These thoughts ran through my head today, while I was chillin’ in the grass, in my local park, taking in the last rays of Summer sun. I love to write and have been wanting to do a blog forever. Everyone kept telling me “blogs don’t make money” and I’m like “yes, but it makes me happy to write.” So, here’s my first rambling on a Sunday afternoon in pursuit of happiness, teaching Kizomba and doing new things.
After my birthday I always feel like it’s new year's day: I’m setting goals…evaluating…planning new projects…and as I reflect on what's coming next I also understand I may be leaving some things behind in order to make room for new energy to enter my life.
I was thinking of taking a step back on teaching Kizomba.
As I engaged in conversation with friends and family, the majority of the reactions I received were: “Iris, you’ll loose all your followers!” Or “you’re too old to change now hon”
OK. First, I’m not and have never been just a Kizomba artist. Secondly, as I skip and hop well into my forties (more like, walk ,actually…) having gone through a disease that almost killed me and the challenges that came after, after feeling the weight of all the age changes, the white hair and all those “uncool” things women don't talk about coz we’re supposed to look amazing and young in all posts and pictures…huuummm, that’s another post… I really feel the need to upgrade who I am as a person, what’s important to me and what makes me tick.
Do you ever ask yourself: what makes me happy?….
I’ve always found that as an artist, when I’m doing things that make me happy, success follows and manifests at high speed. But sometimes we forget to look inside ourselves and check if we’re still doing and pursuing the things that wakes us up everyday with excitement and joy. It’s so easy to get stuck, to do what you know already…that life is too hard to accommodate your dreams…but, are you still doing what you love?…I’m not the person I was yesterday. Does that dream you had still fits with who you are now?…If not, just focus on a new dream, instead of mourning an old one! You owe it to yourself to be the best you can possibly be. To fulfil your desires and pursuit your own happiness.
Why are we so afraid of letting go?…we are afraid of the unknown…we are comfortable with the familiar, ok, I get it. But the more I try to stay the same…the more uncomfortable I get!…
I grew up with Kizomba. It’s a part of me regardless of what I do. It’s part of my "ginga" through life. It’s part of my movement, whatever style of dance I do.
Kizombeiros, I need you to know that I’m happiest teaching dance. I’m happiest performing. I’m happiest creating performance. I love telling stories. I’m happiest connecting artists and seeing students progress in their dancing expression.
However, after 10 years of teaching Kizomba & Semba in different environments, I don’t feel clubs best foster my personal intention. So, I want to align myself with my personal values and intentions. I can hear you say “ Kizomba/Semba doesn’t work in a studio.” Well, I started teaching Kizomba in the UK in a dance studio. It was beautiful. Fantastic connections were made. Yes, things change and evolve and it’s important to adapt to the market as they say.
Can I adapt at the cost of compromising my values and personal intentions? It’s hard, because it often feels like you’re a lone wolf howling at the top of the mountain and no one hears you…But, at least you got to the top of the mountain. At least you can admire the view and look further afield.
I’m not good at adapting or conforming. I will always do my own thing. I’m a rebel without a cause. Weather it works or not. I need to follow my heart. With Kizomba, following my heart means delivering classes and workshops in places where I can truly share my knowledge and love of dance, not just meet my students in a club space. I want to open new doors to those who I may inspire, teach and share this uncomfortable, unfamiliar and exciting unknown future through dance, writing, events, meditation and performance.
I’ll be setting up classes in studios and specialist workshops where you can catch up with your technique and afro-luso culture. You’re welcome to join me and continue to support my work, so, watch this space.
…I’m not your thing anymore?…then I would like to thank you for sharing my journey so far and wish you many blessings.
In words of the great Einstein “energy is never lost, only transformed.”