July 20, 2014

Another dream.. about you.

I had a dream just the other day about Gino. And normally, it's either seeing him from a distance or just talking to him.

But last night's dream was different, I just realised. Last night, there was contact. For the first time ever since his death, I dreamt that I had some form of contact with him.

We were at a studio, and I think they were about to take their exam. It was definitely not Lika's studio though. It was all white in the waiting room, and very spacious. Lika had gone to fetch the 'examiner', as she normally would. And I was waiting at the studio.

Then he appeared, ala Sherlock's Reichenbach Fall. He  looked no different from how he did before; only maybe a tad bit more presentable. =p I remember jumping out of my seat, exclaiming "teacher!" and immediately going up to hug him. He hugged me back tightly (I can still feel the hug even now), promising to explain everything to me after. I just nodded, hugging him back equally tight, throat constricted and 'tears flowing down my ample bosom', as he used to put it. =')

He left to go inside the studio after, and I remember Lika and I eating after that and her confessing that she knew all along that Gino hadn't really been dead. ><

I think I may know why we had contact in this dream; and such a solid one at that. 

As part of the online course that I'm recently taking, one of the work was to 'spend 15 minutes writing a gratitude letter to a person in your life who you have never properly thanked.' Needless to say, I wrote to Gino and said everything I wish I could've said to him before he died.
Normally I'd just write to him occasionally and update him on what's been happening. I HAVE said that there were so many things I wished I could've said to him, but it was never specific.
That day though, I spilled everything out. Everything I wish I could've told him, everything I was thankful for. 

So I'd like to think that it was Gino's way of telling me that everything is okay and that there were no hard feelings and that I'm forgiven. I believe it even more now, after my previous post.

A few years ago, when I was in a particularly hard spot and situation, I asked for a sign that everything would be ok; and he had sent me first a long rainbow, and then a double rainbow later that evening. 

Thank you for this sign, Mr Gino. 

June 23, 2014

A Bit of Superstition

Err hello.

Yeah I'm aware I haven't written here in the longest time; and trust me, it's not that there's nothing interesting in the Performing Arts department in my life to blog about ( well, maybe it's a little true). But I will say here that updates won't be as often as it once was.

But don't worry, as I will never abandon this blog, just as I will never abandon performing arts in my life.

If you've read my few previous posts, you'll know that it all has one thing in common: Mr Gino Miranda, my late ballet teacher.

So I'm sorry to tell you that this post will not be very different.

I just came across a post in Tumblr about what happens when we die as told by mediums. I can say that I'm a borderline superstitious person, as I've never really had a brush with 'the other side', as some might call it. But I'm open minded towards it.

One of the answered questions were:

Can the dead hear me? 
 Yes, they can hear you all the time all your thoughts/feelings, even though you might not be able to hear them. Your loved ones maybe close to you as the air that surrounds you. They are not gone, they are just at another place. 

And though I may have my doubts in the supernatural, that answer just sent a sense of contentment over me. Like I could literally feel as if a calming wave suddenly brushed through me on the inside.

For some reason it just felt calming and really assuring knowing that Gino had heard everything I've said to him. Yet, as I'm writing this, I realised that I also feel a sense of disappointment that there was no way for him to give me an answer. None that I know of, that is, unless you don't count the time a rainbow appeared after I asked him for a sign that everything was gonna be alright.

January 30, 2014

Christina Aguilera - Hurt

 4th year on, and I still fall into heaving sobs when I hear this song.

The song itself hit home hard, and the video makes it even worse. The way Christina got the news in the MV was more or less the same way I received my news; only mine was by phone. (I will spare you the agony of re-living my story all over again... so if you want to know/read about my story, you can go here.)

Not having the chance to properly say goodbye to someone very dear to you is the worst thing ever. You tend to go through all the things you wish you had the chance to say, thinking that you could say it next time.

That, coupled with very dear memories, is literally sucking the life out of me whenever I hear this song. If I allow it, I could probably spend a good hour or so crying.

Yes, even now.

It's something that hasn't happened to me ever before this.

January 10, 2014

If You Could See Me Now...

