-->

SPECIAL PERFORMANCE HONORING CELESTE ITALIANO

NORTH CAROLINA CLASSIC COMPETITION (2)

I'm so so proud of my Daza Dance family for the amazing job they did this past weekend at the North Carolina Classic Competition in Charlotte. I appreciate very much Mario and Maxi's commitment to the success of our dance school. As far as our students I could not ask for a better group of people. They are caring, fun and always motivated to keep us doing this craft we love so much. Congratulations to all of you for accomplishing all your goals and showing once again how things are done at Daza Dance. I love y'all and welcome home! 



SEPTEMBER PARTY RECAP- HAPPY BIRTHDAY ANTONIO!!!

Since being back in Atlanta I have been working harder than ever before. The Competition in Argentina was a great Masterclass, and I find that each time go I return more confident and more conscious of what to do to improve my dance. The Friday after my return I had a class with Maxi. Maxi and I spent time cleaning up the Showcase choreography and his bright smiling face infused me with energy. During class, my mind was consumed with thoughts what the future will bring, and the preparations for my upcoming test in Rhythm Dances and the Showcase.

I was still extremely tired and a little sad to be back, as I truly love Argentina and the Argentine people. To be completely embraced by people who accept you and connect with you instantly is a beautiful experience, and this time I also made friends with people from Uruguay and Chile.  Also to just be in an atmosphere of continuous dancing is heaven to me! If I could dance all day every day I would, dancing to me feels as natural as breathing.
The next week Antonio was back and we continued the process to fine-tune details in my dance. We concentrated on the Throw out in the East Coast Swing.  I must remember the slight adjustment and signals to move into the throwout, I must also remember to move at a 90-degree angle. We also worked on the rock step in Tango. I must remember to shift my weight during the step as if I am pressing a diamond to the back of my spine and adjust the diamond as I move forward and back. As I shift my weight for the third time with each step I must push back with my front foot.

The next week I come and am so excited to see Sebastian is here from Argentina giving coaching to students in the school!! He is so generous with his time and advice and like all of the people connected with Daza Dance he is accomplished, approachable, and very thoughtful.

Of course, the second Friday of every month is one of my favorite events, The Party!!! This was a very special party because Antonio was here and the timing of the party was his actual birthday.  Every party is exciting and fun, but when Antonio is in town the parties have a different flavor due to his incredible energy and beautiful spirit.  The class was Bachata taught by Maxi.  I had a feel for Bachata from doing the line dance but there are some slight differences to dancing with a partner, for example, Maxi was cautioning me to go easy on the knee lift movements especially if I am dancing close with someone as it might not go well with them! (Ha-ha) Of course, I also had my experiences dancing Bachata Chile style when I was in Argentina, so I felt well prepared for both the class and line dance later that evening. During the break, I got to meet a few new students who were joining that evening for their very first party.

When the dancing started I got to dance with Sebastian!! Having seen him dance impeccably at the competition and in videos, and being present last year at the South American Open when he had his Hall of Fame Award was truly remarkable. I felt so honored to have the opportunity to be able to dance with such a brilliant choreographer. First, we danced the Rumba together, I couldn’t help but watch his flawless arms and technique as we danced, and later we danced the waltz that was full of elegance and ease.

To be able to dance with Antonio on his birthday was special, it was an honor to celebrate part of his day with him. We danced the Tango together as I was concentrating on my diamond during my rock steps. I could tell my Tango has greatly improved and although I was concentrating on my steps I was feeling relaxed and confident. Likewise later when we danced the Foxtrot I felt self-assured remembering how long it took me to get the promenade turn and now it was flowing with ease. I couldn’t help but feel grateful for everything Antonio has done to help me become the dancer I am today.

With Maxi I danced the Rumba to Mariah Carey’s Hero we were having so much fun dancing and then we burst into song, singing the lyrics at the top of our lungs! We also danced the Lively Foxtrot together that made me smile.

