I have been asking lately what I should write my blog about and a lovely creature called Renee told me to write about Dance.
Like that thing in my life. That I am studying. Yaaaass that thing. That Big ‘O Topic.
I don’t know why I have never written about dancing. It has shaped every part of my life for the past three years. I guess I find it a very sacred and special topic for me and I don’t want to be shot down for talking about it.
Heres the thing. I love what I do. Honestly. I love it. Heart and soul. Outside skin to heart. All of me. Dancing, its the damn best thing. Now you may be a student who is studying science or law or social studies. Well Done. Good on you. The world needs people like you. The country needs people like you. I am not being rude or nasty but I am thankful you exist. You might be a mother who takes care of her children. Go you, you educated them everyday without knowing and have the best anger management that even money cannot buy. You might be a guy working in retail. Shout out to you. You have a calm exterior and know where everything is.
But I am a Dancer. Yes I am an artist too. I am an advocate. I am more than you could ever think of. What I ask of you is respect. Do what I have been taught to do in this society and to respect me for the job that I DO. I create art. And guess what I BLOODY LOVE IT.
I am never going to call myself lucky. ‘Lucky to do what I do.’ I am brave. Yes brave. So do not shoot me down.
I work part time in the hospitality sector because study link doesn’t cover my rent or the food I eat. I have work part time for three years. I work part time whilst studying full time. Now the one thing I can tell you is that people like to talk and chat and give an opinion. Often I get asked what I do other than my job and I say ‘study’. This is how the conversation flows.
Customer: So what do you study?
Me: A Bachelor of Dance Studies at the University of Auckland.
C: Oh wow, what sort of dancing do you do?
M: Mostly contemporary.
C: Do you like it?
M: Absolutely. I love it. (Thinks in head, why else would I spend 20,000 on it??)
C: You look like a dancer. So what do you actually do during the day?
M: I don’t roll around on the floor all day. Its half practical.
C: So where can you go with it all??
M: I could get my PhD if I wanted to but the industry needs me so I must go to them. So I might do that later.
(I then leave to do my part time job which they think will be my full time job because its dance.)
What hurts the most about this conversation is the raised eyebrows when I drop the line of what I do. You know as someone who studies human movement staring into someones eyes with raised eyebrows when they tell you that they are achieving their dream hurts. Remember that.
So why am I writing this? I am here to answer some questions. By giving answers I am hoping to remove the stigmatisms.
Let us begin and dive into this stunning life I have.
What do I study?
- Contemporary technique (Stage 1,2,3)
- Kapa Haka and Theory
- Pacific Dance and Theory
- Dance Education
- Dance History and Context
- Kinesiology and Somatics
- Dance Choreography (Stage 1,2,3)
- Dance Writing
- Dance Interplidiscnary
- Stretch and Conditioning
- Community Dance
- Safe Dance Practice
- Psychology 109G
- Anthropology 106G
- Dance and Technology
- Professional Practices
I have missed a couple I am sure but these are paper I have taken and/or taking.
Every single paper has a written form to it. Whether it be a 2500 word essay, lesson plans, Pecha Kucha (shout of to Sarah Knox for those little devils), injury prevention plans. I write. We write. A lot. What people don’t understand is that dancers are pretty damn good at referencing. APA STYLE ALL DAY EVERY DAY.
What does a normal week consist of for me?
Well that depends.
First semester is normally pretty easy going.
Monday: 3 Hours. Two papers. Tuesday: 2 hours. One paper. Wednesday: 4 Hours, Two papers. Thursday: 5 Hours. Three Papers. Friday: 2 Hours. One paper.
16 Contact Hours. 8 Outside Hours.
Normally the same ish.
16 Contact hours but then theres is this.
Up to 40 hours of dancing. In class, rehearsal, making choreography, in the theater, between classes in corridors because there is not studios.
In second semester my average amount of sleep is 6 hours. 4 hours when we are close to shows.
What do I eat?
Mate. Everything. Different semesters require different diets. First semester is lots of brain food that is slow releasing. Nuts, grains, root veggies. Second semester is carbs. 60% of my diet is carbs. Carbs=Energy. Simple math. No food is the worst torture. Hiss and run away.
I was told by a lovely lady “do what you love, let that be your career.”. It made a lot of sense to me. So I applied to come to Auckland. Where I write to you today.
What’s your back up plan?
Rude to ask. I will always find something to do in this industry. I am apart of a family. Always creating jobs that didn’t exist two years ago. However if I couldn’t do what I loved due to something. Though where there is a will there is a way. I would become a paramedic.
What do you want to do after university?
Well you might be one of my employers reading this. If so hello. Thank you for being here. And doing what you love too. But I want to create and share. BROAD. But details are for me to know.
What do your parents think of this?
They are incredibly proud. They have always known it would be something creative. They are supportive and since they were the first of their kind (COMPUTERS) I will be the first of my kind to make dance as normal as computers in our everyday lives.
What do you struggle with?
Ignorance. I would like to see you enjoy a world without dance. Without people who make it possible. My own thoughts of being a tall dancer. Always think I am taking way too much room. So I never feel I am dancing to my ‘full’. I am 6ft for your information.
Really I could talk about this all day. I mean I am going to talk about it all life long.
In reality I don’t keep company of those who do not understand what I do.
Its a love like this that is so intoxicating that it cannot be left alone. I keep sipping from this damn cup and I am not going to lie when I say its the best.
If you have any questions about what I do honestly I would love to hear them and help you get some more information. These are my few 1300 words. However this is my passion and career so lets chat and I might even show you a few moves.