It was February the fourteen, Valentine's Day 
The roses came, but they took you away
Tattooed on my arm is a charm to disarm all the harm
Gotta keep myself calm but the truth is you're gone
And I'll never get to show you these songs
Dad, you should see the tours that I'm on,
I see you standing there next to Mom
Both singing along, yeah arm in arm

And there are days when I'm losing my faith
Because the man wasn't good he was great
He'd say music was the home for your pain 
And explain, I was young, he would say
"Take that rage, put it on a page, Take the page to the stage, Blow the roof off the place"

I'm tryna make you proud
Do everything you did
hope you're up there with God 
Saying that's my kid

I still look for your face in the crowd
Oh if you could see me now (Oh if you could see me now)
Would you stand in disgrace or take a bow
Oh if you could see me now (Oh if you could see me now)

If you could see me now would you recognize me
Would you pat me on the back or would you criticize me 
Would you follow every line on my tear stained face
Put your hand on a heart that's was cold As the day you were taken away

I know it's been awhile but I could see you clear as day
Right now, I wish I could hear you say I drink too much and I smoke too much dutch
But if you can't see me now that shit's a must

You used to say I won't know a winner until it cost me
Like I won't know real love till I've loved then I've lost it 
So if you've lost a sister, someone's lost a mom 
And if you've lost a dad, then someone's lost a son
And they're all missing now, and they're all missing now
So if you get a second to look down at me now
Mum, Dad, I'm just missing you now

I still look for your face in the crowd
Oh if you could see me now (Oh if you could see me now)
If you could see me now
Would you stand in disgrace or take a bow?
Oh if you could see me now (Oh if you could see me now)

Oh... Oh...
Would you call me a saint or a sinner?
Would you love me a loser or winner?
Oh... Oh...
When I see my face in the mirrorWe look so alike that it makes me shiver

I still look for your face in the crowd
Oh if you could see me now (Oh if you could see me now)
Would you stand in disgrace or take a bow?
Oh if you could see me now (Oh if you could see me now)
I still look for your face in the crowd
Oh if you could see me now (Oh if you could see me now)
Would you stand in disgrace or take a bow?
Oh if you could see me now (Oh if you could see me now)
Oh... You could see, you could see me now (You could see, you could see me now)

I remember one of my Facebook friends shared this, and I took a listen. The moment I realised what the lyrics were, I cried.

And I can tell you that I cried rather loud tears.
.. alone, of course.

Today, it's been raining the whole day, and this song was on my playlist. I felt my heart tighten and had to force back tears.
It feels even more melancholy listening to it when it's raining.

It's the 4th year, Mr Gino. And I still miss you like crazy. T____T

December 06, 2013

Classical Ballet Workshop At FAB (Federal Academy of Ballet) by Kenichi Soki

FIRST, I gotta say this... To go to this workshop was trying for us. It started flooding about a day before our planned trip,and we were so worried we wouldn't be able to go. 

I saw on the flyer of this workshop that the teacher, Kenichi Soki, was very well known and won Teacher of The Year multiple times. I had been looking forward to it ever since I heard of it. 

And then the flood came. Because it rained heavily non-stop for 2 freaking days.

The night before the trip, Lika called to see if the bus trip was still on. They said it was.

I woke up the next morning, excited, and went to shower, before realising, rather last minute, that the blackout that lasted since the night before would cause my water heater to not work. 

And it was still raining. GREAT.

I swear, I have not had a colder shower in my LIFE.

Except perhaps when I was in Korea with the faulty shower heater. Anyways..

We arrived at the bus station and waited for our bus. It came not long after, but one of the Sani staff (the name of the bus company we used) was seen walking to and fro, on the phone with who knows who. So we managed to get on the bus, which was COLD. I don't get cold easily, but it was cold. We waited in the bus for half an hour before another Malay passenger came in and informed us that the trip 'tak jadi (was cancelled)', and that they would refund our tickets.

We were bummed. I SO thought we were able to go after all, and I was kinda hoping to meet aunty Norma. It was also then that we actually saw the extent of the damage caused by the flood the day before at the terminal:

Mud COVERED the floor of the waiting hall, as well as the parking lot. There were many cars that were submerged in the flood, and therefore couldn't move. All I could think of was how happy car repair workshops would be after the flood, with the amount of cars in which water seeped into the exhaust.

