“There’s a fork in the road. What now?”

…. is exactly the thing that I fear most right now. I literally have one foot on one road and one foot on another, and I hope there will never come a time where I have to choose which road to continue on and which one to leave behind.

One road I’m on is the decent one, the one that everyone is expected to take. I’m studying French and Spanish right now because I think that it will totally help with my career in the international relations field. I want to master both languages and maybe take a Masters degree in one (or two HAHAHA I know…) But, I definitely want to work for the Department of Tourism. Those are the main points in my career path. For the sub-points, I’ll just have to figure those out as I go along.

The other road is the road less traveled. Yup, dance. I’ve decided to be a bellydance apprentice under the tutelage of the best bellydance mentor in the country, Miss Jill Ngo. Also, I, along with a few of my friends, were offered a dance scholarship under our dancesport coach, Miss Belinda Adora. I am so grateful and excited for both these opportunities because they’ve both expressed great interest in investing in my talents and would want to continue in honing my skills. I totally cannot pass these up!

If I were to choose which one to keep without any consequences, I’d choose dance for sure. No hesitation. But, why not just continue on with that from the start, right? Don’t get me wrong, the career path I want to take is something that I’m passionate in as well. I’ve just had dance occupy my heart more.

But, here’s my thought process: I have it laid out in my head that if I have a career plan, and a solid one at that, meaning something I know that I can stick to, and show my parents that I can be mature and responsible in working hard and focusing on that road, then there is no way that they can say I can’t dance. If I can do both, and I know I can, I have to, then why not.

As I’ve mentioned in the start, the fear of maybe having to ultimately choose one at the end is a very daunting task. This is the time that I need to be strong and determined, more than I’ve ever been my whole life. If I lose my career path, I wouldn’t know what my parents would say and I wouldn’t also know how to feel that I let something important to me go. If I lose my dance path, that will be the total destruction of my entire being (lol over acting, I know, but it’s true).

I know people can’t have it all, but I’m determined to at least have these two together side by side until when the crows turn white.

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I need to rant.

What really bothers me right now is how some people call themselves [professional] dancers when in fact they are in no way near being one technique wise, performance wise, and everything in between. Don’t get me wrong, I am totally game for people sharing the love and passion for dance, even if they don’t know how to. Just seeing those kinds of people understand how beautiful and happy the art of dance makes everyone never fails to bring me to tears. But, once you go out with the utmost confidence dancing as if you’re better than those seen on So You Think You Can Dance and claiming it too, then that is quite troubling for me.

I took my dancing seriously when I was 17 years old. 4 years later, I am still taking classes and pushing myself to cross train in other dance styles because I know that it will help me become a better dancer and I want to widen my dance vocabulary. I’d like to think that I’m a hard worker, and I know that I’ve had some shortcomings, but I try my best to push myself everyday to be the best that I can be. (Let me just clear things out that in no way am I saying that I’m better or above everyone else. I know that I have a long long long way to go. hihi)

So, to meet and see people who take legit dance classes not take those classes seriously nor respect the teacher is totally totally getting under my skin.

There are some who shared stories with me about how they’ve been performing for how 7 or 8 years already, and when we started taking our first dance class together, it was as if it was her first lesson ever. (Even the dance teacher points this out.) Others brag about the same thing and assure me that the dance class we’re in is a piece of cake, but end up looking at the best student in class the whole time. Others brag about being trained in countless numbers of dance, but when asked by our dance teacher to do the ChaCha or do a soutenu turn, they can’t do it properly and receive curse words as feedback instead.

There are others, on the other hand, who do not understand this: dance teacher > student. I’ve seen some disrespect dance teachers by always being on their cellphones while running a routine WITH LIMITED TIME. After running the routine once, they’d immediately go to their phones and check what’s new on their facebook news feeds (when you and I know that nothing significantly changes on facebook in the span of 2 minutes). Then when the teacher asks everyone to run it again, they’d take their precious time walking at the glacial pace to their first blocking. I’ve seen some not respect the creative license of some teachers because (1) the choreography is difficult, and (2) they do not feel pretty enough while doing a certain step. (For real.)

I’ve seen this type the most: those who complain incessantly throughtout the whole rehearsal session because (1) they were yelled at, (2) their feet ache, or (3) the steps are difficult to master and end up sitting on the sides more than actually doing the steps. But when they get to log into their facebook accounts, they post “Great rehearsal day today! Worked so hard!” Really? Like…no.

