Mirror Mirror…2014 Reflections.

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2015 is upon us and I sit in reflection on the past year. A significant part of my year was dance-related. Of course, as with all of our lives there are ups and downs, joy and pain and our dance practice takes place in the context of individual lives in a complicated world. Social media has a way of projecting a simplified and highly curated image, portrayed as an individual’s reality, into online communities, now such a big part of our ‘world.’

I’m not about posting every minute of my existence on social media (though I do enjoy staying connected online). I like to get to know people by asking them questions, by chance conversations and shared face-to-face experiences. That is most definitely how one finds out the details of my life.

That being said, I love writing about dance, almost as much as dancing. Translating a kinesthetic experience into words is fun for me. So if I do this with any level of skill, you will know some intimate details of my dance life through these posts.

2014 brought with it a variety of new dance experiences, most of which I have documented in previous posts. But some highlights:

1. The naming of a subsequently nameless duo with one of my favourite dance sisters and the longest standing collaboration in my dance journey this far. House of Shimmy became our name just before we danced with Random Order for their Black Lipstick Kiss release party at the beginning of 2014.

2. Being a priestess in the Ancient Rumblings production of Inanna at the Mod Club. It was the most elaborate dance project I’ve been involved with so far and was a truly valuable experience.

3. Completing the first ever Om Laila teacher training with Roula Said and beginning a foray into teaching other people bellydance. I did a flapper fusion series, which is close to my heart and I have put so much work into both bellydance AND charleston/vintage jazz over the past few years in order to fuse them, that it was a true labour of love to offer this series through Om Laila. Lesson learned: many people love to watch flapper fusion, few people want to know how to do it 🙂 But those who do, man do they ever love it!

4. Performing with Serpentina North Ensemble at the Cues & Tattoos ATS/ITS weekend in Seattle. After attending the past few years, it was a treat to perfom on the Serpents Muse stage.

5. Dancing to Zephyr live (twice!) at the tail end of 2014. Beautiful live arabic music. I’m hungry for more!

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And in between all the ‘most memorable’ moments there are the day to day joys of dance that keep me going, keep me wanting more. Its incremental improvements, receiving guidance from and offering support to other dancers. Discipline and insecurity and pushing through discomfort. Being compelled to dance whether somoene is watching or not, and most of all its feeling music so intensely that listening just won’t cut it.

On a music tip, 2014 will always be remembered as the year I saw STEVIE WONDER live. Touching down in Toronto, with his Songs in the Key of Life tour, it was a truly once in a lifetime experience.  I will savour the experience of sitting 8 rows away from Stevie Wonder, with my love,  while Stevie performed an epic three hour show to an extraordinarily appreciative audience. Tears were shed, as we sat in awe.

These are the things I hope will continue into 2015, moving experiences big and small, mundane and extraordinary. I hope to keep a healthy body, solid in strength, unwavering in determination and flexible enough to bend, not break under life’s pressures. And music, always music, cause every life deserves a soundtrack. Happy 2015, I hope your soundtrack is as uplifting, melancholy, celebratory and complex as life itself.

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