Cup of Life: Unraveling YOU (Emovimento)

Hello my lovely cupcakes!!!

I have quite a personal adventure to share with you. Starting off with some heavy duty talk :p, you may not know this about me, but I’ve always been good at talking about feelings with others when it comes to other people, however when it comes to mine… I’m having a hard time sharing how I feel without spilling out the anger, disappointment, hurt I have bottled up inside me, or else I’m just pretending to be fine. I have many things, that I just can’t express by sheer language or words, the frustration is just so deep within me. And it all stems from growing up in different cultures: the Flemish, the Wallonian and the Vietnamese, with a hint of the American culture (through American tv series). I’m always torn into pieces: I’m as eager to please others and wanting to be the best, as the good Vietnamese daughter that I am. The Flemish side in me is bothered about how frank and hurtful Vietnamese comments about looks, school, life… can be. My Wallonian side sometimes wishes I could just say f*ck it, let it go. My American side wishes to be free to express however I feel and to do whatever I want. I always felt like I tried to fit in a box that didn’t have a defined shape. Because for each culture, that box was different.

You know, the expressions “stay true to yourself” and “listen to your heart”… Until the age of 28, I didn’t even know what that meant. While for many, it’s a natural thing to feel, I had trained myself over the years to ignore that feeling, to push down any urges and desires, so I could fit in that mental box I had created for myself. When I had issues with my first job, I went to see a career coach, which was a blessing. She relieved some of the stress, I was bottling up inside. She uncoiled many knots and unraveled many doubts, easing my mind and heart. She helped me find out my talents and passions, things I didn’t even value for myself to begin with, because I had assumed they were useless. This all came from when I was a 4 years old, drawing, singing and dancing, being my happy self. Up until this day, I still hear the echo in my head: “child, stop doing that, living like that will make you poor. Being good at that will gain nothing. You need to grow up to be an engineer, lawyer or doctor” (Asian readers, does this sound familiar to you?)… My whole life, I’ve learned to cope with my conflicting feelings the best way possible by submerging myself in creativity. Here are some drawing that I made during my exams many years ago:

  • Statistics


  • Immunology:


Somewhere along the boring but challenging road that is my life, I’ve come to the realization that I’m not here to make any compromises. We’re way past that. I don’t feel like living for someone else. I wasn’t born to please others and I’m not ashamed of who I am. I’m not scared to be seen. I make no apologies, this is me! (If you haven’t seen the Greatest Showman, what are you waiting for, GO SEE IT).  Even now, that I know who I am, it’s still a struggle to deal with the people around me who don’t accept me that way, who think they know me, while they don’t understand my thoughts or feelings. Dealing with judginess is okay when those people aren’t close to you. But when they are, it’s a long process to learn them how to accept you.

As most of you know by now, my passion is dancing. I love Latin and Ballroom dancing. And since 2017, I’ve also started taking Belly Dance classes. It was the best decision I’ve ever made. What I love about Belly dancing is its freedom of expression. While it can be technical, nothing holds you down. There are no rules that bound you to the beat or the song, like it is the case with Latin or Standard dancing. It’s all up to you to convey the story you’d like to tell. I also did a post last year on my first performance ever, you can read about it here.



If you like, go check out my YouTube channel to see the performances.

Aside from the normal Belly Dance courses, I’m now also subscribed to the “Unraveling You” workshop from Emovimento, that takes the classes to the next level: how to convey your feelings and message into the dance. Within these 5 weeks, we’ll be learning a great deal on choreography, which is, I realize, something I really love. I’d like to take you, my friends, with me along this journey of self discovery! I hope you enjoy.


After the last workshop, there will be a showdown in Heerlen (the Netherlands) at the Belly Dance Festival! I couldn’t be more excited. I always find it inspiring to be surrounded by passionate people.