One more thing! In dance classes, you try your best to avoid hurting your classmates. But when you do ACCIDENTALLY hit them IN THE LEAST AMOUNT OF PRESSURE POSSIBLE (I’m talking brushed by a pinky kind of pressure or hit my the back of your hand in like a tap kind of pressure) and they end up disrupting the whole class with their whaling and start complaining and sit throughout the whole rehearsal, then I can’t take it anymore. HAHA That is my ultimate pet peeve. I’m talking more over acting than a fake foul in basketball or football or whatever.

But going back to my point, it just bothers me how these people call themselves dancers when in the first place, they don’t respect the art form. They just don’t.  Everyone can dance, but it take so much more to become a dancer. I feel like I’m being insulted, and so are my dance teachers, my dance friends, and everyone else who I know have worked so hard to be pros at what the do, because if they can call themselves dancers without putting in the hours, blisters, and muscle pain, then why can’t I just do that too right? If they can just attend a dance class without actually dancing in one and then say that they’re at an intermediate level in jazz or ballet, then why can’t I just do that too? I’d rather have you come to a dance class without any background at all, respect the teacher, the art, the rehearsal time, and take everything you learned to make yourself better and vow to improve yourself the next time around, instead of coming to class taking all your ego with you, not work hard for it, return to class the same way you attend your first one 7 or 8 years ago, and just still call yourself a dancer. I just really can’t.

I can’t be the only one who feels this way? Any dancers out there? Athletes? Artists? Pros in their certain field who feel the same?

SIGH. ok, rant over.

Cruising

What’s going on with my life since my last post? Was I able to enroll? Are the professors giving me hell? Am I regretting my choice of going back to school?

School started a few weeks ago (and I guess you can infer that, yes, I was able to enroll YEY : ) , but the enrollment process has been THE most tiring and frustrating one I’ve ever had to encounter in my life.), and everything’s just going steady and smooth.

I’m taking both French and Spanish classes, but I wasn’t able to enroll in the classes that I should take to continue on with what I already took up in Ateneo because the European Languages Department at UP said that I had to go back a week after the regular enrollment schedule to ask (again) if I can take the classes that I needed to take. If they decide that I can enroll, I have to take a placement test. But here’s the thing, they’re not sure that I’m going to have a slot left by the time that I would’ve gone back to talk to them because regular enrollment finished already, and when I saw the slots on the computer, there were only 1 or 2 slots left in all the classes. So, the woman who I talked to just advised me to take the basic classes again for review and mastery. So, that’s what I’m doing now.

My schedule’s pretty light. My classes are from Tuesdays to Fridays. My day starts at 10:00am, and I get off at 2:30pm everyday. Not bad at all. I’ve made a few friends, but I don’t hang out  with them during my break because they have their own schedules, cliques, etc… I’m fine with that. I’ve always been the type of person that likes to be with people but can also survive when I’m on my own. During my break, which is an hour and a half, if my best friend is free, we have lunch together or I usually go to the nearest Starbucks to rewrite my notes, do homework, fix my schedule, read, draw…whatever really.

I’ve joined two organizations in UP: Le Club Français and UP Dancesport Society. I can’t wait for the org activities to start because then at least I’ll have more things to do, and I get to meet new people which is always a plus.

Hmmmm what else? Aside from school, I’m still dancing yyeeeeey! I’m rehearsing with Miss Jill Ngo, the best belly dancer in the country, for a belly dance recital on October 11! I’m really excited for that one : )

But right now, I’m just cruising, really. I’ve set my mind to think and focus on my goals everyday, and I feel like I’m at a good place right now. We’ll see.

‘Til the next entry, xoxo

 

Don’t Let The Voices In Your Head Ruin You

The first half of  my 2014 has been crazy different! I’ve quit my teaching job last March. It was a bittersweet feeling. I’m totally going to miss seeing my students and their wtf-are-you-doing-stop-now ways. Despite the fact that they gave me stress pimples and showed me veins that I didn’t know could pop out of my neck and forehead, I learned to love and care for all 48 of them.

After that, I took my first ever dance workshop with Douglas Nierras’ Powerdance. (A little background about them, they are THE best contemporary dance group in the Philippines. They are currently in Europe now for their dance tour! Europe + dance!!? Are you kidding me? That’s the dream. HAHA.) The workshop lasted for about 5 weeks, every Mondays, Wednesdays, and Fridays from 2pm-7m (although, when we were nearing our recital date, it was from 10am-til whatever. ok). There were three workshop that we could take: ballroom, hiphop, and jazz. I took classes in all fields, and it was the most draining & challenging thing I’ve ever done physically. During the workshop process, member of Powerdance expressed their desire to let me join their group!! Imagine that! But…more on that later.

