I naturally want to express myself through movement. Whether its small with gestures or large with jumps and leaps, it’s my way of communicating with others. I’m expressing my emotions wordlessly hoping to convey emotion out of those watching me. There would be many times where I can’t explain something through words and voice, and so I turn to dance. To be able to dance allows me to release myself of all tension or stress from the outside world. I move beyond that of what the average human can move, making me feel invincible. The excitement, the adrenaline rush, the ease in which I move makes me love dance more. Facing some challenges and overcoming them makes all the hard work worthwhile. I try to push myself out of my comfort zone to grow as a dancer and to reach my full potential.
When I choreograph a dance, I try to be more open to exploring new things. I like to start by improvising, then expanding on the material that stuck with me the most. My experiences with African, Jazz, Modern and Ballet are evident within my work. However, I find myself creating materials that are more contemporary, following modern dance techniques. Although I am strongest as an African Dancer (I am on the African dance and the Diaspora track at UW-Milwaukee), I find it easier to create original work using contemporary movement style.
The quality of the movement in my choreography is usually effortless, fluid, and light. I use a lot of scapula initiation, with successive movement going through my arms or hip initiation to get my body traveling within space. I like to add the element of surprise by including some contrast to the quality of the dance in unexpected parts of the choreography. When a phrase is slow, effortless and fluid, I’ll add some abrupt, indirect and quick movement on impulse somewhere, where the audience won’t expect it. Since I’m a deaf dancer with sign language as my second language, I recently tried to incorporate some signs within the choreography as well. I would think of a story or of a few key words that would appear several times through out the dance. The signs would become movement, but they will still be recognizable to the audience. It’s a new thing for me to experience and I’m working to expand on that.
I hope to have my work grow in ways where I would make everything more deep and meaningful through research on my ancestors, my deaf culture, traditions, values, etc. I want to share my life experiences with the audience and make it something for them to have a connection to. My life has been a bumpy road and I am living the dream. I feel that my place in this world has to do with sharing what I know with those like me, such as other deaf dancers, and have them share it with the next generation and so on.