I have always been a dreamer. An optimist. Ever hopeful. Always thinking.
But in all honestly, I have not always put fearless gusto into all of my endeavours. Like many people, I have been the biggest obstacle in pursuit of my dreams. For quite some time, I have harboured a secret desire to tour the southern region of Andalucia in Spain – to dance my heart away and to make a pilgrimmage (the camino) to Santiago de Compostela. In an expected twist of fate, I also have the opportunity to visit Copenhagen Denmark, the birthplace of Hans Christian Anderson. After much thoughtful marination (as in I’ve thought about it soooo long, the idea has soaked into me like a piece of chicken, marinated in soy sauce), I will embark on my trip this Spring.
Dear readers of The LC, I would love to take you with me, however, I need to take this journey to rest and rejuvenate. Upon my return, I promise to share the highs of my adventures and hopefully my shared stories will stir up your own internal wanderlust. xo
May 1, 2011 No Comments
The change in weather has put a serious damp on my inclination for socializing. In the mood for nesting, I will periodically stay indoors in lieu of venturing out to the all-night dance party. I had been putting off watching the Oscar-winning Slumdog Millionaire for some time (confession: the trailer made me cry). Once, coming home on a long-haul flight from London, I was suddenly woken from my slumber by the gentleman seated to my right. A seemingly cool guy in his 40′s, clad in a black leather jacket, he was sobbing uncontrollably to the tune of A.R. Rahman’s Jai Ho (far superior to the Pussycat Doll collaboration). He hurried to the washroom. I assumed to dab his eyes and compose himself.
The story set in Mumbai, India weaves the tale of poor chaiwallah (tea server) Jamal who emerges from the impoverished city slums to compete on the television show ’Who Wants to be a Millionaire?’ Directed by Danny Boyle, the film is a gritty depiction of the hardships of the slums as well as an inspired love story. I enjoyed it and somehow I managed to keep the teardrop tsunami at bay. The film ends with a Bollywood style dance sequence – I would like to learn this choreography one day (just in case).
Watch it: Slumdog Millionaire – Jai Ho Music Video
September 12, 2010 No Comments
Walking along Queen West with my dance poppet I, we passed through many construction areas as many buildings are undergoing the makeover of re-gentrification. I told him that the scaffolding reminds me of Paula Abdul’s ‘Cold Hearted Snake’ video, which for its time was extremely provocative. Miss Paula circa ’80′s could do no wrong. I mean, she was the Rihanna of the day, she dated Arsenio Hall, choreographed her own dance numbers and she was doing group ‘heavy breathing’ and ‘spirit fingers’ while Britney was still a Mouseketeer. Everyone I knew had memorized the lyrics to every song on ‘Forever Your Girl.’ I played Straight Up and Opposites Attract over and over until I had to use a pencil to unwind my cassette tape.
On our next adventure to karaoke, I will definitely peer pressure gently influence my friends into singing this song. I foresee the hipsters going craaazy. Some styling cues that I will take from the 80′s and bring into modern 2010:
And now to relive the salty goodness that is Paula Abdul’s Cold-Hearted Snake, please click on the link below. You will be singing it for days: “He’s a lover boy by trade, He don’t play by rules, Ooh oh, Girl don’t play the fool now.” (After all these years, I still remember the words. Oh deep engrained cellular memory!) There are countless amazing moments in this video, you may have to watch it twice (gliding across the floor in knee pads, mesh top with tassles, Paula being lowered from the scaffolding, simulated sex positions, etc, etc). Enjoy!
July 10, 2010 No Comments
In the thralls of a new relationship with Flamenco, I am excited for the day when I can wrist-twist my delicate fingers into a tiny fans and waves like it’s not a thing. When learning a new dance style, the first few months are perhaps the most arduous; when we strive for perfection but one’s body is unwilling and unaccustomed to contorting in such dramatic ways and clumsy feet cannot move quick enough to the tempo of a fancy escobilla (footwork). My poor knees are feeling the brunt of my foot stomping and intense cardio. But I am ever optimistic for the day that I take my dancing to the next level.
Academy of Spanish Dance (401 Richmond Street West) offers various dance lessons for the amateur who takes the courses for personal interest to the Fame-esque professional dancer who are seeks to add another talent to their belt. Here, Studio Director Esmerelda Enrique, in between tempo’s and contra-tempos, quick steps and arm movements, shares through comedic dramatization and charismatic story-telling, the history and passion that should be invoked while dancing. She shares her vision with her students, ”Dance is a creative expression.”