And now we’re here in the present. I’ve decided to go back to school this August. I’m going to be taking undergrad courses in French and/or Spanish to accomplish the requirements needed to take a masters degree in those languages.  I’ve only been seriously reviewing the French and Spanish lessons I took up when I was in college recently (meaning last week) to prep myself for what I imagine to be something so competitive and challenging – especially since i’ll be studying in the University of the Philippines and with people who have been studying languages everyday for hours on end.

I’ve been really looking forward to going back to school (especially school supplies shopping! haha Call me weird but I find satisfaction in having new notebooks, pads of paper, pens…the works!)  Not until last night when a sudden wave of doubt hit me and I didn’t see it coming. Don’t you just hate that? I was about to fall asleep when suddenly the voices in your head whisper “You’re going to fail”. Oh gee, thanks a bunch!

Same thing happened when I was offered to join Powerdance. I always told them I’d think about it, which I’ve already done the moment one of them asked me. I was screaming “YES!!!!” in my head, but there were the voices again that screamed louder than I did, that my ‘yes’ turned out to be a whisper.

They say that you are your worst critic, right? That has been so true for me for years. I’ve let myself become slave to the voices in my head … to me – my doubts, my fears, my concerns, my negativity, and that has stopped me from doing a lot of things that I wish I should’ve done at that time. I feel like the old version of myself would let my once resounding ‘yes’ continue to fade into nothingness and let myself believe that I am going to fail going back to school even before I’ve attended a single class.

But now, I’m 21 years old, and I’ve experienced things that I would only dream of doing. However scary both future experiences may be, I am not the version of me that would let these slip away for sure. Like what I’ve said, the first half of this year has been crazy different. I feel like I’ve had a good amount of time to dip myself into a myriad of things until moving on to the next one.

Before I decided to type out my feelings and concerns, I dreaded having the sliver of doubt pop up in my head. I’ve learned that something so small and simple can ultimately ruin someone if you let it. But, now as I’m nearing the end of this post, I’ve realized that those kinds of thoughts can be a good thing. In a way, for me at least, it pushes you to make sure that you don’t make those thoughts from happening. Despite how scary it may be and how heavy it feels to think that you won’t be able to make it even before you’ve tried, I feel that that it builds character. Like what I’ve mentioned, the old me wouldn’t have even dared to counter the voices in my head. The me right now however is this version you’re reading telling the voices to piss off.

And at the end of it all, after you’ve been through everything, you’ll realize that it wasn’t so scary after all.

First Love Never Dies

“It is a truth universally acknowledged…”

And, I found the statement to be correct. After months of longing to one day be able to be reunited again, I finally got to dance again. Words cannot express how good it felt, even though, physically, my body was telling me to stop.

I’ve missed stretching, in what some people think are, the most uncomfortable positions. To me, it is so relaxing and tension freeing that it is one of the things that I love to do! I was surprised, though, that I was still able to do the splits and stuff. I thought I’d lost those abilities completely. haha.

I’ve missed wearing those painful high heels. Although, I don’t think it’s mutual thing.

I’ve missed the blisters on my toes. I’ve actually missed how ugly my feet look. LOL. I know what you’re thinking, “Uuuhm, ew” Yes, EW, but, they’re like my trophies to remind me of all the hard work I’ve been doing.

I’ve missed teaching. Jan, the club’s current president, asked me to sub for him because he and a number of the more advanced dancers were to perform at an org’s GA. I was more than happy to oblige.

I’ve missed the muscle soreness that I feel after every dance session.

I’ve missed the chicahan sessions before & after dance starts.

I’ve missed my dance friends! Even if they think that I don’t. I do, you guys!

I’ve missed dancing. I’ve missed the feeling of just moving to the beat of the music, and just let everything go. I’ve missed moving every inch of my body. I can honestly say it is one of the best feelings in the world. I’m sure other dancers will agree.

I’m glad that after months of no dance at all, I can finally do it frequently now.

Live. Love. Dance. Those are the only things I need to do in life.

My Saturday Dedicated to Dance

If you guys read my previous posts, you’d know that I competed last Saturday. It was my first ever dance sport competition, and I had a blast! Although, it wasn’t a big of a competition as I’d expected it to be, it was still an amazing experience. Here are a few pictures of and my amazing partner, Jan 🙂
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578584_10200784732923683_1977334797_nWe won 2nd out of……..3. LOL There were supposed to be 5 couples dancing for the event we joined but 1 couple didn’t show up and the partner of the other couple didn’t make it in time. My friend said at least we were still able to beat someone, so that’s good. I think. Whatever, it is! HAHA Thank you to the UP Dance Sport Society for the invitation and more power to you guys in the future!

