Put some back into it!
Dance enthusiast, Rangi Fernando, shares the wisdom she has learnt through dancing and the myriad of emotions she encountered during her journey.
I grew up watching my mom and sister master the moves of Kandyan dancing, and my dad creating all sorts of great music. And, since I come from this sort of a musical background, I trained for Kandyan dancing at the very young age of six. After that, I started to get into Latin American. During this period I found a passion for dancing by watching my sister move so well. Over the past 22 years, I’ve tried to experiment with different techniques using every little thing I’ve learnt. Lately, I’ve been exploring contemporary dancing culture.
As someone who has been dancing for a lifetime, I’ve come to realize that it is not about smiling on stage and looking pretty. It’s about the movements that make you experience a million things, feeling both your strongest and most vulnerable. When a dancer lets go and connects to emotion in movement, it enables you to have a deeper connection with the audience.
While dancing gives you all the feels, it also prepares you to face life. Mistakes don’t mean you should pause, stop or look back. Instead, it’s always about continuing dancing no matter what happens. So, I’ve learnt to hold my head high when I slip up, and this confidence has changed the way I look at myself.
I regularly go on training to conquer the magic in this form of art. A recent training I attended was the Gaga Intensive in New York. Gaga is a movement language originated from the belief in the healing, dynamic, ever-changing power of movement. It focuses on unblocking different parts of your body, connecting things to your imagination, and shedding light on how you can enjoy effort and pain in your movements.
It’s never been easy. I constantly have an internal battle believing that I’m not good enough. But, I have been working on changing my mindset around it, and with practice and consistent discipline, it has gotten better over time. For me, dance is more than a career or leisure activity — it’s a way of life.
I couldn’t have done this without my support system. This includes my family, my workplace and everyone else that I met during this journey. One event that never fails to get me emotional is the time when I fractured my foot before a performance. It kept me away from dancing for six months. It was a challenging period in my life! Nonetheless, my rocks never left me feeling down during that time; they gave me all the strength I needed.
If you’re waiting to take on something that would require the focus of both your mind and body then just start! Don’t let doubt cloud your mind—you’re good enough! It’s also important not to compare your progress to that of another person. After all, we all have unique body types. So shine your way, have fun and focus on forging life-long relationships.
This article was originally published as “Dancing To The Beat Of Her Passion” in the July 2019 issue of Cosmopolitan Sri Lanka. For more inspo, grab a copy of our latest magazine or subscribe online.
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