During the first workshop we had an introduction to the science of movement. We learned about Rudolf Laban, a German dancer who was the developer of the Laban Movement Analysis (according to Wikipedia: a method and language for describing, visualizing, interpreting and documenting human movement). According to this analysis, movement is divided by 4 categories: Body, Effort, Shape and Space. We of course didn’t go into great detail, because we’re here to dance, obviously :p. For our workshop, we’ll mainly focus on Effort and Space.

Past Saturday, we focused on Space, which is quite important in Choreos to make it visually appealing for the audience. I’m also currently working on my own choreo and I’m so excited to finish it and finally share it with you guys very soon. It’ll be a dance on a song from the very talented composer Paul Dinletir!

I hope you enjoy this little post! More on it, on next weeks Wednesday post!







9 thoughts on “Cup of Life: Unraveling YOU (Emovimento)

  1. LivingOutLoud says:

    Hello Sarah!
    I always enjoy reading your posts. I can really relate to you and am so happy that you are choosing to be true to yourself that takes self-reflection and courage. I also spent decades of my life living for others, silencing myself, and muffling my spirit to be accepted by my family and friends.
    Emotions can be scary when we allow ourselves to feel them especially when anger bubbles over. I know that with anger I have often felt a sense of guilt.
    I am currently dealing with a situation that brings out emotions. We have a renter in our house who I do not really get along with and it bothers me because I usually can get along with just about everyone. I definitely did try for awhile, but every time we had a nice interaction it has felt like the next time around she has hit me with an insult (maybe she doesn’t mean to). It always catches me off guard and it makes me feel almost aggressively defensive. It is a long story but, it bothers me because she complains to me, but when my bf comes around she acts like nothing is wrong. My bf is on my side and he said that she is kind of out there and not to worry. I am trying to use it as an opportunity to practice harnessing my emotions and then letting things go.
    I hate when little things like this cause more stress than they are worth. Sorry, I really rambled on here. Thankfully diving into my passions and putting more effort into bettering myself has helped me a lot.
    I visited your youtube channel and you are a beautiful dancer, Sarah! It is so nice to see you live your truth and share your passion and talents with the world through dance. I feel so inspired. Yesterday my mom and I went to a local dance festival that had performances from about 14 different dance groups. We got to see a wide variety from tap, ballet, modern, riverdance and belly dance ( they need a samba or latin dance group for next year). I thought of you and now I want to try bellydance someday in the future.
    I hope you are doing well.

    ❤ Alana


    • sarahscupofbeauty says:

      Hi Alana!
      I’m happy you enjoyed my post. And I’m glad and honored you share your emotional struggles with me. I’ve come to understand that everything is a matter of perspective. In the Vietnamese culture, those hurtful comments are meant to help, but I just don’t feel it that way and as you say, it comes with a certain guilt. You wonder why you get so angry. You’re angry at yourself for feeling this angry. And the loop is never ending. But what helps is to be able to see it from a different angle. Actually, the fact that you don’t get along with that renter is okay. It’s okay to not get along with everyone. You shouldn’t feel like you have to bend in different angles just so you could get along with them. You have 2 options. If you choose to accept the fact that you just don’t get along with her and that’s fine then you can stay polite without anything more. If you wish to have a basic friendliness/relationship type thing with her, you need to educate her on how to treat you. Everyone is different and she might think it doesn’t bother you because you’re always nice. One thing is for sure, when you feel wronged, don’t laugh it away. Because that makes you feel like you betray yourself, so that nagging tugging feeling around your chest will come. When she says something bad, you need to call her out. It could be something with great impact like: “oh, thanks for rubbing it in my face” and walk away. It’ll shock her maybe so she’ll keep that in mind next time she says some mean comment. But you could also make it less aggressive by asking her: “is there a reason why you would say something like that? What is your goal for saying it? If it’s you’re way of giving me advice, it’s actually offensive…”.
      I say this, but admittedly, I haven’t done it myself because it’s a bit of a fragile topic with the family :p. But when it comes to people I don’t know well or on a professional level, I’ve found that being honest about something you don’t like is not perceived negatively and it will be appreciated on the long run, because they know what to expect from you. I can tell you, it’s a liberating feeling :).
      And thank you!!! for complimenting me on my dancing!!! It’s so personal and it comes from deep within. And with Belly Dancing I feel like you could express so much. I hope you’ll give it a try, I’m sure you’ll love it!
      Sure keep me updated on your situation (if you like of course :)). It’s always great talking with you Alana!! I hope you stay well too!!
      Love, Sarah

