Funky Friday – HipHop Minus the Swag

You know how when you claim to have been dancing HipHop since you were seven, people assume you are really good at it? Well, there came a time where I started to believe that I was good at it myself too…

Jazz Hands!

Jazz Hands!

I always stood at the front left. In performances I was placed centre stage. Mothers walked up to me and complimented my skills. Little kids stared in awe. These few affirmations led me to believe a career in dance could be quite probable. My dream of dancing for Michael Jackson constantly grew. When that was no longer possible I imagined myself the owner of a world-renowned dance company..

Dance

Dance

When I left for New York, I left knowing I was at my best. Nothing could stop me – not even pure contemporary lessons and no more hiphop. I would return just as much a star!

developé with a plié

developé with a plié

I hadn’t danced hiphop since before my departure, in July.

My perception of my talents shattered this past Monday.

IMG_0591Yes, I might have mastered the hiphop style of that specific choreographer; but that’s also the only style I know. On Monday I attempted to try a new style, a new teacher, a new studio. Full of spunk, believing in myself, knowing I’m actually not bad, I entered the room in my Sarah Lawrence Tank and cute polka dot pants.

Never did it dawn on me that I actually might suck at other kinds of hiphop… 

The warm up was fine, full of basic movements I was already familiar with: There was the wave, isolations, second position pliés – the works. I was feeling good, confident, myself. Contemporary and jazz are all great and all, but hiphop was the only dance I ever really felt comfortable in and it was amazing to finally be back at it…until we got to the choreography, aka my predestined meltdown.

DANCE!

DANCE!

Some would say, it’s a new teacher, so I need to get used to his way of teaching before I can really get in to it. Agreed, that is important. But in this case specifically, I don’t think my movement mess-ups were due to the choreographer merely being a new acquaintance. No, I think my mishaps were more along the lines of “I have lost my swag, my coolness, my inner gangster, my hiphop-y-ness”… it wasn’t a good day.

I realised, by never ever testing the waters elsewhere, I had just plunged head first into a battle I could not win. 13 Years of only one hiphop style is a biggie. You don’t mess with that. And I did. Oops.

Back stretch..

Back stretch..

This never occurred to me while learning ballet, dancing jazz or rolling around in modern. There I always seemed to come to terms with the fact that “I was better at hiphop, I’m only here to have fun and not be amazing, I have more experience in hiphop etc etc”. I also always went to different teachers and somehow managed to cope. Knowing my “true calling” was actually more urban-based helped me keep my head up when I was stuck doing one pirouette in ballet while the rest was twirling 3. Monday changed everything. Monday told me that maybe I should rethink things…

I found myself suddenly feeling better in jazz.

Is a more classical path my actual calling after all? Maybe. But I will give myself one more chance and will brave the hiphop class once more, only this time I’m making sure to “swag myself out” in baggy pants, Adidas trainers and a gold chain necklace… superficial hiphop style might help me out a little 😉

With attitude and nail polish, Anoushé xoxo

This is it!

Michael Jackson, Moon walk.

Madonna, Vogue.

Beyoncé, Bootylicious Booty-Shake.

PSY, Gangnam-Style horse dance thingy.

Me,…

Ecarté derrière

Ecarté derrière

Whirling Dervish

Whirling Dervish

Tango meets HipHop

Tango meets HipHop

Contemporary

Contemporary, prop: chair. Interpretive dance

HipHop

HipHop

:D

😀

…in the making!

It’s finally here, the day we thought would never come, the moment we were not waiting for, and certainly never expecting..

It’s time for me to spread my wings and leave the comfort of my old dance studio. Gone are the familiar warm-up and strength training routines, the friends (now like family) standing in the same spots on the floor ever since I’ve been there, the familiarity of being known as the ‘bouncy ball’, always filled with energy, always one to help bring the stage to life. Tonight, I hung my baggy jeans up for good, as tonight meant good-bye (for now) to the Funky Crew I’ve grown to love.

My performance crew...! Going to miss them soo much!

My performance crew…! Going to miss them soo much!

With a heavy heart I shut the door behind me, giving the studio one last look before walking off in my hot pink heels. My security net has been taken away from me; it is time to make a name for myself on my own; a choreographer.

I say security net because our teacher was my mentor; the person I went to with questions on choreography, shows, dance routines and music choices. She gave me opportunities to work with children as a substitute dance teacher. and taught me most of what I now know about being a choreographer. Most importantly she helped me pull my senior dissertation together back when I was such an amateur and too overwhelmed to think straight enough to teach my dancers. Choreography is not as simple as putting steps together and telling other people what to do. No, there is much more to it than that. Exactly what that “much more” entails, I will now be figuring out – on my own two feet, in the real world!

As I mentioned yesterday, good-byes at the studio mean one thing: sugar, and lots of it! I had originally wanted to bake something special, but due to lack of time, energy, and motivation to later clean up the kitchen, I chose the easiest way out: a bakery. It couldn’t be just any bakery though.. it had to be a bakery worthy of baking a dessert divine enough to symbolise my nearly 9 years of dancing with that group (jeez that’s a long time..). I decided that I wanted the most decadent and delicious cake I know everyone adores, and set off to purchase the little luxury before my class…

mhmhhhhhm :)

mhmhhhhhm 🙂

They didn’t have it in the right size though so I ended up buying something else as well (being Persian and all, I’d rather have an abundance of food). We had a great line-up for class today, in celebration of the last lesson before the holidays; first we warmed up with a fun old school choreography, and then we got to do some acrobatics on this thing called ‘Tissue’.

Splits

Splits

 

more splits

more splits

 

something amazing

something amazing

 

......and me.

……and me.

 

I'm just oozing gracefulness !

I’m just oozing gracefulness !

When the class wrapped up (or rather unwrapped ha ha ), we head out to the table and chairs and dug in to the desserts!

IMG_0775

Two more of the girls are also heading off in to the real world, so we had a cake-overload!

Now you can also see what I brought! The special bakery I went to was Sprüngli. It is a traditional, Swiss confiserie and café, with stores all over the country. They use high quality ingredients and have some of the most divine desserts, with the all-time favourite Truffe-Cake being the biggest hit! I was told it was for 4 people, so I decided to purchase two more small cakes: a Lemony Creamy Torte and a Sour Cherry Crumb Cake.

Truffes

Truffes

Lemon

Lemon

Streusel (Crumb)

Streusel (Crumb)

This is it. The end of and old chapter, and the beginning of a new one; my life, my dance, my future..it all starts now!

goofing off after class, saying our good-byes...

goofing off after class, saying our good-byes…(you can see the ’tissue’ in the background :))

With attitude and nail polish, Anoushé xoxo