Today I danced with a chair. I couldn’t help but think about the Luther Vandross Version of the song A House is not A Home as the opening lyric is “A chair is still a chair”. Today however, the chair represented Antonio, and I am doing this exercise to help me with my spacing during turns. I had to extend my stride to make sure I got around the entire chair in three steps. Throughout this exercise I began to visualize how to judge my alignment. When I started dancing again with Antonio (the real Antonio, not the chair) I was able to make my steps cleaner.
For the next class I learned the two way under arm turn and focused on the Difference between forward step and promenade step which are both used in this figure. When you step forward the head and body move forward while in Promenade the Head moves forward and the body moves sideways. The more precise I am with these movements the clearer the steps become.
For this week’s life lesson Antonio told me that everything in my life life would change the moment I decided to go the extra mile. He talked about being focused on giving beyond 100 percent and to not be afraid to let my feelings out; I should be truthful about my feelings whether positive or negative. In other words I should avoid living my life in monotone, and should embrace the many colors of life. I started to think about what in my life I could make changes to, whether spiritually, in my relationships with other people, financially, at my job, and everywhere else in life. How can I be totally truthful about how I feel and not just cover up my feelings and continue the process to be freed from anxiety and fear? In that moment the seeds of change were planted in my heart and the person I most want to be became a little clearer.
After this pep talk I did a Foxtrot that was so on point Antonio said it was perfect. I was so stunned!!! He gave me a high five and I just left my arm dangling in the air- I was in a daze. Antonio has extremely high standards and expectations which I love because I can never get too comfortable, and I always have something challenging to reach for. I don’t always get new steps right away, and many times I have to come for rehearsal in the studio practicing exercises and going over what I learned in class. I have to be careful about practicing a step if I don’t know it perfectly because if I practice it wrong I have to unlearn everything I have practiced in the next class. Even if all I can remember is the basic step, it is better to practice what I know perfectly and correctly. No matter how demanding the learning process is, the finished result of every project Antonio and I have done goes well beyond what I thought I could do, and opens my mind to what is possible. To have Antonio say something I did was perfect made me extremely happy and I was savoring the moment of perfection. We went through the remaining smooth dances and there was marked improvement in my dancing with only minor adjustments. Throughout this process the more I become the confident person I was meant to be the better my dancing becomes.
In closing, this week we observe the life of The Reverend Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. and his dream for everyone to not just tolerate each other but to live together in love. I can't help but think about Daza Dance and how when Antonio and Mario decided to provide a place where everyone feels welcome, the studio became a place where that type of love expressed in Dr. King’s dream is created. We are a community built on understanding, encouragement, and acceptance. I am so proud to have Daza Dance be a part of my life and to see the positive impact of the studio in the lives of others.
By: Kamaria George (01/16/2017)