That's it, we thought. Bye bye course. I was disappointed, but I'd be lying if I said I didn't feel the slightest bit relief, because truth is, I was a wee bit worried about leaving my family amidst all the chaos. My dad was suffering from gout as it is, and couldn't move fast; and, as much as I love my mum, she'd be useless if anything were to happen to our house. Especially with Ivan literally following her everywhere she goes.

But then Lika was informed that one of Kevin's friend would be going to KL, and that we might be able to make it after all, though later.

Long story short, we didn't make it as the highway was still flooded. So we agreed for the next day instead.

We would miss the first class, but we were hoping to go real early so as to not miss much of the second; even better if we could make it in time.

And thankfully, we did. We arrived about almost 20 mins to half an hour earlier of the second class. We went in while the first class was still going on.

I sat down, and watched as award-winning teacher Kenichi Soki taught the Grade 5/Inter Found girls. And within minutes, he inspired me. He taught everyone to never say 'no' to your teacher; it's ok to say that you didn't get a combination, but never say no when a teacher asks if you can do it, because you have to try.

He was jokative with that class, and the next, but was stern with the Advanced girls, and rightfully so. Throughout, he spouted wisdom. His passion for teaching shone through throughout. I wished the girls back home could watch him teach, or even better, be taught. Even more than a passionate teacher, he was a brilliant dancer (his turns were FIERCE!). But then again, what could you expect from a world-renowned teacher and dancer?

Me with Kenichi Soki. What a great teacher and dancer.

Not long after the last class of the day started, thunder sounded, and it began raining heavily. I began to get worried that I would not be able to go back that night. More so funded by the fact that when I called Sani earlier, they said that trips to Kuantan from KL would be cancelled until Sunday due to the flood. But.. we were able to come to KL without trouble... so... why? Thankfully I wasn't going back by Sani, but Transnational.. and I had called them, and they said trips would be going on as usual.

But the sudden downpour of rain worried me. It was heavy, too. I wouldn't mind staying the night, and if possible, attending the next day's Neo Classical workshop, but there were 3 main factors preventing me from wishing the rain continued:
1) My family back home, of course,
2)My ever-growing money shortage, and
3) no change of clothes.

But all went well, and here I am, back home safely, writing this post. The flood has gone down too, even in the most affected areas. Thank goodness for that.

Thank you Kenichi sensei for a wonderful workshop! ^^

October 21, 2013

My 'Therapy' 3 Years Ago.

It's nice to know that my dance blog is finally getting revived after almost 5 months of abandonment.  photo 2.gif

It's also nice to know that I seem to find inspirations (though often a few months too late) in the randomest things. Take right now, for example.

I'm packing my stuff to go to KL in a few hours for this Dance Anatomy and Kinesiology Workshop, and I come across this form of 'therapy' that I've used 3 years ago.

What is it, you ask?

This BOOK.

And what is this 'therapy', I hear you ask?

3 years ago, when I was in my first semester in university, Gino (my ballet teacher) passed away. Because everything happened so suddenly, and back then, I was still in the process of getting a hang of the stuff around there, it came as a huge shock, and it was hard for me to accept. It still is, even now.

So instead of crying my eyes out every now and then when I went to dance practices in the Dance Club there, or started listening to the syllabus music, I 'started therapy' on myself the best way I knew how; expressing it through writing.  photo 1.gif

I would write these 'letters' to Gino, as if he could read it personally. I wrote them to him to tell him about how I've been doing, about how sorry I felt not being able to properly thank him for everything he's done for me.

Yes, I blurred the contents on purpose. ;p

Although I knew all too well that I would literally be writing to myself, it did help coping with the grief that much better.

Though I must say, I haven't written in it in 3 years.  But just because I haven't written in the longest time, doesn't mean I'm completely over his death.

I just might write another entry in that book tonight; who knows?

May 15, 2013

Be Grateful. Please.

I've whined and moaned too much on this blog, I know.

So this time, I'm making a plea.

It will be a short one, so just hear me out.

For all of you lucky ones... Those who teach.. those who have the chance to perform and/or compete... even those who go for dance classes, regardless what kind of dance... 

