Ever since, at the age of five, I began bugging my parents by jumping on the couch to the soundtrack of Sesame Street, they knew my energy needed to be let out in a more well-suited environment. So, they signed me up for dance classes. This was where I was able to express myself freely and feel the most like myself. Everything in my life is blocked out, and right then and there, all that matters is dancing. I quickly went onto my passion of musical theater and acting, where I am able to fully express my creative side. I am consistently trying to expand my repertoire, and keep up my training as a dancer and as an actor. I am thankful everyday to have the support of my family, friends, and fellow artists who keep me doing what I have always loved to do.
I have always wanted to explore different styles of dance and go outside my comfort zone. Being trained specifically in ballet, jazz, and tap, I have always had an interest in learning about different cultures styles of movement and expression. Seeing Mosaic’s take on different places like the Middle East, North Africa, Turkey, and Greece, I was overwhelmed by my little knowledge of the dance styles of those countries. However, I saw this project as an amazing challenge for me. Having had an interest in Greek mythology since I was little, The Paradise of Children (Pandora’s Box) piece spoke to me as if my inner child was bursting out. My audition felt like I was rehearsing and collaborating with the director, and I was supported throughout the entire process.
The technique of Middle Eastern Dance differs in ways to the technique learned in modern and classical dances (i.e ballet, jazz). I am used to holding my hips and other parts of my body differently than those who are well trained in this dance. Overcoming my “muscle memory” and habit of the posture I have developed is still an ongoing learning experience. Thanks to the help of the many insightful dancers and teachers in the company, I am learning something new everyday, and becoming a more well-rounded dancer because of them. And, because of the beautiful score we are blessed to dance to every day, I am constantly transported into the world of Middle Eastern dance and am able to full embody the expression of the music.
There are so many reasons to get frustrated and abandon my work at times, whether it is comparing myself to other performers, feeling like I will never work another day, or simply seeing what I have created and accepting it without judgment. It has taken me a long time to learn some lessons, and others I am still learning. Firstly, I don’t want to be close-minded to new ideas or opinions. I try not to view critiques as restrictions or obstacles, but as opportunities to express myself in new ways. Secondly, part of my mission is to continuously improve myself and my product. Inevitably I will find artists or works that are better than mine. But at the end of the day, every artist and their path of life is different. I am never competing in the same race with others. I am only in a race with myself to work to the best of my ability. Finally, It is very hard to create something, appreciate what it is I’ve created, and move on. By fretting over what could be changed, I could miss the next amazing thing that happens. Other people will see my work and have their own opinions. And that is fine. At the end of the day, I will be proud that I created it.
The supportive and welcoming atmosphere I walk into everyday at Mosaic rehearsals is truly a blessing. I am surrounded by immensely talented individuals, and I am always learning something new. I am becoming a better dancer because of the wonderful people I have the privilege to share the stage with. I love to be challenged in new and exciting ways, and Mosaic Dance Theater has definitely been an eyeopener to appreciating different dancers from around the globe, and introducing me to a style that I will continue to improve on and explore as I move forward in my career.