Vittoria, an au pair from Brazil, accomplished something incredible during the holiday season: she performed in a local production of The Nutcracker! Vittoria is a trained classical dancer and decided to keep up her dancing skills while being an au pair in Kansas.
Taking classes at the Lawrence Performing Arts Center has been enriching, as she has been able to share her passion for ballet with a new community and embrace the differences between her own culture and that of the United States. “[I’ve] danced since I was a child and being able to dance while doing the au pair exchange made my heart warm.”
Vittoria says that being part of the au pair program is a dream come true for her. “The au pair represents for me a great personal and professional growth since in the future I want to be a teacher of early childhood education."
She continued: “In this exchange I learned and grew a lot in just 9 months.” The au pair program has allowed Vittoria to pursue her passion for ballet while experiencing a new culture. She has had the unique opportunity to perform in a professional production of The Nutcracker and share her love of ballet with a new community.
This experience, combined with her other activities as an au pair, has been a wonderful way to learn about a new culture and to make friends from around the world. Vittoria’s story is a reminder of the powerful connection between cultural exchange and the arts.
As she explained: “As a ballerina, it was the realization of a to be able to dance on an American stage,” adding that she “had a great experience with the other students and teachers" and even met another ballerina from Brazil!
The au pair program provides young people like Vittoria with the opportunity to share their culture with a new community while experiencing the culture of the host country. Cultural exchange allows people to learn about each other in a meaningful way and to build bridges between cultures.