As part of our language learning on program, we have a Russian dance class twice a week. The first dance we learned is called Кадриль (Kadril) which was very popular in Russian cities and villages during the 19th century, although the dance did not originate in Russia.
By learning the dance, we learn different verbs of motion, which are far more diverse and complicated in Russian than English. Each verb comes in a pair: a perfective and imperfective verb which differ based on if the motion is uni- or multi-directional, repeated or in process, and so on. There are also different verbs depending on how you move. In other words, you cannot simply say “I went” and have it grammatically work for all situations of movement by foot or by car. Verbs of motion are hard for me in Russian, but the dance class is helping me learn them by doing them as we speak the verb aloud.
Overall I think this is a unique way to learn Russian. It is the first time I experienced a language class that was not in a traditional classroom where we sat down. If I teach English in the future, I will keep this method in mind because I do think it is effective.
By: Alexi Kim
Program: Russian Language & Area Studies, Moscow
Term: Spring 2019