Grad Trip, Part 1: Los Angeles, the Mecca of dance

My graduation trip actually began a year ago, when I first had the idea for it. I’d been dancing for 2.5 years at that point, and I knew that all the best dancers and teachers were in Los Angeles, so I said that one way or the other, I was gonna make it there.

A year later, I’m here.

Well, at least I was. I spent the past 2 weeks there. I’m not in San Diego, incidentally an extremely beautiful place, and I’m really looking forward to the rest of my trip.

But anyway, Los Angeles.

I stayed in Home For Dancers, which was a great decision. I made so many friends there, and learnt so much just from living with them and hearing them talking about dance, and the struggles they face as dancers. It’s opened my eyes to whole different world out there, one that’s a lot more raw and a lot less sheltered.

And then there’s the classes. What can you say when you get to take classes and interact with people you’ve only up till now idolised on YouTube? You get to see them in the flesh, interact with them, learn from them. It’s been absolutely amazing.

The highlights include taking classes and chilling with Ellen Kim, Willdabeast’s absolutely incredible amounts of passion and motivation, plus the way he encourages his students nonstop, Lyle Beniga and Devin Jamieson’s absolutely insane choreography which I took immediately after getting off a 20-hour flight, Lando Wilkins insane musicality, Brandon Dumlao’s flowy and fluid strength, Nika Kljun’s killer choreo as well as the backstreet boys MAJOR THROWBACK choreo and soo many more.

I’ve spent a lot of time dancing. I put a lot into dance, and sacrificed a lot for it. But this is the first time when I’ve felt like this. Like I understand dance on a deeper level now. I don’t know how to explain the feeling, other than to say that these 2 weeks have been amazing.

I danced in a video shot by a housemate (HOOOOOOO MY GOD Tai), I partied with my housemates at Carnival and got to see absolutely mindblowing performances from the likes of Jun Quemado and Laure Courtellemont, I spent a day in Santa Monica just walking up and down looking at stuff and not buying a damn thing, I felt my heart skip a beat as I entered Movement Lifestyle for the first time, and the sheer number of times I’ve felt my jaw drop from watching inspiring dancers is too many to count.

That’s a short summary of my first 2 weeks in LA. I took an Amtrak train to San Diego this afternoon (it’s like 8.15 p.m on Friday here, but in Singapore I know it’s 11.15 on Saturday), and started a conversation with a woman named Danica whose boyfriend is in the Marines and Special Forces, and we spent the whole 2 hour train ride just talking about life in general. She was an absolute delight to talk to, and she gave me so many tips and stuff on what to do and where to go.

Then I met my host family, Teresa and Gino, and fell in love with their house and their life. It’s such an amazing place they stay in, a quaint little neighbourhood that’s like 5 minutes from the beach. They’re amazing hosts too, really laidback and willing to help with anything I might need.

Now I’m writing this post, and getting excited for the days to come. Tomorrow is another adventure, just waiting to happen, and I can’t wait to see more, and do more.

Till tomorrow, then.

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