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:
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!