Last weekend I attened a dance festival called the Johannesburg Afrolatin festival, I mentioned it in my post on influencers that I wrote on Monday. I had such an amazing time that the dying need for me to dance was revived by the most amazing souls I could have met. Starting this journey was the best thing I could have done for myself!
June 2016, I was introduced to dance by my cousin Angus who has his own dance school in Cape Town called Evolution Dance Studio. Dancing has been his passion for as long as I can remember and I never ever really got what the obsession was, until he tricked me into loving it. Ok he didnt really trick me, he just suggested I go to a class, but it was a trick because he knew I would love it!!! My cousin saved me from a mourning period that I couldn’t get myself out of without even realising it, I had lost my best friend to a motor vehicle accident and after quite alot of time went by I found the couch was my new thing to do. I went nowhere, besides work, did nothing besides work. When I met the Durban Red Salsa team, as a non dancer while having drinks with my cousin, I was entrigued by the dancing, but was never going to try, too intimidating, I thought I could never do that. What happened was that I found myself creating friendships in the dance team even though I was not a part of them, Angus was, so by default I became family. I went to my first dance social the next day, I sat on the stage and watched in awe at how these people moved their bodies, how they connected with each other, how they loved to dance. So many people asked me to dance, which I didnt do because I didnt know how. So much encouragement to try; so I did, and I ended up going for my first class. The rest was history. Until pressure started to be put on me, just because im related to an amazing dancer, doesnt mean I am one. It got difficult, I admit, very quickly, but I booked myself a ticket to the Mzanzi Cape Town Festival after only dancing for 3 months. I was so out of my league it was hilarious, but again the ‘family’embraced me with open arms. I met so many people at that Festival but some stood out more than others, some connected with me more than others and some will be my friends for life. A dancer by the name of Shon made a real impact on my confidence in dance, he took the time to teach me and to guide me through and really helped me grow as a dancer (well a beginner dancer). I really couldnt get out of my head, I guess there was too much going on in there to let go, because to this day my head still holds me back. Jean White became my friend at this festival, and still is today. To tell you the truth I really didnt know who anyone was and how significant they were to the dancing community, to me they were just new amazing friends. I met Manuel Dos Santos, the funniest guy ever, and so many other people that I have created friendships with. However until now (at the Johannesburg Afrolatin Festival), I had not truly experienced the same amount of warmth and love that I did at my first festival. So my love for dance has been revived.
January 2019 I decided to enrol in 2 classes and try to get back into the groove of dancing, I had stopped for a while. I needed to try again I guess. Something inside of me needed to dance again. But something was still missing, it had nothing to do with class, it was just me that felt insecure and not good enough. I decided to go to the Afro latin festival to learn from the international instructors and to spend some time with my friends and my cousin. Plus Jean (Mambo City 5 star Salsa Congress) was going to be there and I hadnt seen her since Cape Town. BEST DECISION EVER to go to Johannesburg! Not only did I get to have endless conversations with my friend Jean and catchup on everything, creating bonds that will NEVER be broken, but I got to experience enjoyment in dance again. People were asking me to dance twice (and thats a big deal). The classes were amazing, the personalities were crazy and full of energy. Moeflex and Julian Mr M (the energy and skill on these two had me either crying with laughter or in awe of everything that they do). Robert White , who danced with me more than once (good Lord I was nervous for this) and Julian Mr M , well lets just say I asked him to be gentle lol because that guy can freaking move and my body would not be able to handle that level of … well everything. The Hightlight though was when I didnt want to dance with SuperMario because I felt almost embarrased at my level of skill or lack of and when he actually asked me to dance (because he knew I was scared of him) I totally freaked out. Sooooooooo many nerves, OMG the amount of fun I had dancing with that man is indescribable, with all the tricks and level of crazy had me forgetting that I was supposed to be nervous. I had so much fun!!!
I will keep dancing, because my faith in myself and in dance has been restored , by a combination of all these people that I mention here. I realise that if I’m not having fun theres no point and that if someone is being an ass, they can move along because I am not about that life and I dont entertain people with attitude. Especially if they are doing it just for the sake of being snobbish.
You read about how I plan on making dance a part of my daily exercise challenge on Wednesday, and also about how this last weekend influenced my heart and minpdsets to change through the influencers that I had the pleasure of meeting. I feel if I do a little every day then my level of skill has to improve somewhat and hopefully by next year when I go to the same festival I can go in confidence and not be afraid of dancing with anybody.
My love of dance has been revived and my perspective of negativity has been put into place. I am looking forward to the changes I make this year with myself and I think I’m actually going to go through my videos of all my festivals and finally use them to grow and practice, like I should have been doing all this time.
In the spirit of this I would like to challenge anyone that has a passion for dance or for growth to have a look at the Mambo City’s 5 Star Salsa Congress website (www.salsadance.co.uk), if you can take this trip to London for an experience of a lifetime to expand your vision not only on life but also to expand your vision of dance, then I urge you to go for it! I most certainly will be doing my utmost to be there and would love to meet up with you! I will be taking the time to write about my upcoming plans and experiences leading up to this Congress. It will be my first trip to London and I know that it’s going to be amazing! All the links have been added to this piece for your convenience. See you there!!
Wish me luck. Thank you for reading.
Live your life with optimism and determination for the things you desire.
Written By: Tammy – Lynn Murphy