Next, it was time to celebrate birthdays, there was a new student celebrating her 21 birthday and Heidi who also recently joined the studio a few months ago. Mario said some beautiful words about Antonio and how he had helped so many people with their dreams. After the speech, there was a special Merengue dance where everyone got to dance with Antonio. The room was filled with well wishes and laughter as we continued the celebration throughout the night.

The dancing continued throughout the evening, with Callie I danced the Rumba continuing to learn about elegance and form as I watched her movements. Mario, I danced also danced the Rumba together that was regal and majestic!

Finally of course was the Samba line dance. I am counting down until I can learn The Samba in my classes but in the meantime, I will continue to practice and go all out during the line dance. This was a beautiful evening and a great opportunity to celebrate with one another, especially the birthday of my mentor and friend. I never want the party to end but as we parted into the evening we left with a sense of peace and joy.

By: Kamaria George (09/12/2017)


NORTH CAROLINA CLASSIC COMPETITION (1)

Good luck and congrats to our amazing Daza Dance Team representing us this weekend at the North Carolina Classic Competition this weekend. I'm so proud of you guys Maximiliano Panesi and Mario Nicolas for your dedication to building our community in the studio as well as your hard work. Thank you, Colet and Patrick Falvey and Lynne Ragan for your support, loyalty and continuous caring. I miss you guys terribly and I wish I were there to cheer for you in person. I can't wait to hear all the details about the experience. Love y'all





SOUTH AMERICAN OPEN 2017

I had been dozing in and out throughout the night, awakening myself with bursts of excitement. Finally, I was in the airspace above Argentina shortly before 5AM. I looked out of my window to a sea of lights against the dark sky, and gradually I began to realize I was back in Argentina, the place my heart loved! After going through customs and baggage claim I was excited and relieved to see Antonio and Valeria were waiting for me. During the ride to Buenos Aires I was surprised to see so how bad the traffic was so early in the morning, it was like Atlanta traffic but moved much quicker. when we finally reached the city there was a stillness as it was the time right before people were starting to leave for work. Antonio dropped us off at Valeria’s and Valeria and I went to sleep for a couple of hours. I later spent the day with Valeria shopping for final touches for the competition and I got my Facturas!! I loved the ones with Dulce de leche and crème. Valeria got me a bag and I ate them all as I had been waiting all year for just a taste! After shopping, we went back to Valeria’s apartment and she fixed me a lovely pasta and a salad.  When we finished lunch we went to check into our hotel rooms at the Sheraton, and I was off to rehearsal at En Sueno. Susanna was waiting for me with a huge cup of her amazing Coffee and gave me the biggest hug. Sebastian was there rehearsing with his sister Sylvina who would be competing for the first time, and you could see her excitement and wonder as she prepared. Finally, it was time to rehearse, I hadn’t seen Antonio in 2 months but we picked up right where we left off dancing. After a few adjustments, I felt ready for the next day!

Later that night Antonio and I went to dinner and a Tango show at Gala Tango.  We enjoyed the evening but had to leave early because I had a 5am hair and makeup call, and Antonio was preparing to dance over 200 times in the next 2 days! When I got to my room I had so much excitement and it was difficult to wind down. The next morning at 4AM I was glad we left the show early as I woke up groggy needing a lot of coffee. I felt an infusion of energy from the hair and makeup people who even at that time of morning had bright smiles and radiated cheerfulness. Antonio made sure everyone working with me understood the look we were trying to create.  Ligeia came through to say hello as she just returning from competing in an Argentine tango competition, and gave me and Antonio hugs and kisses before going upstairs.
 As I was getting dressed my zipper was stuck Valeria and her family worked with me to helped me to fix it. We all jumped up and down once it was repaired, I truly appreciated their help! As we went down to the ballroom together I wasn't as nervous as I usually am, for the first time ever my nerves were under control. This was a very special competition as it was the 10th anniversary of the South American open. The South American open was the competition that helped to establish ballroom dance in Argentina which made competing for this year extra special. There was a display in the lobby of the ballroom showing important moments and performances from years past. It was wonderful to see the different dancers and how the influence of the competition helped to brighten the lively flavors of life and joy in Argentina.

