Three Wise Monkeys

10178043_1378167762471657_991497049825960013_nI don’t talk about dance much on here, for whatever reason. It’s a huge part of my life, however. I’ve been dancing since I was 3 yrs old, and when most kids were hanging out with their friends after school and on weekends, I was at the dance studio, in the classes I had every night and rehearsing the many, many competitive dance routines I was in each year. Dance has been the most consistent thing in my life – I’ve just always been doing it. I’m not sure I’ve ever really mentioned what it is exactly that I do. I started training quite young in ballet – which I’ve posted about before – that’s where it all began. I’m trained in ballet, jazz, lyrical, tap, hip hop and contemporary. My main and most loved style is contemporary, but since moving to Toronto several years ago, I do a lot of hip hop, which I guess is my other main style. I’m trying to figure out a way to incorporate my dance things into this space. I’m in the very very beginning stages of starting a new project with a dear friend who I have been dancing with for several years now. It’s something I’m really excited about, and will be something I can share with all of you since it will be mostly “web-based”. Dance is very much my art, and I keep it very close to my heart, but I think I want to open up a bit and allow others into that world (not just those very close to me).

These photos are from a piece I was in called ‘Three Wise Monkeys’, choreographed by my amazing friend and dance mama, Shameka Blake, and danced with two really truly amazing & inspiring dancers, Alvin Collantes and Chantelle Mostacho. Photographs by E.S. Cheah.

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Dear Ballet

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I’ve been dancing since I was 3 yrs old – Mind you, at that age, I mostly sat in a corner sucking my thumb, creating a lovely buck tooth effect to my teeth. Thank god they didn’t stay that way! But that is beside the point.  As soon as I really understood what dance was, I was in love…for life it seems.

Finding these photographs of ballerinas in 1936 from Life Magazine reminded me a bit of my history with ballet school. At 12 yrs old, I spent a very short time at the National Ballet School, here in Toronto actually. I was offered a full scholarship, and at that time, that seemed like the most amazing thing. And I guess it was. Being a ballerina is like every little girls dream (well not every). It got me thinking that that was to be my future. At 12 yrs old I was making pretty grown up decisions about how my life would be. Ballet is serious, you guys!

I ended up choosing (back then) jazz and (my niche now) contemporary/hip hop dance over the NBS (but still continued on with ballet), and I do not regret that decision. I will always love ballet, and appreciate all the great things it has done for me. Without it, I wouldn’t carry myself as a dancer the way I do. I truly believe it is the foundation for all. But looking at pictures of ballerinas, and watching ballet films always get me thinking how different things would be, had I chose ballet. I always thought it was a strange thing, that there was a clear moment I had in my life, where I had two paths I could take, and knowing now, how different things could have been had ballet been the one.

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