On the series: Voices del Camino is our series of stories and reflections from the company, while on tour. El camino, in Spanish, literally means "the road"; but el camino is also the journey that we're on towards witnessing, creating, and sharing the beauty and complexity of humanity, and towards transforming our world through love and movement.

Amherst, MA | Claiming My Knowledge, by Chris Cuenza

Our performance at University of Massachusetts, Amherst was a short but sweet experience.  The actual show went well, and when the floor opened up for questions afterwards, I saw numerous hands instantly shoot up. I could tell that the company members were excited to get the mic and give a little insight into themselves and the work. 

But it wasn’t until I saw the small group of youth being given a short backstage tour by our Tour Manager, Nathan, when I got to engage a little bit more. I happened to be walking around backstage, when Nathan invited me in to talk about about the newest work the company is creating, “joyUS.” The group was a very open-minded and interested in what I was saying, which was really cool. And then, at the end of the tour, as we were all saying goodbye, one young man came up to me and said, “Thank you for the knowledge.” 

Now, people have given me their thanks before, but there was something about this phrase coming out of this young man’s mouth that stuck with me a little different. First and foremost, I didn't finish college, but I am extremely passionate about art, dance and performing arts. I never formally studied dance or hip-hop, I just learned as I progressed in my career. When the young man said, “Thank you for the knowledge,” it made me feel really proud of how far this artist’s path has taken me. 

So, I say to you, my young brotha in the red Jordan long sleeve, “I thank YOU for listening and for being part of my journey.”