As we I was so excited to everyone else as they arrived Sebastian, Sylvina, Celeste, Stella, Costanza Estela, Christian, Enrique, and Nestor. I was humbled by how much everyone remembered me and how much love people had for me. Cecilia was back in her position of managing everyone during their heats to make sure they were in the right place at the right time.  I made friends with the new students from Colavita studios, Mara, Mabel, and Angeles.

After some warm-up time, I was ready to dance!! This time when I took the floor it took a few heats to get my momentum going, but I felt myself improving throughout the day.  Probably my favorite heat of the entire competition was getting to Rock out in the East Coast Swing to You Shook me All night long by AC/DC. There was a moment of spontaneity where Antonio and I just jumped up and down to the music, and I couldn’t contain my laughter. This also felt like a mini-tribute to Andrew Smart as he loves that song! I was receiving compliments from everywhere as people were telling me they could see improvements in my dancing. Last year Mario and Maxi counseled me to keep my arm extended and to look regal from the time I stepped on the dance floor until the time I left. This became my signature and caused people to remember me.

That evening session was the Formations competition with group performances, and at the end of the evening Celeste, Antonio Sebastian performed a beautiful number choreographed by Sebastian celebrating the triumph of Celeste’s battle with cancer. Celeste drew everyone into her beautiful soul and graceful movements. This dance was performed in a way that made everyone who saw the dance appreciate the beauty of life, and value how amazing it is to have friends you can lean on in any circumstance. As the evening wound down and I went to my room I didn’t even realize I had fallen asleep until I awakened several hours later.

The next day was smooth and I got to sleep in as my hair and make-up appointment was not until 9AM. I felt like I would do well on the Smooth day and I was right!!  It became like my greatest dancing experience ever as I easily got into the rhythms and was more relaxed. The best compliment I received was from someone telling me Antonio and I looked like Fred Astaire and Ginger Rogers on the dance floor! Wow!   Antonio had talked about me having a softer Tango Face this time around, but when I took the floor for Tango for the first time I got requests for my infamous Tango Face, and even Sebastian yelled out “make the face!!” What could I do? I couldn’t let down my fans, and I was happy that people remembered me. Gerri from Halo Dance was gracious enough to let me rent her beautiful yellow gown again, and I received several compliments on my dress.

Antonio and I went to a dinner at the top of the hotel on the 24th floor. There were huge windows where you could look out and see a panoramic view of the city, and as we looked out there were still elements of twilight that flickered in the distance. At the dinner, I received a commemorative 10th anniversary medal and acknowledgment from Anna as she noticed my improvement over the past year! I had poured my heart into the entire weekend so to receive this medal meant so much to me. I couldn’t help but wear it proudly throughout the evening.

The evening session began with the Parade of Nations where people march behind the flag bearers for their countries. I had the honor of marching with the United States, but as I feel so closely knit to my dancing family that I also marched with Argentina to support Sebastian and Colavita Studios and Venezuela to support Antonio. Antonio carried the Venezuelan Flag and was the only dancer from that country. So Sebastian and I marched with him to show our support. That evening there were performances that were only beautiful but had elements of fun. Maria Nikolishina and Nikolai Voronovich did an energetic life-giving Jive and a romantic breathtaking Rumba. 

Likewise Antonia Skobina and Denys Drozdyuk performed an entrancing Paso Doble among other dances. 
When the awards came all of Antonio’s students and the students from Colavita Studios made an impressive showing with top honors Valeria Celano won top South American Dancer for the 3rd year in a row!!  Mabel won the best newcomer, Estela 1st place in the multi-dance, Christiane and Stella won 5th place in the World Challenge Bronze Rhythm closed. Ligeia and Sebastian won first place in their division, Enrique and Celeste 5th world challenge bronze Rhythm, Sebastian received the 4th place for best Teacher, and I was so proud for Antonio winning 2nd Place Best Teacher a well-deserved honor. I am someone who until April 13, 2015 had never even taken a Salsa class, today I have competed in two competitions in Argentina, and am preparing for my 5th showcase. Antonio is a friend whose patience and leadership qualities continue to help me be a better person, and shows me through the lens of dance how to express my true self.  As I look around I am in the company of so many beautiful dancers who in one way or another have been inspired by Antonio. I thought about the many lives that have been changed because Antonio dared to dream, and desires to bring out the best in everyone in every area of life.

