To me, dancing isn’t simply a movement or a form of exercise, that you do in order to become more fit/healthy. To me dancing, dancing is a form of self-expression, it is an art that you hone and refine the more you practice, and as they say, practice makes perfect.
To me dancing is my way of life, I always have to do it in order to be happy. When I dance I feel like I’m in my own world, where I am free of all obligations and expectations that people have for me. Even though it is brief, it is my own world and one that no one and no manner of force can get their way in.
I dance my heart out every time, I may not be good, I may not always go dancing lessons. For me, it’s not about being the best, proving something to someone, or even participating in competitions against others. It has always been about me and my love for dancing.
With all of life’s issues, it is always easy to forget and lose yourself in this chaos. There’s work, university, family troubles, and more. Even still there is something always there for me to put all of that on hold, even for a bit, that is dance.
I sometimes see it as a coping mechanism to relieve any stress I may have or any worries that take hold of me. I can use dance to release all the frustrations and pent up emotions, when I dance I have learned to let it all go.
There are many people who influenced the way I am now and helped me discover my love for dance. One of those very important people was Sophie Bradbury, I remember the first time I started dancing. It was back in the sixth form, where there was a dance club, which was a fusion of street dance, afro beats, and many more. I enjoyed those times even though they were very brief for two years. I had fun but I didn’t know how much I loved it until I stopped. It was time for me to leave the sixth form and enter my university, the University of East London.
I didn’t study dance, I chose to take up film which was one of my passions. Before I did that I went on the foundation year course, I didn’t take part in any clubs as I felt I would lose focus. After completing that year, I felt it was a waste, sure I did go out but not too much. During the first year of my course, I was determined to join a society. I saw many societies but that is when I saw the dance, it was like I was in a trance and wanted to sign up straight away.
When I came to the first trial session, that was when I met Sophie. I remember feeling very nervous, and afraid, there were so many dancers, so many people that I didn’t know but Sophie reassured me to just have fun. After that initial time, I kept coming to dance, kept enjoying the dancing, and letting myself go free. Anytime I was nervous about trying some new dance move or do something out of my comfort zone, Sophie always assured me everything would be alright. To this day, she is one of my biggest inspirations that I look up to.
It wasn’t only her that are my influenced me and my love of dance but there are countless others. One of them being Jack Manley, he always would push himself and taught me how to push myself to be the best version of myself I could be in dance. He always knew how to motivate me and I always give it 110% every time I dance, whether that be dancing as part of a group or by myself.
There was also Debora Lopes de Oliveira who introduced me to the world of hip-hop dancing, had so much fun during that session, being light on my feet and just releasing all that energy in a heartbeat. She taught to release that explosive power, that I had inside me, and dance like never before. I may not do as much hip-hop as I did before but always love using those foundation moves that she taught me every now and then. Even watching her now, I can see anything is possible if I set my mind to it.
Lastly, there is Margarida Peneda, who introduced me to the world of dancehall. At first, I wanted to try out for myself and see if I loved it. I never tried it but wanted to give it a go. Immediately I loved it, reminded me so much of afro-beats, and loved to energy. To this day, I’ve always loved attending and always love being able to dance my heart out in this wonderful style of dance. Not perfect but she always keeps teaching me the joys of dancehall and I keep falling in love with it more and more.
But I am not done with the praises, there are some honorable mentions I would like to give as well. Tanaka Arnold Bingwa’s performances always captivated me, the energy he has and the emotion, always gave me chills down my spine. Watching him I have learned to not just perform in terms of dance but perform with my emotions to feel every fiber of the song.
Hollie, Angelica, Florian, Isaak, Andreia, LJ, Paulinaha, Kristine, Karla, Kyron taught me that if I have an idea of something I would like to try, I should just go and do it. I should try anything that I think would be interesting, and just go at it with everything I have. Svan and Emi showed me, that its okay to be slightly abstract in a way with the kind of dancing I may want to do or go into.
Serga Alexander Kundik and Eglé Vi taught me the beauty of freestyle, that I could experiment as much as I like. I can make mistakes but even if I do, I should just keep going. It is my favorite way of dancing now that I can just go nuts and do whatever I feel like. I don’t have to feel limited to stay within the limits of the dance moves.
These are only some of the people who’ve shown me the beauty of dance, and I can’t think of the words to say how amazing those people are too. Even though dance society may longer be here, I still dance my heart out, when I can find an empty classroom, a lecture theater, or even the center of my university square, to me the moment I dance those places become my dance studio. I have never stopped dancing and will dance every chance I get. It is my lifestyle and my greatest passion, that I will never abandon.
Hope you guys share your stories of ‘Why Do You Dance?’. Have a fabulous day.
Kite Visionary xx
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