… And sometimes, that healing comes in the form of something that lifts your spirit, something that makes you feel alive, something you are passionate about. Sometimes, that healing is comes in the form of Dance.
Tag Archives: passion
Dance Is Life
“Dance is everywhere for me
In the way I walk, In the boys playing in the streets,
In my home, in any place.
Dance is everything that you are, and is [all] around you.
It’s that. Dance is life.”-
Andy Manuel Gonzalo Varona
What an absolutely amazing short film to wake up to! – “Dance is Life.”
Watch this moving video in which a passionate professional Cuban dancer talks about what dance means to him.
“My goal is… just to make the world dance.” -Ryan Morrissette
“Those who say it cannot be done shouldn’t interrupt the people doing it.”
– Chinese Proverb
This is definitely one of my favourite quotes because it continues to remind me of the power of our own inner strength, despite the obstacles we might face. But what I love the most is meeting people who prove to be amazing examples of this- those individuals who, because of their own will, passion, and courage, manage to go beyond what they might normally be thought capable of doing, and then often inspire others to do the same.
Little did I know that one of these individuals, who I had the pleasure of meeting recently, would be a young teen- Ryan Morrissette. Ryan, a member of the hip hop crew Freshh, is a talented, charismatic dancer whose energy is well, … contagious, to say the least. His hard hits, quick and clean moves, and overall enthusiasm on stage definitely draw the attention of his audiences. But even off stage, Ryan seems to often be found smiling and sharing a positivity with friends and strangers alike that is truly refreshing. So when I heard that this young dancer has been dealing with a serious health condition since the age of two, I couldn’t believe it. You’d just never know that Ryan has Cystic Fibrosis if you saw him out there – the way he always seems to be giving it his all- whether on stage dancing, or co-emceeing and event, or just hanging out with his friends.
But that’s what Ryan does- he gives his utmost to this passion he has for dance, and to life in many ways, it seems. In fact, rather than letting CF stop him from pursuing his love of dance, Ryan uses dance as a way to heal his condition and to reach others out there to remind them to live life to the fullest. “I wasn’t supposed to be able to do a lot of cardiovascular exercise,” says Ryan. But if you saw him out there, training, leaping, doing flips and tricks- well, Ryan has pushed through many physical obstacles that might otherwise cause another person in his shoes to not even attempt any of it. And that kind of perseverance is extraordinary . Continue reading
Dancing Makes My Day!- by Justin Nicolas
“The way I got into dance was through watching movies and TV shows. I’d see all the mainstream dancing and I thought it was really cool. So I started dancing and training. And sure, it sucks sometimes when I make plans with my friends from school and then I remember I can’t hang out with them because I have dance practice. But then, once I come to dance, well, I kind of forget about those other plans because dance is so much fun.
The feeling I get from dancing, well, I can’t really explain it. It’s always different. I could be happy, I could be sad. But each time I dance, it makes me feel really good about myself. It just makes my day. And in our crew, we get to share that feeling with each other, as a family. It’s hard work, but it’s worth it. Because even though we’ve reached a high level, there are others out there who are better than us. And we don’t want to just stay at the same level. We want to get better too and be good role models. ”
– Justin Nicolas – Age 15- member of The Freshh Crew
Photo Feature #2- Nicole Chan, Carlos Molina, and Elina Sumichan
It is my pleasure to share a special photo feature this month involving three fellow dancers and friends from our very own Vancouver dance community!
Carlos Molina and Nicole Chan are captured here in a beautiful moment of dance by photographer and dancer Elina Sumichan. The photo was taken at a recent event in Vancouver called Kizomba Temptation. Thank you Elina for hosting and organizing such a magical night, and special thanks to Nelda Sumichan for providing us with such an elegant, intimate venue in which to get our Kizomba dance on! It definitely proved to be a great night of mingling, music, and fun memories. I am thrilled to be able to share one of those moments here as Elina’s shot of Carlos and Nicole will be our new header photo for this season.
Dance- there are so many strengths to it…
“Dance- there are so many strengths to it, beyond the superficial, that people don’t know about. I think that dance is such an internal thing. I think it feeds the soul in such a way that it stems from this passion but also from our experiences. And the things that we’ve gone through, the things that we have on our minds, are pushed out and energized into the world through a movement. Sometimes I watch people perform, and you can tell they’ve really BEEN somewhere. And I don’t know where that somewhere is, and I don’t always NEED to know where that somewhere is. But you connect to those people because you can see how much their dancing is driven by something really deep and rich and powerful.”