In my fantasy dance sequence (puh-lease, you know you have one too), I would do an Eastern influenced dance-fusion medley. One which would combine a Jai-Ho introduction as I recently observed a very delightful lady-boy, well choreographed, Bollywood inspired production in Thailand, Egyptian Bellydancing perhaps with a touch of modern Shakira and finally me doing some sort of Flamenco solo, followed by a very sexy Samba, dragged across the dancefloor (with a partner of course) to Sergio Mendes’ “Magalenha.”
Please feel free to co-opt any of my ideas, as I do intend to inspire dreaming with the LC and I hope that you put your own special twist on said medley. If you haven’t given much thought to your fantasy dance sequence, perhaps you should. You never know as one day, you could happen upon a series of auspicious events: 1) an open dancefloor, 2) a bright spotlight, 3) your favourite dance song and 4) a crowd screaming your name.
April 21, 2010 No Comments
As much as I am obsessed with emo indie-rock and the skinny hipster boys in those bands, whenever I go out, I love to listen to House music (the tribal kind is always nice) and old-school R&B Hip Hop. Back in the 90′s (everyone makes fun that I can’t get over the 90′s), the music and party scene was A-M-A-Z-I-N-G. Maybe it was because the nightlife scene was fresh and new, combined with the danger and excitement of possibly getting busted with a fake i.d. or sneaking out of windows in outlandish Betsey Johnson (very SASSY photospread). I could tell you crazy stories, but I will leave those secrets in my hair.
Driving in my car, the DJ was playing a string of way-back playbacks. As much as I loved grooving to the tunes in the car, it made me ponder two deep thoughts, “Wow, I’m getting old” and “Definitely need to put this on the Wedding Dances playlist (one day universe!). People would lose their minds on the dancefloor.” haha. I really should learn how to DJ. The crowd would go WILD!
- Soho – Hippie Chick Ahem, methinks this one really should be my LC anthem because I’m such a bohemian.
- Snap – I Have Got The Power (“It’s gettin’, it’s gettin’, it’s gettin’ kinda heavy…” Does it kill you, like it kills me?)
- LL Cool J – Mama Said Knock You Out
- Boyz II Men – Motownphilly
- Blackstreeet – No Diggity
- Everything But the Girl – Missing
- Crystal Waters – Gypsy Woman (“She wakes up early in the morning, just to do her hair now…Da-da-di Da-di-da” You know you love it.)
March 10, 2010 No Comments
I must confess that last week part of the reason I was unable to write was because I was suffering from dance injuries. Over the past weekend, I had reunited with my favourite OOC, overzealous crew of dance misfits and we hit the dancefloor as if it was going out of style. There was vogue-ing, some double-dutch with improv and random new dance recruits, plus participation from the DJ.
Much to my chagrin when I woke up, I found I was paralyzed with sore muscles and a clementine sized bruise on my arm from banging into a bar table. I am not 21 anymore. No sir-eee. To add salt to my own wounds (because clearly I’m a masochist), I went to my weekly flamenco lesson followed the next day by a hardcore yogi Ashtanga class. Ouch! I paid the steep price for dancing and yoga…but it was worth every penny! And I’d do it again! I said it.
To cure my dance fever, here are some home remedies to get me back into top form (so I can do it all over again):
- Hydrate! Obviously, drinking 8 glasses of water is important to naturally detox the system and replenish fluids lost during dance moves. My bestie N recommends cooling beverages such as coconut or aloe water during extra warm activities such as hottt yoga or even regular yoga (which tends to naturally heat up). I like drinking coconut water with little bits of pulp – reminds me of a snowglobe.
- Cool down & Stretch – Sometimes I just lay on the floor. Sometimes I sit down and reach for my toes. Other days, I stand flush against a wall and put my hands in the air and reset my shoulders back. After a few stretches, I often mix my favourite lavender with a carrier oil in the palms of my hands and gently massage my knees and ankles. This way I can be a dancer forever.
- Sweet dreams – I also like putting a few tiny drops of Lavender essential oil on my pillow before I go to Sleepytown. The fragrance is extremely calming and promotes a sound sleep. And before I close my eyes, I think about the steps in my choreography so that when I have to dance it again, I kill it.
March 9, 2010 No Comments