In keeping with the theme of the evening Anna Smart won the Hall of Fame award as she and Andrew through the competition helped build Ballroom Dancing in Argentina to what it is today. I was so excited to see her win, especially since she has shown me and everyone at the competition so much encouragement and love.
After the ceremony there was the after party. I am always amazed at how familiar Argentinians are with American Line Dances Antonio and I helped lead the Wobble and Cupid Shuffle. Antonio and I also introduced the Samba line dance Daza Dance style! I later danced Bachata with a gentleman from Chile, and I was able to keep up having only the Bachata line dance that we do at Daza as a reference.

I learned some new moves on the dance floor and experienced Bachata in a totally different way.  The next day Antonio and Valeria took me sightseeing. We went to a Garden in Recoleta with a huge architectural flower as a centerpiece, and by moving around you could get different views. We attended a Street market so many different types of crafts by hand intricate pieces of jewelry to leather work to things for children. We drank some fresh squeezed Orange juice which was hand squeezed the best I had ever tasted. We then went to the Japanese Garden with so much beauty and serenity it felt like some place I would go to rest my mind.  It was extremely busy, besides the Monday crowd there was anime convention going on. You could see intricate cosplay costumes with White platinum hair eyes so blue they glowed. People were covered space armor from little children to adults.

Later that evening was Sebastian’s party at En Sueno, an informal celebration of every person’s accomplishments. It is always deeply moving as Antonio and Sebastian talked about all of their students and I was so moved by encouraging words from Sebastian, and beautiful words Antonio spoke on my behalf.
The next day Sebastian and Antonio took me to a place where local Argentinians would go for dinner, I enjoyed a Milinesa with onions, queso, and oregano. You could taste that the food was prepared with so much love as I experienced joy with every bite. Antonio and I then went to Valeria’s home and waited for her to come from work. When she arrived we had tea and enjoyed talking and relaxing together before they took me to the airport.
.

My plane for the US left Argentina surrounded by the same sea of lights that were present when I arrived. When I reached the airspace in the US the sky was encircled by the light of the horizon that continued to get brighter with the first rays of dawn. Just like the newness of morning I have an enlightened perspective and am ready to take on new challenges as they present themselves.

By: Kamaria George (09/10/2017)


CONGRATULATIONS MAXI!

Congratulations Maximiliano Panesi on your Second Year Anniversary with us at #DazaDance . Without a doubt, bringing you into our family has been one the most fulfilling experiences I've had since I opened our Dance Studio and company. I am amazed at how much you have grown in just two years, as well as what an influence you have also had in my life. Not only you have become a greater dancer but also an incredible human being who genuinely cares about others and want the worl🌎 to be a happier place every day. You have brought so much fun, positive energy, and love into our little community that I won't ever be able to repay you.... However, I thank you for everything you do for us and I'm soooooo looking forward to continuing assisting you in any way possible to help you achieve all your dreams. I honestly have no words to describe how extremely proud I am of you. I love you, my friend! #daza #becomingbetter #ilovemyfamily #iloveballroomdancing#GoTeam Bill BennettMario NicolasMaximiliano Panesi


ARGENTINA COMPETITION RECAP


KAMARIA GEORGE:
Without a doubt, she is one of the most committed people I have ever met and danced with. She is always looking for ways to make everyone feel good no matter what the circumstances are. She is bubbly and sweet to every single person that crosses her path. In the last two years, she has shown an incredible amount of strength and progress not only on the dance floor but also in her personal development. The last two years she has become the only Daza Dance Embassador here in Argentina, becoming a true example of what we are all about in our studio and making a friend with every single person. I am so so proud of her for overcoming all her obstacles and fulfilling her dreams. I am so thankful for calling her my friend and have her next to me during my time in Argentina. Dear Kamaria George, you are such an inspiration to all of us. Your energy, positive attitude and love for dancing are the reasons that make me want to continue to do this. Because I see the impact that dancing is having in your life I want to continue helping people through dancing to become their real selves and achieving their dreams. Thank you so much for continuing to believe in us and helping us build a more diverse, just, equal, loving, positive, welcoming, and fun Dance Community... Te Quiero Mucho!

