Dance & I: My Relationship with Dance

Updated: Apr 30, 2020

It was always something that has been within my sight for so long but it was never until I came to University that I truly embraced my love of dance.

'Praying' (which I danced in) performed at the Kent Dance Annual Show 2018.

Throughout my entire life, I've encountered a wide variety of culturally different dance styles at different times and places. In Thailand, where I was born, I vividly remember watching traditional Thai temple dancers perform in front of Buddha statues, the way their hands would move and change as they danced to the music, the same motion of hand movements I would later learn for one of my school graduations. In Malaysia, growing up in a multicultural country, it was only natural that I would come across more diversely different cultural dance styles. Only this time, I was more an observer than a dancer.

When I came to University, I was given the opportunity to pursue my interests with no boundaries to hold me back. I had learnt ballet as a child but I stopped after a while, I had always wanted to pick it up again, as well as learn different dance styles, so I made the decision to join the University's dance society. It was one of the best decisions I had made in my life, and it confirmed what I had always suspected about my relationship with dance. It was something I came to find myself doing almost everyday for the past four years, and has become a defining part of my self-identity.

There was this unexplainable feeling of joy whenever I danced and performed, I couldn’t explain it but there was this happiness and fulfillment that came with every move I made.

My past performances at University.

For our video projects, we were advised to create a film that would be personal to us – almost immediately I knew that I wanted to do it about dance. It had become such a predominant part of my self-identity now, so much that even my SE533 Project in Anthropological Science dissertation was related to dance, more specifically ballet's role in human evolution.

It was during an exercise in the first seminar where we had been asked to walk around the School of Anthropology and Conservation (SAC) building, observe our surroundings and then draw what stood out to us later that I had a moment of insight. In simple inanimate white statue, I had seen movement, and interpreted from it motion. Motion that I had often seen before in bodies whenever I danced. This exercise had helped reaffirmed my motivation and solidified the main topic of my project.

I knew that I wanted to do it about dance, but dance in itself has the potential for so many different topics: where would I focus on, what would I focus on?

(All performance and show pictures were sourced by the Kent Dance Facebook page).

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