After we got our award, I went to another venue where there was another dance sport competition. Other Ateneo Dance Sport Club members were there competing. The competition was 3 hours late! All the club members were already cranky. I felt bad for them. I got there are around 4pm and they still weren’t able to dance. The competition was suppose to finish at 4. hah.

I had to leave at 5pm because I had to be at Savannah Moon Dance Studio by 6pm to host the PE Finals. I didn’t even know what I was doing while hosting. HAHA. Nevertheless, I was still able to pull it off.

The PE finals was more of like a performance night than anything really. Here are a few pictures!

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That’s my Dance Coach, Belinda Adora, doing her thaaaang. I remember watching her segment on National Geographic Channel where they did a show about Ballroom Dancing in Asia. I wished that I could get to just at least meet her someday. Now, I’m her student, and I feel very fortunate to be guided by her.

9e92a7408a1e11e2b0f722000a9f18db_7 ccd187e88a1e11e2b72422000aa821e3_7Here’s the Club…well some of them! They’re the same people who competed! They just had to rush from the competition place to Savannah Moon! STRESS! They’re mostly beginners, and I am so proud that they were able to pull the dance off! Even Ma’am Bel was proud of them. I hope to see the same faces whenever I visit the school!

607398708a1e11e28d2722000a1f8fa0_7These are Belinda Adora’s Step Kids! They are A-M-A-Z-I-N-G. You can watch their videos on youtube! (just type Belinda Adora’s Step Kids) You’ll see just how good they are! They’ve been dancing for about 5 1/2 years now.

Well, there you have it, my saturday dedicated to dance! That was one of the best days of my life 🙂 That was also my last day with the Club, and I’d have to say even though they were a handful, I am still very happy that I got to meet each and everyone of them. Good luck next school year, guys! I’m sure you guys will do great 🙂

I don’t know when I’ll be dancing again. My coach asked me if she could just take me in and continue to train me for more Latin Ballroom chaos. That sounds very tempting, but we’ll have to see what else is out there for me.

Til the next entry,

xoxo
samantha jean

Love and Perseverance

Today was a good day. I started my day early-ish (early for me is before noon. lol) I’ve been craving pancakes for a couple of days now to the point where I was getting really irritable because I couldn’t eat pancakes. Anyway, today Marco and I went on a breakfast date at Pancake House to satisfy my cravings. I ordered the classic pancakes with sausage, and he ordered mini red velvet pancakes. He said they taste good but they just killed it with too much frosting!

After that, we decided to watch a movie. We couldn’t decide between 21 and Over or Stoker so we had to do the whole flip-a-coin thing. The coin dictated that we watch Stoker. So, we did. The movie wasn’t supposed to start for another 45 minutes or so, so I told him that I had to buy some make-up for my dance competition on Saturday. He willingly said he’d accompany me. While I was going around the department store buying stuff for my eyes, hair, lips and whatever else you could think of, he was just following me around carrying the basket. 🙂 I’m glad he didn’t get all impatient. I asked if he could tag along too when I go shopping for my graduation dress. He willingly said ‘Okay’. Maybe his patience will be tested then. HAHA.

When that was over, we headed on to the movie house and watched Stoker. That was a weird ass movie. Mia Wasikowska starred in it and so did Nicole Kidman. They both did amazing in the movie, I think.

After the movie, Marco decided to go home, and I had to go to school because my dance sport club members had to rehears for their performance this Saturday and also for the competition that they’ll be joining.

It took them a while to please me. Of course, I had to get mad at them, make them do it over and over again. I even had to let them do squats against the wall for 2 minutes. Nonetheless, that all paid off. Towards the end of the night, they became better and more confident about themselves. When Demi (she was sort of like my assistant that time) told them to just understand why I was getting mad and that it really had to be done, they said they did and they were cool with it.

Again, I’m glad that everyone was persevering despite it being a fast routine and me shouting everytime they make a mistake. Nonetheless, they supported each other, the cheered each other on to do their best in the parts where they had to dance. That was a really nice way to cap of the night. I am so proud of them and I really hope that next semester, when I visit, i’ll still see their faces in the dance area. FINGERS CROSSED!

I am beat! My body’s so sore. HAHA. Marco offered to give me a massage when all this dancing is over. Yeeeey to helpful boyfriends!!

Well, good night everyone.
Til the next entry.
xoxo samantha jean

Busy Dance Week

As I’ve promised, I will be blogging more now because I have all the time in the world!