MABEL BUSTAMANTE:
Congratulations to Mabel Bustamante for winning the Top Newcomer Student Award at the South American Open Competition hosted in Buenos Aires, Argentina this past weekend. She performed with both of her instructors: Antonio Daza and Sebastian Colavita. We are so proud of you Mabel!!!

VALERIA CELANO:
Congratulations to Valeria Celano for winning again for a third consecutive year the Top South American Student at the World Promotions South American Open held in Buenos Aires this past weekend.... She danced one hundred times. Way to go Valeria!

ESTELA ALONSO:
This woman has taught me so many valuable lessons in just one year. She is one of those people that you immediately make a friend with because she provides you space where you can feel free to express and show your true self. Thank you, Estela Alonso for this wonderful year of dance adventure we got to share. I will forever be honored for having had the opportunity to be with you on the dance floor showcasing your amazing talents. You have more potential than the one you give yourself credit for. You deserve more than what you ask for because you put the work, the effort, the blood and the tears to achieve your all your goals. I am soooooooooooooo proud of you for winning first place in ALL dances with me including the 5-Dance American Rhythm South American Open Championship last weekend. Keep following your dreams and never give up... I did, still, do and forever will BELIEVE in you! I love you and thank you again. Besos!

ANTONIO DAZA:
Congratulations to MEEEEEEEEEE, Antonio Daza, for obtaining the 2nd Place Top Teacher Award ðŸ¥‡ at the South American Open Competition held in Buenos Aires last weekend. I'm so happy and honored to have been part of this amazing event along with people a love so much. Thank you, Anna and Andrew Smart for all your great energy, encouragement and support. Also, congratulations to Sebastian Colavita for winning 4th Place and Jose Luis Tejo for winning 1st Place. Love y'all!

ENRIQUE MIGUEZ:
Last but not least, as I'm continuing to acknowledge those who I've been fortunate to work with this year, I didn't want to miss the opportunity to recognize this amazingly wonderful person. Dear José Enrique Míguez Porcal, my words can not describe how proud I am of you. Although you didn't actually dance with me at the competition I feel as if a small part of me was there with you every single time. I thank you for allowing me the chance to work with you this year 2017. You have come such a long way in your dancing since the time I met you three years ago and this year, I think, it has been the best you have done it so far. I admire the calmness and balance you portrait... you seem to never allow yourself to get stressed and bothered by the small details.... I love that and it's a quality I wish I could have haha. I wish you the best in your dancing and in your personal life. I love you!

AWARDS:
...A veces los reconocimientos no necesitan ser grandes trofeos dados públicamente para representar algo valioso y profundo. A veces un simple gesto, una palabra, un abrazo y una palabra de contención significan más que cualquier trofeo ðŸ†. Sin embrago aprecio muchísimo los reconocimientos hechos a mi persona primeramente por Sebastian Colavita y su estudio a quienes he tomado como propios y a quienes quiero mucho mucho. Definitivamente no me esperaba tan lindo gesto al hacerme entrega de esta placa y con las palabras que describen exactamente mi intención durante este año 2017. Gracias a todos los estudiantes que contribuyeron a que esta experiencia fuese inolvidable y llena de aprendizajes (Estela AlonsoValeria CelanoMabel BustamanteJosé Enrique MíguezKamaria S George Atlanta y todos los demás con los que tuve contacto). Como parte de la escuela de Sebastian también quiero honrar a mi amiga y compañera de trabajo Celeste Italiano por todo su optimismo y entrega al servicio de los estudiantes. Otro reconocimiento hacia mi fue hecho en la competencia por Anna Smart y Andrew Smart al permitirme llevar la bandera de mi país natal Venezuela y otorgarme el premio al segundo lugar Top Teacher. De igual forma hubieron muchas palabras y gesto de reconocimiento que aunque no fueron de forma material significaron igual o más. Gracias a todos los que de una forma u otra han notado mi trabajo, mi pasión, y mis ganas de crecer la comunidad del baile en Argentina. Besos a todos!

