My journey of making it into Wofa Afro-fusion Dance Company

Does anyone out there feel they were born to do something? Like born to paint, born to sing, born to be a rock climber or a scientist, etc. For me it’s dance. Dance has always had an incredible role in my life. I started when I was very young about 3 or 4 years of age, taking ballet and tap classes.  As I got older I studied jazz, lyrical and pointe. 

I kept dancing up into college where I studied modern dance. It was there that I was first introduced to African dance. It was so different than any other style of dance I had ever done and   a whole different level of a workout. (If you think running is a good cardio workout then you should try African dancing. It’s way harder.) It’s more than just a good workout. There is something about this form of dance that is so freeing, uplifting, and exhilarating. I fell in love and wanted to do this the rest of my life. 

But then, some unexpected things happened to me. I got married and divorced and dropped out of school. And stopped dancing. For a while I was afraid to dance. Even in the privacy of my own room when no one was looking. 

Life continued, a danceless life. I went to work every day, had good friends. It wasn’t horrible. It was pretty good, actually, but I was missing something. I was missing a certain level of excitement that I used to have. 

Then I met a boy with the most wonderful smile.(sigh 💕) And he could dance and he was good at it!  He taught me how to swing dance. Which was a huge struggle for me because I was still afraid to dance. He never gave up on me and helped me through my struggles and I slowly started to feel that exciment again. 

Fast forward a few years and this boy with the wonderful smile became my husband and we had a couple kids.  Many times he would listen to me talk about how much I loved African dance and how it was my favorite. He then discovered the African dance community classes offered in SLC. So of course I started going every week. 

I was just so thrilled to have found this again. Every class I would dance as hard as I could, I never worried about how ridiculous I looked. I was just too happy to be there. I had heard about Wofa, the Afro-fusion dance company and dreamed of someday being a part of it. But it was a dream and I always expected to stay that way.  A couple more years went by, I had my third child and kept on dancing. 

Then one day after class, someone announced that wofa auditions were happening later that day. I was internally freaking out. I ran to my car and called my husband, freaking out over the phone. To make this long story short, it was pretty much a miracle that I made it to the audition. I felt very unprepared when I walked in and saw everyone else turning in bios and  headshots. I had nothing to hand in. After the audition I had no idea what to think. I really didn’t know how well I did. I was competing against people who were really good. 

But alas, a few days later I got the phone call that I made it! I was so excited I started to cry. My husband was there to give me a big squeeze right after I got off the phone. 

Being a member of Wofa has been a blast. I love going to rehearsal, I love dancing and I love all the members in this company. I would have never thought at age 30 I would be in a dance company. But I’m so glad I am.

And stay tuned. I hope to post more about my adventures in this new dance chapter in my life. 

Recharging my “batteries” at Lindycon

There is something about dancing that is just so refreshing,  so therapeutic, so releasing, so energizing and exciting  all at the same time. I really don’t think I could get through life without it.  I crave it and I need it often.  It’s how I release stress and recharge my “internal batteries”  so I can tackle the  challenges of my everyday life. 

This weekend I had the opportunity to attend the SLC lindy con.  For those of you who are unfamiliar,  the lindy con is probably one the biggest swing dance events that happens is Salt Lake City,  UT.  It lasts all weekend with dances every night, classes and workshops during the day,  amazing instructors and DJ’s traveling from different cities, and live bands.  Let’s just say it is SO. MUCH. FUN.  

My husband and I actually got a babysitter for most of it. Yay!   So,  we were able to go to some of the workshops and 2 of the dances.  (The second dance we brought the kids with us.) 

This was a much needed break for Grant and I.    My husband has been working almost constantly on his dissertation for school.  So yeah,  he’s been pretty much non-existent in our house. I’m just trying to keep the kids alive at home and keep my sanity.   We have both been very busy and worn out. 

So we go to lindy con!  We show up,  the band starts,  the music is great.  We can’t help but start to groove. As the music keeps playing and the dancing keeps going, the energy keeps rising.  And two tired,  sleep deprived,  worn out people transform into high energy dancers.  It is just wonderful how dancing makes me feel.  The stress is gone,  my energy is back, my “internal batteries”  have been charged.  

What do you do the charge your “internal batteries”? 

Dancing and Donut cravings

A cloudy winter day is a good day to wake up and dance.  This morning I went to my African dance class and it is my joy,  my love,  my passion.  And today was a special treat for me because we danced tiriba, my favorite dance.

It’s a favorite because it brings back fond memories of when I was first introduced to African dancing.  It was over 10 years ago when I first learned.  I was in college studying modern dance and my instructor brought in an artist from Africa who taught us tiriba.

I love this dance.  It’s also one of the most exhausting and hardest African dances I have learned.  I learned it 10 years ago and it is still so hard and wears me out.  Whew!  Did I mention it’s a HARD workout, because it is.

Anyways,  after a class like that I was craving donuts.  There is something about that class that makes me want to stuff my face with donuts or some other similar pastry. On my way home I drive past a billboard with donuts.  Yes,  delicious looking donuts.  How did they know?!  I was so tempted to pull over and buy some,  but then I realized how tired my muscles were from dancing and I did not want to move any more than I had to.  So I kept driving till I got home and ate a chocolate truffle that was waiting for me,  calling out my name.  Not sure if there is much difference between the nutritional value of a chocolate truffle and a donut,  but at least I saved myself a few dollars by not buying the donuts.  I can’t wait until the next dance class!

 

Anyone want to join me next time for the dancing, donuts, or even better both!?

P. S.  This is my lapa, i wear it every time I go to class.  Fabric straight from Ghana.