This week has been stressful for me, physically. I’ll be joining a Dance Sport Competition this Saturday hosted by the UP Dance Sport Society. (Few weeks back, it was me and my lovely team who organized a Dance Sport competition at Meralco Sports Center. Now, I get to compete!) Me competing was an accident, really. I was just supposed to watch other club members do their routines and correct them when necessary. It was only until Jessie said she couldn’t compete at the UP competition because she had class. Thus, I had to take her place.

I’ve never competed in my 2 1/2 years of dancing latin ballroom. This is a new thing for me and I am scared shitless. The only time my partner and I really got to practice was just last Monday, the 4th (HAHA and the competition is on the 9th) because I was busy during my finals week. So, we’ve been rehearsing just 2 routines for hours a day. You would think that it’s easy. “Oh, just 2 routines and 1 minute 30 seconds each? That’s a piece of cake!” Well, you are extremely mistaken. I am sore all over. I totally need a massage after this week!

Aside from the competition on Saturday, its the Dance Sport PE’s Finals Night/ Culminating Night. Since I’ll be graduating already, its time for the rest of the club to handle logistics of it all. I just have to check up on them and make sure that they’ve got everything covered! The rest of the club will be dancing a Samba Routine as an intermission number for the Night! They’ll be dancing to Show Me How You Burlesque by Christina Aguilera. It pains me a little (okay….fine…. maybe a lot) inside that I won’t be able to dance with them for one last time. I get to sit this one out and watch them take over. My term as their president will officially be over on Saturday and I DO NOT KNOW HOW TO DEAL WITH THAT. I just don’t want to leave them just yet.

I just would like to say that I am so happy that there are more boys in the club now. Dance Sport isn’t really seen as a manly thing (as other dance genres out there). Despite that, Enzo, a member of the club, managed to recruit a bunch of guys! And what’s even better is they’re all really trying their best to learn the routines and steps even if they’re having a hard time. They’re the type of guys you wouldn’t think would ever join dance. PERIOD. They’re such a joy to watch! HAHA. There are a number of girls as well who joined, and I’m very glad that little by little they are becoming more confident within their own bodies and also, showing me that they are doing their best to learn the dances even if, again, they are quite difficult to do. My wish is just that those people who joined will continue on dancing. I hope that I’ll still see those guys and girls next semester when I visit.

Tomorrow, or actually later, I have rehearsals again from 430pm-730pm. YEEEEY. I have no idea why I’m still up at 4 in the morning. I have to wake up early later too because I’m going on a breakfast/lunch/movie date with the boyfriend. I better try to at least get some sleep.

Wish me luck on Saturday! 🙂 pretty please? I’m gonna need it. HAHA

Til the next entry,
xoxo Samantha Jean

Doubt

It has come to my attention yesterday morning that the School of Humanities (SOH) here in my university is starting to accept applicants for the Loyola School Awards for the Arts (LSAA). They give awards to students who are skilled in the arts such as creative writing, screen arts, visual arts, singing, music, dancing and etc. The panel of does not choose students at random. Students have to apply first before they are given the award.

This concerns me greatly because

(1) All past three presidents of the dance club I am a part of (and also, now the 4th president) have been given on LSAA Award for Dance. The first and third president have been training in ballet since they were little girls and the second president has been competing in various dance sport competitions. I, on the other hand, have nothing to show.

(2) The president before me said before she left, “She (our dance teacher) will force you to apply. You have no choice.” You see, our dance teacher is part of the panel of judges who choose the students who get the award. It puts a lot of pressure on me if I don’t make it because I am not only carrying my name but I’m carrying hers as well. Also, imagine the humiliation/disgrace when I’m the only president as of now who did not get an award. (I know, I know! – That’s a huge load to carry. I’ve been carrying it since the start of the school year.)

Like I said, I have nothing to show. I have been dancing since I was a little girl but I wasn’t consistent. My parents were very strict and didn’t allow me to continue dancing after one recital for each dance (ballet, hip hop, belly dancing & hula). This is the only LEGIT time where I actually get to train as a real dancer.

Many of my closest friends said that I can do it, that I’m going to get an award. They said since I’m the president of a dance org, that’s a sure win already. I, however, do not think so. I’ve never believed in myself when it comes to dance because I always set my standards too high. I am not sorry for this. I think that it will eventually make me better. I hope.

And, its easy to say ‘Go ahead, you can do it!’. I’ve seen the process and heard stories about the deliberations from my dance teacher. Actually, the president before me always did not make it to the list. THAT’S ALREADY WITH SOMEONE WHO HAS A LOT OF CREDENTIALS. I don’t know where I stand.

Err. I’ve put myself in this situation, and its not a nice place to be in. I think [know] I have the skills. I just don’t see what other people see in me when I dance. blah.

xoxo.