REFLEXIONS:
Esto no es un adiós sino un hasta luego... y es así como lo siento. Está vez por primera vez desde que he estado yendo a Argentina me regreso a EEUU sin un plan en mente de cuál será el futuro. Lamentablemente varios acontecimientos se dieron durante este tiempo que impidieron que las cosas salieran de la manera que las habíamos planeado. Sin embargo son incalculables la cantidad de recuerdos positivos que quedarán de esta última visita. Más allá de lo que los próximos meses presenten yo quiero dejarles mi más sincero agradecimiento a cada una de las personas con las que tuve contacto. No importa si fue mucho o poco porque cada uno me enseñaron algo. Argentina para mí siempre será un lugar muy especial porque ha sido lo más cercano que he tenido a mi país natal Venezuela. Argentina me recibió siempre de brazos abiertos dispuesta a integrarme y hacerme sentir como uno más de sus hijos. Eso nunca lo olvidaré.... lamentablemente cometí muchos errores, y pido disculpas públicas a todos aquellos que tuvieron la desdicha de toparse conmigo en esos momentos en los que me invadía la obscuridad, los miedos y las inseguridades. Al fin y al cabo soy humano por mucho que trate de actuar diferente jaja. Sé que mis emociones a veces se desbordan y tiendo a no pensar. No obstante me queda la conciencia tranquila de que siempre hice todo con el mayor de los cariños para dejarles lo major que tenía para ofrecerles y con la pasión que me ha llevado a alcanzar todas mis metas. En mi corazón no hay lugar para el rencor ni la tristeza, al contrario, solo amor, agradecimiento y mis más sinceros deseos para que cada uno encuentre la dicha y la felicidad que busca. Queridos amigos argentinos, ustedes me han enseñado mucho y gracias a ustedes soy una persona diferente hoy. Los extraño muchísimo y apenas llevo en Atlanta dos horas de haber llegado jaja. Por favor No decaigan nunca, sigan luchando por lo que creen, no se dejen tumbar por nada ni nadie y sepan que aquí hay alguien que siempre estará muy muy orgulloso de ustedes a solo un WhatsApp de distancia jaja. No aguanto las ganas de verlos de nuevo y abrazarlos. No es un adios sino un hasta luego! Los quiero amigos míos y gracias infinitas.



LOOK UP!!!

My plane was landing in Miami so I could connect to my flight to Buenos Aires, and it seems surreal! Am I really on my way back to live out my dreams again? I am reflecting on the past week as I have a couple of hours before my next flight. I thought about how I found my Latin dress for 75 dollars at 4 AM one sleepless night while surfing the internet. I was a bit nervous as this was pretty spontaneous, and I was hoping the dress that was in the picture would be at my doorstep. When the dress arrived I was relieved that it was indeed the same dress, although the pink was even brighter than it appeared. When I tried it on the color worked beautifully, and I loved the details such as the crystals on the top part of the dress and the fringe throughout the design. I immediately took the dress to try it out in the studio, which was a good thing because there was a wardrobe malfunction as the back of the dress kept riding up! (Ha-Ha) With Mario and Maxi’s suggestions, I had a tailor add more fringe and some boning on the sides to keep the dress in place.  Once the dress was fixed we tried it on again in the studio and it worked perfectly.

Maxi and I focused a lot on walking in Rumba and making sure I was in the line of dance when doing a side step.  We practiced Cha-cha and how to collect my feet in the open break and keeping my legs close together with the tuck in turn in East Coast Swing. That Friday at the party Maxi taught the Rumba in the class and focused on the open break, so I was able to practice what I have just learned in class. This party had a different flavor as students brought members of their family, there was new energy as we laughed danced and then got to know each other in the break before the party began. During the party, I danced the Cha- Cha with Maxi and he was making sure I was doing my arm stylings and all of my notes. I danced a clean Foxtrot which felt very natural. I danced a sleek Rumba with Mario which almost felt effortless and helped to build my confidence. With Gerri I danced the merengue and she taught me moves I had never done before, it was challenging to keep up with her pace but I felt like I truly learned something. All throughout the evening, I used each step to prepare for my competition.