– Marc Kimelman
Interview With Cesar Coelho- “Tango is more than a dance…”
It was a pleasure to be able to talk to Cesar Coelho after his tango workshops. Despite having given an intense set of classes during the day, and needing to rest for a photo shoot early the next morning, Cesar gave up his time to share his insights and thoughts. The passion and openness with which he spoke was much appreciated. Cesar has an extensive background in tango, ballet and jazz. He is well known for his precision and energy on stage particularly as the lead in the Broadway show “Forever Tango”. Cesar proves to be a talented dance teacher at such a young age, driving his students to understand more than just the steps to the dance. “He is amazing,” commented one of his students, “I take his classes every time he is in town, and each time I work with him, my dancing progresses so much further.” Continue reading
Kizom-what? (an excerpt)
Kizomba. What is it, and why are more people talking about it? The word itself seems to stir up a whole range of reactions from those who have never danced it. Some of my favorites are:
“Oh, is it related to Zumba?”
“You’re referring to that NEW dance, right?”
“Yeah, I think I’ve seen it and it reminds me of high school dancing. Not much to it.”
“Oh, I can’t do THAT, being glued to a partner that way?”
I laugh, not just at the reactions, but at how I can relate to them because, before I started learning kizomba myself, I’m sure some of those thoughts ran through my head as well. But it didn’t take long for me to realize that there is so much more to the dance than what it appears to be from the outside. In fact, all of those perceptions above disintegrate when the magic of the true kizomba takes a hold of you. The small, subtle movements, as well as the close connection, require a control and sensitivity, as well as a trust and surrender that are not as easily attained as one might think. And as far as the “newness” of the dance, tell that to the kizombeiros and kizombeiras, as they are properly referred to, who have grown up with the dance in their families for years! What makes it ‘new’ to us is our lack of familiarity with the dance in this part of the world. But to the dancers in areas of Angola, West Africa, where the dance originated, as well in Portugal, where kizomba later spread, kizomba has a history. It is not just this dance that we have come to have a fascination for most recently. It goes back much further with roots from dances that a lot of us here have never even heard of.
That must have been why it didn’t sit right with me one day when I heard an organizer of a dance studio refer to kizomba as simply ‘African tango’. A couple had walked into the studio inquiring as to what was going on that night. And after seeing a sign for a kizomba social, they asked, “What is kizomba?” Of course, I understood that the organizer was trying to give the couple something that they were more familiar with to relate to, in order to picture this ‘mystery’ dance in their mind. And having danced some tango myself, I could see some of the tango nuances that were often used by kizombeiros in the dance. But I also knew kizomba was not tango and that not all kizomba dances had tango elements in them. I definitely did not have all the answers. In fact, I had very few. But knowing how kizomba had affected me very deeply in such a short period of time, I felt like it deserved to be recognized for what it truly is. Kizomba made me feel so alive, in a way that was different to anything else I had experienced before. So I knew it had to have a life blood of its own, an identity, a history, and an essence that was individual. I was touched that kizomba had invited me in, embraced me, welcomed me with open arms and heart, without even having known me. And so, I felt I owed it to kizomba, to get to know it, not for what it might resemble, or what people might guess it to be. But for what it really is. I wanted to learn its story, and help share it, because with every dance, I could hear it whispering that it had a story worth telling. And the whispering just seemed to get louder the further I was drawn in.
But in order to tell the story accurately, I needed to find someone who had years of experience in it, someone who had a deep understanding of kizomba and who knew it well.
To read the original, full article, including answers to the questions posed above through my in-depth interview with the amazing Kizombeiro Eddy Vents, please visit Industry Dance Magazine by clicking on the following link: Kizom-what?
Dancing means …
“Dancing means absolutely everything to me, and I love to just watch people dance because each and every person has their own distinct style. Dancing gives people a chance to express themselves in whatever way they want to… And that’s what I love about dance- the fact that it can’t be confined into a box and that there isn’t a right or a wrong way in doing it. Yes, every style of dance has its basics, but once those basics are learned, everything from then on is limitless. The routine can go as far as the choreographer’s mind allows it to go. Like any art form, you start out with a blank slate and you let your creativity run rampant based on the state of mind of you as a dancer, how your body moves, and how you interpret the music. I just love dance because the possibilities are endless.
…Sometimes, I dance just to clear my head. When I dance, nothing else goes through my mind except the music…Nothing else matters except that moment in time. Dancing has changed my life and is something that I can always escape to whenever I need to.”- Jimmy Sojan
Nothing makes me happier…
“… I just thought about it, and I thought, what else could I do that will make me happy? And there was no answer. There was NO answer. It did not exist. Nothing makes me happy the way that dancing and singing and acting does. Nothing else makes me happy that way. … I knew, as soon as I could know, that I was a dancer. I was a dancer in the womb, you know what I mean? From a very young age, probably about three years old, was when I knew that that’s what I wanted to do. And I never wanted to do anything else.” – Mary Antonini