tiistai 9. syyskuuta 2014

Never miss a chance to dance

Today I finally got time to write about my experiences and thoughts from Nordic Lights - journey. I really wanted to do this with time and peace. So here it is.

My summer had been quite exhausting before the trip. I worked a lot away from home and stayed in the city for couple of weeks. I didn't have any time to stay at my parents'; spend time with my family and relax on a countryside where I usually enjoy the most in the summers. When I finally got home a day before I was supposed to leave, I honestly felt I could've needed some extra days before starting a new hassle.
At the airport I didn't feel nervous so much, although it was my first trip without family or anyone I know. We met with the group and everybody were just waiting whats happening next. Jarmo, our group leader was taking care of everything already, just like he did through the whole trip.
It felt quite unreal when we were flying right above the Faroe Islands just before landing. I saw those amazing little islands and beautiful views. And beautiful it definitely was. There was this little bus getting us from the airport. Blue, slightly rusty, but still sympathetic. We drove through small villages, and there were stunning mountains everywhere. Then I learnt what breath-taking really means.
The first dance class with Raisa, our leading artist gave me a lot. I hadn't been dancing in two months so I really felt freedom while improvising. After dancing I wrote to myself how sweaty, confident and energetic I felt. My notes are just full of happiness from that day... :) Our local artist, Buí, gave us a nice workshop, where I felt also confident. Basic stuff I had done many many times, but I think there is always a possibility to learn and realize some new ways to do, more effortless and easier.
We spent a lot of time hiking on Faroes. One day we went to this mind-blowingly beautiful bay and had a great impro moments there. It truly was a once-in-a-lifetime experience dance in the sand in one of the most beautiful places I've ever seen: right next to the ocean, embrace of the grassy mountains... I will never forget that. The Faroe Islands were full of magic.

Copenhagen was somehow busy and hectic. And hot. But I learnt a lot many important things and something also about myself as a dancer. Our local artist was Diana, who had started dancing hip hop in her twenties. Now couple years later she has become a professional dancer. It gave me hope. Before she had told that to us, I felt so lousy dancer - hip hop was totally out of my comfort-zone, eventhough I think hip hop is cool. I hadn't done it nearly at all, so it was really difficult to let go, let the groove of the body lead. I realized if I ever want to become a professional dancer, contermporary dancer or not, I should have know how to let go and be confident also with the movement, which is not so familiar for me. I really took hip hop as a challenge to myself and I'm gonna keep those thoughts in my mind about confidence...

In Bergen we were lucky to have Magdalena teaching us. I hadn't danced jazz for one and a half year, eventhough I think it's one of my favourite dance styles. I had missed so badly those physically challenging and rough dancing lessons. During the first workshop I did feel little bit lousy again with a bad balance and clumsy pirouetts, but it got better. Magdalena told us to keep going keep going while we were doing jumps, sweating like crazy. I felt so damn awesome! "If anybody gave up, we're gonna start over again", she said smiling before we started doing some abdomino exercises. I just loved it. Blood, tears and sweat-attitude. All in all, I felt amazing during and after the workshop despite of my tears because of my knee happened, and I got my jazz enthusiasm grow in me even more!

Then we arrived to Finland. It was exciting to have everyone to my homecountry - I felt Finland differs the most from the other nordic countries because of language, for example. More closer we got to Joensuu, it got more weird. Joensuu had become kind of my hometown during the last year. It felt that the journey was almost in the end, eventhough we spent half of duration of our trip in there. We worked long days in Ilosaari (this is the word I will never again say without thinking Sóley, our media assistant saying it on her own funny way!), but it was worth it. We were lucky to have so sunny weathers every day. In the breaks we just enjoyed the summer, ate ice cream, cycled around, spent time in the group playing hi-ha-hu on the beach... We had a great time togehter!
Finally it was showtime. Spectacle was ready. I think, if we would've had some more time to clean little things, it would have been even better, but I'm not saying it was bad. No, definitely not. The spectacle was great and beautifully built - thanks to unbelievably talented leading artists, and everybody else, producers etc. We youngsters had no idea, how much they had spent time and energy to make it work. All the pieces from each group had aggregated together to make one big performance. I had this feeling that I'm part of something spectacular. I have perfomed a lot, but this was so different from the other performances I've ever been involved in.

photo from Karjalainen

Then everything was over. We spent one day-off in Vainoniemi, and it was the day I was supposed to go back home and leave everything behind me. It felt odd, just hop on the bike after giving hugs to everyone and then go. The next day I was back in my normal life, taking a bus to Joensuu, going to theatre and spend the whole day practising. But nothing was normal. Just yesterday I rode a bike with my group in these streets, visit those stores and sat on that bench. I could see us there, but we weren't. I felt wistful.
 I had met amazing young dancers on the journey. Many times I thought they were more talented than I'd supposed to be because of my education. But I succeed to let go of those thoughts: it's not necessary to compare oneself to the others, we all have our strenghts. Furthermore I found - not only great dancers, but also great people and personalities in them.
Now, when I look back, I have lots of nice memories: plenty of funny and great moments, awesome experiences, more knowledge about everything...  I will keep them all with me in my imaginary treasury. They might discolour a little bit over time - we all forget things, we're just humans, but they won't never totally fade away... <3

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