A Story about NDPT’s visit to Atlanta
It was an honored to have the National Danish Performance team visit Atlanta for the 2nd time. Here is a recap of their visit to Atlanta by Gitte Hagensen
The National Danish Performance Team arrived in Athens, GA at 7 pm on Monday, February 21 after a 13 hour ride from Miami. 27 young top athletes from Denmark jumped out of the mini-vans, sporting big smiles and great attitudes – and so did their 5-person support team, headed by manager, Lene Bruun.
The group was quickly introduced to their host families – and off they went to the next home away from home on their 6 month long World Tour, which took them to 12 countries on 5 continents. Next morning at 7 am, they were back in the minivans, heading out to the day’s workshops at 2 elementary schools. That night, at 7 pm they entered a beautiful gym with an enthusiastic audience, waiting to see the IMANI show. It was past 10 pm by the time the athletes returned to their host families – and only 8 hours later they were off to the next day of workshops!
After 2 1/2 busy days in Athens, the team boarded the mini-vans again and drove to Atlanta. That evening, they met their new host families (they were so excited that the majority of the hosts were Danish!) – ready for the next stop on their World tour.
Steen and I hosted 5 athletes, and we told everybody that we were lucky – we got the best of the team. However, it sounded like we had some strong competition from other host families, who claimed that THEY had the best athletes!! And all host families agreed: These young people have the greatest attitude – and the best appetite!
The team visited several schools in and around Atlanta. Most of the school were under-privileged, chosen because we thought that they were the ones that deserved the visit the most.
The mission is to contribute to and encourage exercise, cheerfulness and understanding in the World. Through their shows and workshops they seek to entertain and inspire to an active lifestyle and strengthen healthy living. They are true ambassadors for Denmark – for an inclusive, democratic and dynamic sports culture.
On Saturday, February 25th they put on their amazing IMANI show at Pace Academy, watched by an enthusiastic crowd. After the show, they took time to hang out with the children in the audience before they went to work, dismantling the equipment and carrying it out to the truck.
Sunday morning, the athletes had expressed that they wanted to repeat an event from the 2015 visit: They attended service at Ebenezer Baptist Church (Martin Luther King’s Church) and it was wonderful to see their open minds to this very different service – definitely not the kind of service you see in Danish churches!
After church, we all walked over to Brunch 458 – a restaurant that is only open for brunch Sunday and is run by volunteers. Proceeds from the restaurant benefit the homeless, with an emphasis on assisting with securing employment: They provide clothing for the interview, instructions, and transportation to job interviews, giving the recipient an outstanding opportunity to change their future.
With full stomachs, the team gathered outside the restaurant, ready for another good-bye. Then they entered the minivans (luggage was already dropped off at the van that also carries their equipment) – and off they went to their next adventure!
After the team concluded their trip here in USA, they traveled to Gran Canaria where they spent a few days of intense training before they returned to Denmark to start the touring there.
It takes a lot of volunteers to make a visit like this happen and a lot of logistics has to be done, but Lene Bruun knew what she was doing, and everybody did their best to make it work. A big THANK YOU to the host families and the people behind the scenes that made this visit successful.