Please. Be thankful for it.

Be thankful that you're dancing.

If it's not your cup of tea, STOP. Dancing requires passion to improve. It's a VERY demanding industry, so don't even think of making it with only talent alone. Talent can only get you so far, but it takes passion and love for the art to get you through the extremely trying times that will come.

If you're just taking it as a hobby, then learn well.

NEVER take it for granted.

Because, know that there are people dying to dance, but whom for whatever the reason, can't.

You have no idea how heartbreaking it is to see someone take dance for granted when all we've ever wanted to do was to dance.

So please.

If you don't like it, stop.

If you do, work hard and appreciate all the blood, sweat and tears that your teacher has put in to train you to be the best that they're able to.

Because somewhere in the corner or a darkened place, is a girl wishing she could be in your place right now.

Wishing that she could be the one that is able to attend classes every week. Wishing that she was the one who has to rush to class in between tuitions and school activities. Wishing that it was her the teacher was scolding, even.

And I'm not ashamed to reveal... that I know of such a girl.

Because one of them is me.

Ever since I have been forced to stop dancing, I felt as if I've lost my purpose. I'm employed, but not in the dance field. I've hopped from job to job, but none of them gave me as much satisfaction or pleasure as dance did.

When I see adverts to ballet shows or dance showcases that I can't afford to go to, I feel depressed. Upset. I cry. Yes, cry. Not because I'm left out in a 'field trip' of some sort, or because I missed out on an opportunity to show off to the others when I get back. But because I can't learn more.

Too often have I seen and heard about kids or their parents not being thankful for what their child is privileged to have. 

I've seen uptight parents who do not approve the mere scolding of their child in class, because he or she is 'too young' to understand; when in fact, I have seen kids younger than them who have gone through the same thing and took it in their stride better; and have improved tremendously.

I have seen kids who are old enough to understand reason, take their classes for granted. 

It's just dance class, they say. It's only a hobbyAcademics are more important.

I acknowledge that.

But what you may not understand is that dance is probably one of THE most competitive art form. We strive for as much perfection as we can. We take our passions and our work very seriously. 

There is a time to work and a time to play. And make no mistake; we don't confuse the two at all.


Dance is a beautiful and even sacred thing. Never take dance for granted if you are privileged enough to learn it or be a part of it.


April 17, 2013


On the 9th of June, I will be going to KL to watch Men In Tutus. Lika and I were going on about it yesterday, which probably contributed to the dream.

I was at the old studio again (note how most dance dreams are at the old studio), and of course, Gino was teaching. First he was teaching some kids, and then, Lixian. Oddly though, she had a spiky 'do. O.o

Then I was supposed to go out with Seow Hui and Lika somewhere (to eat, probably), so I got ready my purse and all beforehand, leaving my ballet bag behind. But for some reason when it was time to go, I couldn't find my purse, the most important one. And the irritating thing was that every time I walked down the stairs, I would remember that I had forgotten to take something. ==

Then when we got back (I dunno how I went out with literally nothing with me), Gino was still teaching Lixian, and she was crying, but she was surprisingly optimistic. She said something like it was okay because after all, Gino wanted the best for her. O_o Wow, Lixian. =p

But the whole point is... up till today, I still miss Gino. VERY much so.

March 28, 2013

3 Years After..

Today, my friends and I went to a Karaoke nearby.
When I arrived, they were already there and had already sang a couple of songs.
Most of it began with Backstreet Boys and a couple of Malay songs. As I was singing along to one of the songs, I saw one friend chose Christina Aguilera's Hurt. I stiffened a little, but then decided that I'd be okay as long as I didn't sing.

Well you guessed it. I got passed the mic to sing with one of my friends. Knowing that they'd bug me if I didn't sing, I took the mic quietly and sang.
I tried not to pay too much attention to the lyrics, and even then, I felt my throat tighten a little.
Then came the bridge.

"You know it's so hard to say goodbye when it comes to this 
Would you tell me I was wrong? Would you help me understand? Are you looking down upon me? Are you proud of who I am? There's nothing I wouldn't do, To have just one more chance To look into your eyes and see you looking back"

"You know it's so hard to say goodbye when it comes to this... "

I choked.

