HOOOOLY, it’s been about a year since I’ve ranted on this thaang, so its about time I bring it back…
Hi, I’m Reid. And I’ve lived in the wonderful land of Vancouver, BC for just over a year now. Well TECHNICALLY, I live in Burnaby, but whatevs…
*gets ready for a deep, emotional post, and right after will return to being an idiot*
Moving out by myself has been nothing short of an eye opener. I have discovered new things about life, about myself, about myself as an artist, about other people, etc.
Moving has been the most terrifying, rewarding, revolutionary, life-changing thing that I have done to this day… and I know i’m nothing special saying those things, as probably everyone will have said the same thing who has also moved, but for myself, and how I was before, looking at who I have become, how I approach things, how I interact, how I handle myself, Vancouver (especially these past months) has changed me.
Now to start off, I can say honestly and without any self-hatred and deprecation, during my childhood and formative years from around 16 (?) until now, I was nothing even remotely close to a saint. I was a low-key (and at times a high-key) savage to people that, in reality, deserved more respect than I could ever give them. I was an insecure, shy individual who relied on my manufactured communication skills to hide the fact I was ”that” person. I was a person who was AFRAID TO BE HIMSELF, because I cared too much about the recognition of others to appreciate what I can actually do and how I actually thought.
When I look back at myself, I was not a good person, and I believe, through random outbursts of lack of motivation, of situations of jealousy, of just plain ego standing in my own way, I had the opportunity and time to sit down and critically analyze myself.
I thought I was special because I tried to be the best version of myself that EVERYONE could like, and didn’t like it when that wasn’t happening.
I didn’t understand that EVERYONE is special. Everyone has their own quirks and their own skills.
Everyone has gone through their own stories, and through their own personal gauntlets.
Everyone is no one but themselves.
So I gave up trying to make everyone like me, because what good is that if someone likes you for who you aren’t, and I started learning to try and make me like myself.
But who am I?
I am an individual. I am someone who can dance how I dance, speak how I speak, type how I type, laugh how I laugh. I am someone who can open up their emotions and connect the innermost feelings that I have repressed and connect it to what I am doing. I am someone who can now look at himself without a clouded vision. I am an artist. I am someone who will over plan an eight count of choreography so it’s more than just movement, it is intention, so one move can tell an entire story to me, despite it being just an arm throw. I am someone who, with great diligence, despite it being hard to do sometimes, push past personal boundaries and walls I have set up for myself in order for myself to grow. I am someone who believes in his own opinions and will stand by them, no matter what anyone else says or tries to convince me otherwise. I am someone who thinks differently than the person next to me. I am someone who acts differently than the person next to me.
I am someone who is different.
I am special, and no one can tell me otherwise.
I am myself, and always will be.
and this is without a doubt the most millennial generation style post of life.
Now, go follow me on Instagram and YouTube. thaaaaaaaanks mannnnnnn…
NA NA NA NA naaaaa….
For this past month of August, I have been on tour with Fresh Dance Intensive, ran and operated by an amazing team of not only amazing people, but amazing artists, and for me, has been one of the most amazing learning, growing & life experiences I’ve had up to date. It has pushed me to create things I have never thought to be able to make, utilize teaching methods I never thought I could handle, and most importantly, meet SO many amazingly talented, creative, intelligent people, and am SO happy I can say I am #FRESHfamily with you all! :’)
BUUUUUT, I don’t want this post to be about me, so now that thats out of the way, I can talk about the REAL stuff.
Wow. A loss of words for how amazing this is as a program. As a faculty member, I get to see students work and understand what it means to be an ARTIST, not just a dancer. I get to see students absorb and UNDERSTAND something that, three days ago, was COMPLETELY foreign to them. I get to see students take class and not only learn movement/combos from THE most unique movers in the game right now, but at the same time, learn lessons and gain knowledge that can only be acquired as the result of us faculty members sitting down and debating concepts that push the boundaries of what we knew as dancers/teachers… Some concepts I was thinking about were:
- Can WE ‘inspire’ inspiration, or can we only provide the tools?
- What SHOULD the roles of a dancer be when they walk into a room? And are they different then ours as teachers?
- Finding the difference between ‘full-out’ movement and finding the emotional connection to the physical movement (not performance, but the internal to external connection)
- The exact effects of supporting your fellow dancers and providing energy as an observer, and if you are ever JUST an observer in class
- Finding ways to further blur the lines between certain styles, and cross-over concepts specifically designed for one genre and implement it in another (#NeutralPelvis)
It really was amazing to sit back, look in my fresh journal and really see WHAT we were all teaching these kids, and in the past, when I was a student at Fresh, was being taught to me. Of course pushing them technically and physically was an importance, but there are very few opportunities in life where, as a teacher OR as a student, where you get such a blend of physical understanding and conceptual understanding.
Fresh is probably the only time I can think where this happens. I am SO happy to be a part of this, and so happy this exists for students.
And to finish this post off, I love everyone!
Red Deer, Calgary, Regina, Ottawa, East York, Georgetown, Toronto, Scarborough, and Medicine Hat, in every city, even if it was for two days, I had gotten SO close to all you faculty members, assistants, even students. To think that I might not see you guys for another year, was tear jerking… so many memories in such a short time….
I MISS YOU ALL! #FRESHfamily2015!!! SEE YOU ALL SOOOOON!!!!
Happy New Year!
Hope everyone has fun for the next month accidentally writing “2014” and then scratching it out and rewriting 2015 to fix it, only to make every sheet you write on look like a complete mess…..!
