Changing roles, giving back

Of all the things I have done in my quarter-of-a-century life, there is nothing quite like the world of dance. Aside from my academic pursuits, dance has been at the forefront of my identity: I have worked as a semiprofessional dancer, founded a successful collegiate dance team, taught students of all ages, and choreographed a ton of pieces. Additionally, I have trained at an advanced level for many years and continue to attend well-known intensive programs (such as Sun King Dance).

It has taught me valuable lessons such as:

  • how to develop resilience, both physical and mental
  • creativity, both in the artistic sense as well as creatively problem-solving
  • the importance of reflecting on your experiences, both positive and negative, and using them to grow
  • the happiness that comes from pursuing your passion, and how one should never forsake work/life balance
  • the incredible importance of keeping your body - your vessel - healthy and fit
  • the camraderie that comes from sharing hundreds of hours of your life with others

However, as the years go by and my priorities in life shift, I am also finding myself yearning towards a different role in my dance involvement. I was previously a teacher, a leader, and a director; nowadays I am interested in being a student once again. I am interested in watching the performances instead of being the one on stage. I am interested in learning and training -- not so that I can immediately turn around and teach those skills to others, but for my own pleasure and growth as an artist.

I also plan to pursue the Registered Dance/Movement Therapist (R-DMT) credential, so that I may meld my two worlds of psychotherapy and dance. I truly do believe that the emotional and physical selves are deeply intertwined, and that stimulating one can often help us heal or become "unstuck" in the other. Dancers also happen to be a focus of my research and clinical interests.

This transition from teacher-figure to student-once-again almost feels like a retirement! But by no means is it a tearful farewell; instead, I look forward to continuing to participate as a lifelong learner. I look forward to blogging about some of my trainings and adventures in the future!

Finally, I still do believe that dance and fitness should be accessible to everyone, so I am very willing to offer workshops and free/low-cost classes to community when requested. Feel free to contact me if this is something that you or your organization may be interested in!

(Photo by Alex Fok)