Santa Barbara Summer Solstice Parade 2014
The best thing dance has ever taught me is to “just go for it.” The more that I would over-think the dance steps and worry about how I looked, the more I got wrong and the stupider I looked. Dance takes mind, body, and soul connection. If one of these elements is off balanced I can tell by the way I perform. As soon as I let my fears go of looking dumb or messing up the steps, then I am able to master the choreography. I take this lesson as a metaphor for life. No matter what I am doing, I am only able to excel and enjoy myself if I “just go for it.” A little over a year ago, dance changed my life. As dramatic as it sounds it did, in more ways than one. Growing up I took many different types of dance classes, but it wasn’t until last year that I stumbled upon Bollywood dancing. Bollywood is a type of Indian dance that comes from Bollywood movies. The choreography is fun, energetic, and lively. As soon as I experienced my first Bollywood dance class I knew I was hooked. Shortly after I started taking Bollywood dance classes, my teacher asked me if I would join them in dancing in the Santa Barbara Summer Solstice Parade.
The first time I watched the Santa Barbara Summer Solstice parade, I was intrigued and enamored. Before I even saw the parade I remember asking my boss what the Summer Solstice parade was all about. She told me that it was the one day of the year that all the “freaks and crazies” come out of hiding. She went on to explain the parade to me with a slight air of disgust. After her explanation I was even more curious as to what the Summer Solstice Parade was all about. When the Summer Solstice Parade finally arrived I remember feeling like an entranced little kid. As weird as everything was I knew I had to be apart of it. So when the opportunity presented itself to be apart of it a year later, I immediately jumped at the chance.
Just like I didn’t know what to expect watching the parade, I didn’t know what to expect entering the parade. Eight weeks of exhausting dance practices lead up to one physically draining yet uplifting two hour dance performance in the parade. I had no clue what kind of commitment preparing for this event would take. For the eight weeks of training I felt like I did nothing but eat, sleep, and dance. All of the preparation was well worth it because dancing in the parade was one of the most psychically intense things I have ever done. Dancing nonstop for two hours, up state street, in the blistering heat, all while smiling was nothing short of tiring. Even though psychically I was miserable, I couldn’t have been happier. I felt like I had danced a marathon.
I am so excited to have the privilege to dance in the Summer Solstice parade again this year. I look forward to it more now that I know what to expect. I can hardly wait for weekly practices and the community that our team brings. Everyone on our team is from all different walks of life yet we come together as a family for the love of dance. Nothing is more uniting then working hard together to create a spectacular show. Since many of you are not able to be physically present with me at practice, I want to share my experience with you over the next few weeks. So stayed tuned to get an inside scoop at what it is like to train for the Summer Solstice parade!