Sunday, May 17, 2009

proper use of complaining

There is a new dancer around here, she just moved in from some big cities and found herself in a small place with no dance troups. And she kept on complaining about it to all of us. I haven't heard a single positive word. So I sat to talk with her and she kept on complaining how she couldn't find work and how little work she found was very lousy and iffy, etc. She made her living for 15 years by dancing in Broadway shows and in many other "fancy" outfits. There is nobody around here with that kind of experience, training, and skill.

Well, we just finished a dance conference. That new dancer is a star, she is a super good dancer. The camp teachers noticed her too, she is good.

So no wonder she kept complaining, and so bitterly. She is excellent and she cannot find a place to fit. There are no dance troups and shows on Oahu where people with 15 years of professional dancing can fit.

So I told her - and other dance teachers who have their dance companies confirmed - to open her own dance company. And to teach classes, if she is interested. She is a rich resource that we need to utilize and learn from.

After some people commented on this blog, I thought a lot more about this question. Indeed, why is this dancer not teaching, when she has all that experience and skill? How come she was not invited to teach some of the Saturday morning classes or some other classes? She is so experienced and so good, anyone interested in dance should jump at the chance to study from someone so senior. I would. If she doesn't like to teach, but only to perform, that's a different story. I hope she would teach too.

The community on Oahu can only benefit from the resource. We are fortunate to have the classes we have that have been going on for a while, so that the community had a chance to get established and grow. Other islands may not even have anything African going. Oahu has 4 permanent dance classes, 3 permanent drum classes, two performing for-pay dance troups. Yeehaa! We are cruising good, the numbers are increasing. Bringing in more experienced people can help to have more knowledge and more diversity.

For some, African stuff is a way to shake their butt, to exercise, to attract male attention, to be in the limelight, to hang out with friends and have fun, ... many other reasons. The main reason is preserving the ancient knowledge and culture, the Native knowledge. That reason asks for setting aside all personalized ego preferences. We are constantly asked to keep on committing to something much larger than our own agendas.

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