I couldn't sing it.

I felt my tear ducts fill and hurriedly blinked it away before it could spill.

I pretended to be distracted with something, and just passed the mic over to another friend.

Most of the time, I realise, whenever I think of Gino, I get so upset because I miss how things were.

There have been so many things that have changed since Gino's passing, and I have to admit that I miss the old times. A LOT.

Back then, I guess you could say that I was more 'involved'. I had classes 2-3 times a week, and although it was professionally very little, I loved it. I also loved the company. The friends. That close bond we had.

Yes, HAD.

There have been so many who have gone their different ways that I feel I'm somewhat losing touch of the 'old memories'. Even those who are still here now have seemed to have sort of gotten over the grief a long time ago.

All I have is my blog to reminisce about the old memories; because I'm not boring anyone to death with my stories; anyone reading this can just close my page if they don't like what they're reading. And at this rate, I feel as if I'm the only one who still cries every time I hear songs that relate to him, and feel saddened even at the mere mention of him. I feel like I seem to be the only one who's heart breaks whenever I think back on those times.

Because everyone seemed to have moved on.

I dunno. Maybe it's just me and my 'attachment' issue. 

Then again, back at the old studio was where most of my happy memories of dancing came from. 

The old times.

I know change can be good in life. 
Everyone needs a change now and then. 

But this change has... disconnected me, if you will.

Priorities have changed. I daresay that some of the 'joy' has even... evaporated due to the change.

Now there is so much I've been missing out on, that I've become left behind. Different circumstances have also made me unable to keep up.

I left uni to come back and teach. And I know that in my current situation, I have to be patient, but...

I guess you could say I've lost touch. I am not needed to be as involved as I was. And back then, all I knew WAS being involved.

And all because I lack financially.


If I was financially able, I would have learnt the new syllabus. I would have taken the qualification needed to take a teaching course. I would be able to pay my way through the course what with travel expenses and all. I would be able to get my certificate and be a certified teacher.

But I can't.

And it hurts me so fucking much.

I'm not getting any younger. The odds are getting thinner at me getting anything close to a dance career. And I don't mean in just ballet.

But of course, if it's possible I want a proper teacher; one with credible and proper experience; not those who just learn from music videos. 


I've started rambling and going way out of the point now. 

I guess all I'm trying to say is... I miss how things were. I miss my participation, and I miss the old company. It's just not the same.

March 21, 2013

The HEARTBEAT of Dance.

Sometimes in your life, you get stricken by unbelievably good luck that you wonder how on earth you got so lucky.

Like today, I found out that international choreographer Joshuah Michael had followed me on twitter.
Yeah ok, ok... it might not mean much to some of you, but hey, an international choreographer actually came across my twitter and followed me. That's a pretty big thing for a dancer in a small town, if you asked me.

Also the time Cathy from Dance Moms actually replied my tweetsAnd when Sophia Lucia favourited one of my tweets.

Alright, alright... that's not my point. (Then again some part of it is...  photo 16.gif)

So anyway, one day, I received an email regarding one music composer's intent to 'work with me' regarding his new piece which was about to be turned into a full fledged concert. Thinking it was one of those spam emails, I disregarded it.

But about a week or so after, I got another email from the same person, voicing his wish to collaborate with me. I gave it some thought, and finally decided to accept.

It has been nothing short of pleasant after that. So this post will be of my interview with singer/songwriter George Woods, and his project/concert called 'Heartbeat', a full fledged Modern Ballet/Rock Concert, and which tells a love story.

I admit, I couldn't believe my luck. What are the odds of a songwriter coming across MY little blog, out of all the other dance blogs out there, and choosing MY blog (once again) to correspond to? 

But I was honoured.

One thing that I liked the most about George (and his correspondent Jon - yes, I'm talking about you. ;D ) was his sense of humour. Our conversations through email was very friendly, with little formality, which is what I'm comfortable with. Too much formality tends to build this.. wall, if you will, between me and the other person, which causes me to be more guarded.