During my final class with Maxi, he gave me the note to keep my head positioned correctly in FoxTrot and not move except for in promenade. In Tango, I was getting a bit confused between the open fan and the open fan underarm turn so I had to remember the note about hand placement. If the hand is raised do a turn, if the hand is lowered just do the open fan.  

My Life lesson this week came as Maxi was telling me to look up. I thought about how I stare at my feet trying to make sure I am going the right way, in the process, I fall out of place because I can’t see where I am going and my vision is distorted. When I lift my head I am able to see clearly and properly put myself in position. In life you have to look for the positive and be focused on the direction you are traveling in. Without proper focus and direction, you become sidetracked by things that don’t really matter and won’t propel you to your destination.

As my thoughts continue to flow by this time I have boarded my flight for Argentina and am ready for takeoff. Last year there were no expectations with my dancing, and I wanted this year to be better than before. How good it would be to connect again with my friends from last year. I thought about how much I wanted to eat some Facturas, and a montage of the different places I had visited in Buenos Aires came to mind La Boca, The Evita Museum, and Puerto Madero. I was thinking that I was ready to dance my heart out on the dance floor. I drifted off to sleep with excitement in my heart for what was to come.


By: Kamaria George (08/24/2017)


STYLE AND SUBSTANCE


I am simultaneously training for my competition, my Latin test and learning new choreography for the Fall Showcase.  Having multiple projects is completely satisfying, and I am starting to formulate goals for 2018. I love being in perpetual motion! While I am enjoying every present moment I am developing and fine tuning my vision by figuring out how to put steps in place for my future.

Maxi and I have been working on arm styling and creating pictures that use every ounce of space in my frame. As we go through warm-ups in Cha-Cha according to Maxi my arms look like I am shaking maracas when I do chase turns.(ha-ha) He shows me some fabulous intentional movements with my arms and at first I am having difficulty, but as I get used to them I start to feel my power. It’s something how just a slight change of arms can make you feel a new connection with your soul.

Maxi then wants to work on my Cross Body Break. I had a brain freeze when he asked me to do it by myself. Maxi patiently waited for me to figure out the step; finally, I had an aha moment! After I demonstrate the basics we begin working on more arm positioning and how to fix my body on a diagonal for a more dramatic effect. As Maxi continues moving my arm into different positions we both heard something pop which was quite funny, actually.  Maxi exclaimed, “Oh no! I broke Kamaria”. I assured him I was fine, I had just never moved like that before. While I wasn’t physically broken there definitely a spiritual breaking occurring for me to move to the next level of dance, beyond what is currently comfortable.

In choreography, we are working on clean up this week. I practice a lot by myself and Maxi wants me to be sure I know the choreography well enough so that I don’t create bad habits. We take the section I know piece by piece and I commit it to memory very slowly. We work on the Reverse Turn with outside Swivel again- I have enough notes on this step alone to write a thesis paper! The note today is after kicking the leg and doing the two half turns to focus on the step back. My other focus this week is to relax and not focus on the emotions for now. I have really connected to the piece and already know exactly what I will be feeling, but Maxi wants me to concentrate on technique. During my smooth test, my lowest scores were in technique, and my dance with the lowest scores was Tango so I will put my all into improving my technique from every angle.

Life lesson this week came as Maxi continues to challenge me beyond what I think are my limits. I am starting to truly shine as many facets are being chipped away from my life and a more brilliant diamond begins to unfold in my spirit. As I develop this new level of power and focus in my dance, there is a strength developing in my daily interactions. Dance has rewired and brought out the best in myself and I want to continue to let that person shine through

By: Kamaria George (08/05/2017)