Tomorrow means three things: 1. I get to see Prince live in concert. 2. I’ve gotta finally clean up my room 3. I get to see Natalie Cole Live at Sunset tonight.. Oh and one more thing..it’s the weekend!
Another week has passed. My, oh my doesn’t time fly.. the days seemingly end at lightning speed between my hours at work and my frequent training afterwards. It seems like just yesterday I started my intensified program and finally, 6 months later, I feel like I am making actual progress in dance.
Despite dancing ballet since I was 3, I only ever went to class once a week until a few years ago when I started to go 2 or three times. I was never amused by the technique. It was so rigid and disciplined that it was more the creative side, choreography, that I fell in love with. And it’s this love and its development I wish to bring you closer with in today’s post.
Starting very young, I began to develop a bossy personality that would
force lead my friends to perform numerous shows filled with twists and turns to the latest Spice Girls song. This tendency to create dances walked with me, hand in hand, throughout my life. It is probably one of my most important traits, something that truly makes me, me.
In pre-primary, as mentioned above, my friends and I would dress up in costumes and perform a variety of moves we learned in front of my mom’s camera. As a first grader I choreographed to ‘Bring it all back’ by S club 7 for my whole class (20 children I believe) and we performed that at a mini play back show in front of parents and the rest of the school. In retrospect, I think this was my big break as a choreographer, because a few years later I was even asked to create a dance for the school’s 10 year anniversary!
It was around then that I started to enjoy HipHop dance more than classical ballet. By that point I had already taken 3 RAD ballet exams and had upped my lessons to twice a week, which is sadly still amateurish and not enough to become more professional. I also took street dance classes at school, which I really enjoyed, and decided that I wanted to pursue that style more.
My mom found a hiphop teacher near our home, where I – to this day – dance every single Thursday. Initially as a beginner, gradually improving and finally joining the performing ‘show group’! In HipHop I found an easier way to express myself through choreography; the steady beats of the hip and current songs were more inspiring than anything classical for me as a teen, and I used much of my ballet basics to improve the quality of my moves.
HipHop remained a much more constant activity than ballet. I grew tired of the finical need for perfection in ballet and no longer had the patience or discipline to work on my technique. I drifted further and further into the more relaxed world of urban dance, deciding to combine it with a newly learned tango rather than better-known ballet (which would’ve been such a cliché anyways!) for my senior thesis. It was then – while practicing for countless hours and wanting ultimate perfection for my own performance – that I realized my discipline in dance was back. My ambition for perfection had returned. That’s when I started to frequent the ballet studio more often, trying to make up for lost time.
And with this newly found necessity to have outstanding technique, my longing for urban hiphop is slowly leaving, being replaced by jazz dance and modern, swapping sneakers for pointe shoes… weird how that happens..
Recently I took things even further. I realized that in order for me to become the choreographer I one day hope to be, I knew I had to successfully complete my ballet training first. No more choosing jazz over pointe, modern over barre.. what use is a beautiful choreography if it cannot be performed to it’s full potential because I am lacking the proper basics? I have a new goal in sight and will be giving myself a year to achieve it.
My goal is not to become a prima ballerina. Neither is it to be a jack of all trades. I wish to choreograph, to create, to intertwine various dance styles, incorporating moves from everywhere while remaining inspired to pursue my passion. As soon as I feel there is a force behind my dancing, a ‘I must’, then I will reevaluate things again and ask myself whether the path I chose was the right one.
Ultimately this is what I wish; to master many styles, but remain joyful in doing so, and gradually create choreographies dancers will love to learn. My dream is to see my name in spotlights, my routine on stage, screaming audiences clapping and smiling…and I believe that my first step in achieving this is to build a proper ballet basis to grow from.
So bear with my people, while I try and get my arabesque higher, my turn-out wider, and my back-bend deeper and stay tuned while I continue down my path to becoming – what could have been – one of Michael Jackson’s choreographers 😉 (he is one of my all-time dance idols!)
With attitude and nail polish, Anoushé xoxo