monday! They work incredibly hard and are so incredibly talented! I am so proud of them!