I, like I imagine everyone did, took some time to think about my resolution for the new year, and came up with one perfect for me.
Every day, I plan on doing SOMETHING for my career, for my body and health, and for my family and friends. No matter how small the act, every day, i’ll do something!
For those that didn’t come up with a resolution, mayyyyybe you want to steal mine….? Or not. Whatever. NBD.
New Years resolutions as a concept also made me start thinking about how people are going to change over the next little while. I guarantee theres going to be a lot more positivity in our communities for this next year. I’ve also heard people say “I’m going to be a new version of me!”, so I thought, “HEY, IMMA JUMP ON THAT BANDWAGON! A NEW POSITIVE REID! TOTAL NEW PERSON!”
..but that concept didn’t agree with me all the way.
As much as I am going to add a little bit more positivity into my life, I don’t like the idea of a TOTAL NEW PERSON. I like the idea of working on the qualities that aren’t necessarily your strongest, and staying you at the same time.
For me, it’s all about being real. Always has been, and always will be. #wordup
And what’s real for me, is making life fun! Not worrying about problems! Energy! Acting stupid! (That one more than others…)
Not wandering around thinking of deep quotes to live my life by. Not doing things because it’ll get me extra attention. Not doing things to make me stand above others or make it seem like I know more. Not acting fake.
And here, I’m only speaking for myself, what’s real to me and what’s not.
So that being said…
This year, I’m just going to continue doing things that I would do, and I hope other people do too!
Oh and Merry Christmas too. Cause that happened.
To say the least, It’s amazing how much a little bit of reflection can do to someone.
HHI was amazing. The environment was crazy, the dancers were crazy, the shopping was crazy! I COULD write a book about all of the things that HHI was, but that’s not why I want to write this post.
The road to HHI and Vegas was also amazing, and a bit more of a priority in context of this post, but still not the main point. I want to thank each and every person in NXG for being who they are, and making the experience what it was. If anyone was gone or not in the picture, it definitely would not have been the same experience. Thank you to Alexander Chung for the amazing training and amounts of care he puts towards our group. Also, just as big of a thank you to Josh and Toni, Jenny and Shaza, all the parents, and everyone else who put in time helping with the set, costumes, organization, and setting up the experience we will all always remember.
I can give praise to everyone endlessly for what they have done to help make HHI and the Vegas trip what it was, but, as selfish as might sound, I want to talk about how this has affected me.
Don’t take this as being ungrateful for everyone’s effort and care put in, as, like I said, I could write a book on how nice, caring and amazing everyone is, but what this trip did to ME, I never would’ve guessed.
Summary of the rest of the post; artistic and personal inspiration, but I hope you take the time to read the rest of this, as these, right now, are my most honest feelings.
I consider dancers artists rather than athletes, and always will. Dancers do have to have the qualities of an athlete to do what they do, but the base of everything we do is inspiration. That’s the driving force of all creation, and in all honesty, what I have felt from experiencing HHI and the Vegas trip has been my first ‘true’ piece of inspiration.
All the deep conversations and little interactions,
All the large groups and the individual people,
All the things I believed and all the things I now realize, they have given me boundless inspiration.
There are so many things I can, will, and have already planned out portraying and expressing through my art in the next who-knows-how-long, and I can’t wait to get started on all of these ideas.
Everyone is going to see a new side of me, or I can say now, a side of me that can be labeled as nothing but translucent.
I also knew coming back from Vegas and HHI that I’d grow as a dancer, and I more or less expected to grow as a person (as it always ends up that way after a big experience like this one), but what I didn’t expect was that I’d be coming home a completely different person.
I no longer want to be the person who makes blank promises.
I no longer want to be the person who judges before they analyze.
I no longer want to be the person who settles for slightly better than average.
I no longer want to be the person who jumps to conclusions so quickly without any reason.
And I, for sure, don’t want to be the person that lets something that is going to hinder me be a priority.
And as much as the statement “actions speak louder than words” can apply to this, I am treating these as much more than just words.
This is a pact between me, myself and I.
I want all my promises, to others and to myself, to be true in every way.
I want all my observations of situations and events to be open and unbiased, no matter what or who is involved.
I want my best to be the only thing that I produce and portray, no excuses.
I will never draw conclusions, as simple as that.
And I, for sure will place my priorities in things that, after analyzing, deserve it.
Like I said, the statement “actions speak louder than words” can apply so strongly to what I’m expressing right now, but I’m not going to let it.
To say the least, it’s amazing how much a little bit of reflection can do to someone, and I’m so happy I took the time to reflect on what I have experienced.
Keeping it short…
This weekend, my last recital of the dance season finished, and looking back at my year, I have nothing negative to say about it at all. A lot of changes happened this year compared to last year, that have really influenced me as a dancer, and a person.
To say the least, this year was amazing.
I can go on and on about everything I have learned, but the one thing that I have learned, is that….. I want to learn?
During this year, I have been so motivated to try new things, improve in different ways, and find new ways to do the things I do now.
I am going to continue to push myself this summer. Thats all I can really say. I will become a different person next year.
I want to thank Alexander Chung, Shelley Tookey, and Andrew Merrigan for the amazing training this year, and Sarah Torkoly, Marilyn Merrigan, all the students for choreography for solos, duets, etc. and my parents for helping me enrich my year with teaching, opportunities, and overall positive vibes that motivated me to do my best!
So…. THANK YOU! WOO!