So anyway... Heartbeat the Concert is made up of 12 dancers, who were picked by an open audition, where it was not necessary for the dancer to be affiliated with a studio. Which, personally, I think is a great opportunity to discover hidden talents, because I know that there are some great dancers out there who do not have the opportunity to be affiliated with a studio. (Think of The Mob from Step Up Revolution). However, a good few did come from OnStage Dance Company; choreographer Jennifer Kuhnberg's studio, who also happens to be choreographing for the concert.

Humourously, George had also admitted that the idea for the choreography of Heartbeat had come to him in a dream. In his own words, he had said:

"I had a dream about a woman dancing on stage in a black out theatre to the sound of the music of track 6 on the record, Chapter 3: The Moon. So I woke up at 5am and wrote it down, and that slowly grew into Heartbeat: A Modern Dance Rock Concert. "

When I asked George what he looked for in the dancers, he gave three criterias: Being able to connect with the song and portray the mood perfectly, their ability to catch up with the choreography that has been presented to them, and that they were able to really embody their character.

Ironically, George's first criteria also happens to be the main thing I look at when I watch someone dance: the way they portray the message. So needless to say, I was drawn in.

Another fact that I noticed when watching the videos was that the dancers were in different shapes and sizes. I don't mean to break the stereotype here, (heyy not-so-skinny dancer here myself *raises hand*) but I really do feel proud of the casting crew. Because I know that not all great dancers are the stereotyped 'skinny' size. ;)

Then when I asked what the main goal of this concert was; other than to get his music out to the public, his answers touched a place in my heart. Because as cliche as it sounds, his answer was the exact thing I hope to achieve whenever I perform:

"I really want to expand the concert goer experience beyond just a band on stage. Every song you hear has a story behind the words and the thing that has always inspired me about the work of my friends and other writers is knowing their story and seeing them work it out in song. So it's really driven me to "give legs to the lyrics" so to speak. I want to give the audience the stories behind the words. But moreover the thing I have really noticed about songs is that they have the ability to condense your personal experience in a way that makes it truly palatable and transferrable to the listener. Thats why a good song will comfort you when your feeling down or just be the perfect thing for the right moment. I really want to give that sense of togetherness to the audience with this show."

I remember just staring at that answer for a few seconds, transfixed. Almost in tears. And was secretly very disappointed that the auditions weren't held at Kuantan instead.  photo 26.gif  photo 40.gif Haha.

A bummer for dance fans in Malaysia though: it is not in Malaysia... YET. (*hint hint nudge nudge*  photo 7.gif  photo 7.gif ) Here's hoping either George or Jon will see this... and hopefully tour to Malaysia? Hee~ xD

If this write-up doesn't get you all excited, then you, sir, have a problem. (I kid, I kid.. ) But maybe just a little nudge to give you an idea of how awesome this all is, I have a few words that the dancers have wanted me to tell you all - my readers:

"To all of you reading this...it would mean so much if you came out to see HEARTBEAT: A Modern Dance Rock Concert this Thursday, March 21st at 8:00pm. What an incredible collaboration of music and dance. Just came home from an unbelievable rehearsal with the band. WOW. Words can't describe. Here is the link to buy tickets. Worth every penny to come out and dance with us on this spring solstice. Celebrate love. Celebrate life." ~Jessica Muise, Ensemble Dancer

"People... This show is going to be incredible! The dancers are absolutely amazing! If you've got Thursday night free come to The Oberon and rock with us!" ~ Heather Smist, Vocalist

"George Woods and Jennifer Kuhnberg thanks to you I can't fall asleep! Just music and moves are all that are keeping me awake!!!" ~ Diana Pilarski, The Moon

"Yesterday morning I woke up for some reason at 6am and was wide awake, and couldnt fall back asleep due to heartbeat choreography" ~ Brenna Banister, Ensemble Dancer

If that STILL doesn't get you hyped up, I have below a video for you. My favourite parts are not the dance (though of course I LOVE them); but the interaction. I believe that the way you speak to people DO affect them, and I love how everyone is so friendly towards each other; like a family. Just see for yourself:

If y'all are interested, you can check George out at his YouTube channel (where there are more videos!) or his website.

As a last word, I have this to say to the dancers: You lot are probably the luckiest people in my eyes right now. Lol. I would LOVE to be doing what you're doing and be in your shoes. ;p