My Definition Of Cool

Cool is dancing like no one is watching and not caring what other people think of you.
(But who is really that secure all the time?)

Cool is standing up for the underdog and doing what’s right.
(But it can be hard to know who is the victim and what is the crime.)

Cool is helping people believe in themselves.
(But who’s gonna save the hero?)

Cool is knowing when enough is enough and it’s time to move on.
(But letting go takes vision, discipline, patience, and trust. All of which can be beaten out of you.)

Cool is working hard to make your dreams a reality.
(But is there rest for the wicked?)

Cool is striking up a conversation with a stranger, and making a new playlist. Cool is forgiving your parents for all the times they weren’t being cool. Cool is loving with abandon even though you’ve been hurt.

Cool is Mark when he stood up for me on the last night I saw him.
I bet you’re still cool, sitting in that living room in the clouds, letting the world pass you by.

Cascade of Moons

It has been a challenging year a half since returning from my Fulbright Fellowship to Israel in August 2015. I survived reverse culture shock and interpersonal struggles at work and at home and got some hard earned life lessons along the way. I made some new pieces for my dance company and schools in Marin, and was deeply unsure about where to take my artistic career next. I actually enrolled in a bunch of science classes once If I Were You – Project Israel was over thinking that I was going to change careers completely. I thought I was done with dance. Once you finish such a large undertaking it is inevitable that you feel the pang of emptiness, the void, and the lack of target, needing to find something new and right to aim at. I went to the depths, to the bottom of my well, and it took a lot for me to resurface.

Ultimately I realized that I am a dancer through and through and I need to create, always. I also need to connect through teaching and I need stability in my work life. Freelance is exhausting after five years. So I decided to work towards consolidating my life, to shift my career so I can focus my efforts on one studio or one organization and be more impactful. I ultimately took a giant leap of faith and decided to get my M.F.A. in Dance from Mills College in Oakland. This was not an easy decision, to choose student loan debt and commuting through rush hour traffic every day, not to mention the physical strain of training and teaching 8+ hours a day 6 days a week. It is the right decision, even though every day is a new challenge. I can’t believe how much I was able to accomplish in my first semester. Sheer will power and determination can take a human being farther than we think. I am set to graduate in May 2018.

It was a deep honor for me to perform in Shinichi Iova-Koga’s Cascade of Moons in my first semester of graduate school. My work in and experience with this piece affirms my devotion to dance and the disciplined mind I am interested in cultivating for more powerful stage presence.

I have grown up a lot in the past few months, and thank Shinichi for being such an incredible role model as an artist and teacher. Next semester will be even better.

I have ripened.

Happy new year.

May we never forget the Dance that is always here for us.