      Liked by 1 person

      • LivingOutLoud says:

        Thank you Sarah! It is so kind of you to share your insights with me. Communicating and standing up for myself has been brand new because I was honestly a pushover for most of my life, but I figured that since I am turning 30 in August it is a good time to start standing up for myself. You are right I think I get more upset about the fact that these interactions made me so angry. In the past I would have reacted differently. I think that being a pushover kept me from getting a stronger sense of confidence and it kept my self-esteem low. So now it feels like a big reaction. Thank you for your suggestions. There is definitely a big learning curve in learning how to communicate well. I think I am leaning towards accepting the fact that I don’t get along and the next time she says something mean I will call her on it. It is kind of scary because I have social anxiety, but it is good for me to learn how to handle these situations.
        It really means the world to me that you shared these suggestions with me. It really helped to talk about it because it was eating me up inside.
        I hope this year is going well for you. I cannot believe that it is already March! I found a belly dance class that started tonight and I think I am going to try and take the next session that is offered.
        Have a wonderful week, Sarah!

        ❤ Alana

        Liked by 1 person

      • sarahscupofbeauty says:

        You’re welcome Alana!!! Communication is definitely KEY in everything you do in life. Because I believe each and every person is going through a certain phase in life. But it’s not our responsibility to care and mind about each person we meet. It’s already difficult enough to deal with our own emotions. So conveying how you feel is definitely important to learn other people how to treat you… I think you’re like me, as for the longest of time I was limiting myself in this mental cage I’ve created. Once you open this cage and tell yourself “it”s okay to not get along with everyone”, there’s a burden that falls off your shoulders. Sometimes we encounter people with whom we have a great and beautiful connection and sometimes we try to work with people we just don’t get along with, people that just annoy us without any reason and vice versa… There is absolutely nothing wrong or strange about that…
        I’m excited for you to try out that belly dance class!!! Do let me know how it went!!!
        You too have a beautiful week, Alana!
        love, Sarah

        Liked by 1 person

      • LivingOutLoud says:

        Sarah! You are one of my dearest blogging friends and it means a lot to me that you take the time to listen and read about what is going on with me. It is nice to talk with another Asian woman because you seem to understand the culture and the reason why we act the way we do. I know that our families did the best they could to raise us based on the knowledge they were raised with. Now we have this opportunity to come into our own and it can be empowering, but also a little terrifying at times. Knowing that it is okay to “not get along with everyone” has felt like a weight has been lifted off my shoulders. After awhile it becomes exhausting to try to make everyone happy and it is easy for us to lose ourselves in the process. You give me hope and I admire you for the big changes you have made in your life too! Thank you for being a wonderful friend!

        ❤ Alana

        Liked by 1 person

      • sarahscupofbeauty says:

        Hi Alana! It’s with pleasure sweetie. I enjoy talking with you about our lives and struggles because we can relate to each other! It’s indeed strange how we ourselves have made a cage in which we try to fit. We often must take the time to take a step back and tell ourselves that it’s okay we don’t get along with everyone, that it’s okay we’re not good at this or that, that it’s okay to think of ourselves even if that means we’re a bit selfish. Because if we don’t take care of ourselves, nobody will. Allowing others to love you, means that you must love yourself first. And that’s a tough one for me… xoxo Sarah

        Liked by 1 person

      • LivingOutLoud says:

        I was feeling so down a week ago, but I started practicing acceptance and I feel so much better today. It is a much more empowering place to operate from rather than thinking something is wrong or we did something wrong. I am glad we can support each other as we learn to love ourselves.

        ❤ Alana

        Liked by 1 person

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