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COVID-19 … Still Excited About 2020
Coronavirus Outbreak? Self-quarantined? Social Distancing? I’m still hopeful for 2020. It feels like it was just yesterday that I was on the bandshell stage of Victoria Park with my crew, dancing in front of a jam packed audience. To those that waved from the crowd – thank you, we’ll be back on stage (and online, for the time being), and to those I shared the stage with, we’ll be back in the studio in no time.
Sitting at home on the first day of the “Extended March Break” I’m reflecting back on the night of New Years Eve. It seemed like everybody was excited to welcome a new decade with a clear #2020vision and not a single worry about what would be in store for humanity – COVID-19, Coronavirus, Wuhan virus, Chinese virus, whatever name it’s been given since the outbreak.
My last post, on School of Hip Hop, was about the New Year... just a couple days into the year 2020. I thought it’s time that I update this page with something new. Something fresh. Something free and something Expressive. It’s been a couple of weeks…Nope, I lied. It’s been more than two months since my last post on this blog. *facepalm I don’t like the excuses like “I’ve been busy” or “there’s not enough time,” so I’ll just admit that I got a bit lazy and that I could have managed my time much better. Not that I’ve been sitting around doing nothing, but there’s always room for improvement – in productivity and efficiency.
In my last post, I expressed my feelings of excitement about the year 2020. A beginning of a new chapter, welcoming a new decade with an open mind – all backed by a sh*t ton of optimism. I was SO ready to face the opportunities that I had lined up in the previous year as well as the challenges 2020 had in store for me. So let’s at least take a look at the first 3 months of the year leading up to where we are today.
The year 2020 has already blessed me with an incredible amount of love & support. I’ve felt it from the dance community, entrepreneurs that I have in my network, and of course from my loving wife and our family. On this year’s leap day February 29, I shared the stage with some of the amazing movers in the London community at TAP. This show titled ‘LEAP’ was directed and led by Melisa Boose of Breath in Movement – who is one of the most inspiring dancers I’ve had a pleasure of knowing and working with for about a decade. Mel has always found unique ways to draw me into the world of contemporary dance. Whether it’s through the annual Fringe production or through the students that we both have watched grow over the years, it’s always a breath of fresh air.
Though I only spent about a total of 3 hours in rehearsing for this experience, spending the majority of the day inside the theatre (when we had NO fear of the virus outbreak), conversing, creating and supporting one another and each one’s journey of expression was purely magical. Now that we’re going into the second week of isolation and social distancing, what we actually pulled off as a dance community is truly remarkable.
This experience that we all shared through LEAP also found its way to linger around and infect everyone with more positivity, empowerment and love – at Fem Jam 2.0. Fem Jam is a Stay Hungry & Humble initiative that was launched in the year 2019 to bring the community together to celebrate women all across the globe. This year we celebrated International Women’s Day at Neighbourhood Laundromat Cafe featuring music, art, dance and fashion. The night was packed with inspiring stories by our Powerhouse Panel of speakers, entertainment and some badass local steez featuring homegrown brands like Filthy Rebena, Peace & Love by Harmony and of course, Stay Hungry & Humble.
This jam was put together mainly by my lovely wife Mari, aka 519 Physio as a fundraiser for our 519 School of Hip Hop movement and I can’t thank her and the entire community for making it all possible. To continue the momentum, Mari and Avery, aka MINDMOVES have collaborated to invite the world in joining them on a 12 Day Challenge. Please check it out and be part of the positive movement behind #519MOVES.
We certainly need to be sharing more positivity and lift each other up, especially during these difficult times.
I’m wishing you all health, positive vibes and strength to power through this season of healing!
Photo courtsey of Joseph Yao