Reciprocity is a critical component of cultural diplomacy; and being willing to give up the role of teacher and take on the role of student, thereby showing humility, is an invaluable quality in a cultural diplomat.
Several of us drove to Haifa from Tel Aviv to meet Dr. Ruth Eshel and a troupe of Ethiopian Jews who had preserved their traditional dance form under her guidance. We spent several hours together, warming up and giving them a modern dance class followed by their giving us an introduction to their dance form, Eskesta, which is primarily a dance for the shoulders. After a few minutes, we began to feel muscles we had never used before (!) and all did a lot of laughing at how difficult it was for us to isolate the shoulders in such complex and exhausting ways.
It was a long drive in both directions but we felt enriched from the interaction.
A large number of the dancers returned the favor by coming all the way to Jaffa to see our performance a day or two later!