Vision, Art, and Faith meet Community
Everywhere we go, we are always looking for a community. A group of people who make us feel safe, included and at home. I am so lucky to have gained and continue to gain a community right here in London. I came here only knowing one person, Heather — A friend of a dance friend, who offers great advice, laughs, and a break from the ever present British accent, lol. She is a fellow American and dancer who hails from Atlanta, GA and has shown me around, taken me to great restaurants, given me GREAT directions and schooled me on the best places to take dance classes.
Honestly, knowing her has truly established and directed my search for dance in London. Literally all the classes and studios she has suggested, I have taken. And luckily, I’ve been able to go to class almost every day; set on a mission to discover teachers, fellow dancers and overall the world of dance on this side of the pond. Actually I set a goal for myself: Every class I take, I MUST introduce myself to the teacher and at least one other dancer in the class AND I have to tell them my goal and back story. This, then, leads me to picking their brains about dance resources, websites, companies, and overall advice.
I’ve met some really awesome people. From a dancer in the London production of the Lion King to a well-known and respected Dancehall dancer and choreographer, my community has strengthened and grown. Each day I gain more understanding of the possibilities and potential in my artistry. As a new and eager American dancer, the crazy amount of support and motivation of this newfound community has been so comforting and invaluable. It can seem daunting to put yourself out there, but when your faith outweighs your fears, there’s nothing you can’t do. And to be frank (although I’m Briana): I ain’t come across the pond to be scurred, lol. I must embrace every challenge God sends my way. Because he will see my faith and efforts, and provide what is needed to get it done. If it’s in his will, there is always a way.
One moment I would like to highlight is a jam session with some local dancers. Meet Fumy, Cindy, and Andrea (from left to right)! They are amazing dancers, choreographers and teaching artists in London. We had a jam session at the Southbank Center, a prominent arts center in London. I taught them a step and Fumy lead an Afrobeats section. The exchange was sweaty and amazing. It was great to share a piece of myself through stepping and Fumy’s movement created all types of new movement pathways in my mind and body. It was also great to hear and use the technique and history of each other’s movement vocabulary to teach one another.
See my struggle in following the video. It was a great and much needed challenge! The second video is the step I taught them. Note: this was their FIRST time stepping, and they already have the makings to be London’s first step team!
Fumy's Afrobeat Section
London has offered me a lot more than I could have imagined. Great classes, surprisingly beautiful weather and a community of supportive, generous, and creative people. Even after this jam session, I have found myself in some great conversations, events, and familiar yet unfamiliar communities, but more about that in the next post! Suspenseeeeeeeee lol.
Thanks again for Reading,
And remember to: Always have Faith. Keep a Vision. And Make Art in Everything you do.