When you lose one of your key components in life (I call them pillars: family, partner, friends, home, job, hobby) it is really easy to think that everything is altogether lost. Especially when you lose more than one at the time. It is very challenging to concentrate on what we still have. Living so far away from my family, in a new area, and having lost the person I loved the most so far, I didn’t know how to make myself feel safe. I didn’t know how to make myself feel better. I wanted to rest and not to think about what had happened but sleep was not possible, as my brain tried so hard to find a solution to fix everything.
I tried meditation but I am afraid at the time it just wasn’t for me. My head was too busy. Learning how to keep my thoughts under control is still a very long process (another post one day). So I turned to my last hope of calm. The one which has been in my life since I was a child. The one which never fails to help me switch off. The one which fills me up with energy and hope, love and passion. Makes me feel confident and alive (cheesy but true). Dancing. As a teenager I did jazz-ballet, rumba and other traditional ones and when I was 18 I joined the Positive Force dancing group- a hip-hop and street school. I loved it from the start. I absolutely love every dance style but old school hip-hop is where my heart is. I can completely lose myself in this style of dance. I had 5 amazing years with this school and I have so many happy memories of friends, parties, dance camps, shows and so much more. Eventually I had to leave the school as I left my home and moved to England but I never stopped dancing in some way.
My next dance group was with the lovely Bam Bam Boogies family. This was six years of my life and due to the big bang I had to leave them behind as well. Leaving anywhere you love is always painful. Bam Bam Boogies are amazing and Vicki, Tomo and the children (who are now adults) all lived and breathed dancing. They won national awards. The variety I learnt there was exceptional: locking, popping, house (Tomo is the one and only), whacking, commercial and more. If you name a style of dance to Vicki she would perform it for you there and then. (I also don’t think anyone could be a bigger MJ fan on this planet than her.) I once had a chance to do a workshop with “Poppin Pete”. He choreographed Beat It for Michael Jackson. Seeing Pete dance live is a different level! Also his stories about MJ are priceless. And again it was a great time which came to an end. I thought I would get old in Essex but when my relationship ended I realised I might be wrong about that. When I went to work up north due to work it was very hard to find a hip-hop school but my searching paid off. I had a chance to dance with Junior (James). Hip-hop and commercial! Double pleasure and whenever I could I went to his classes. He is a pro- he did west end when he was just 14! He was only around 27ish at the time but he had so many stories!
When I had my next big change and I got my job in London, I found Xavi, Dex and Pineapple. Being at Pineapple is a wonderful feeling. I am an average dancer from another country and for me Pineapple was a place I saw on the telly and dreamt about attending one day. When you are there and you feel the music and you learn the moves you get the extra kick. I am actually here! Totes emosh! ☺
I am sure this dance school (and area in fact) is not my final destination. I am in London which means there is so much more to discover. I feel fortunate that I have this pastime to lean on in bad times. I feel fortunate to have always been surrounded with dance, love and fun. Have you ever seen a sad dancer? Exactly! Whatever your passion is find your way back to it!
(Author: An, edited by my lovely friend Sarah)
Next: When no one is calling, you need to start calling