WordPress community, it’s been a grand time. I’ve collected great memories here and met wonderful people from all over the world through shared interests.
The sad: this is my last post on movinandgroovin.
The happy: I have a new website, Jia Says, where I’ll blog about more than just traveling and dancing. Over time, my interests evolved and I felt myself straying away from the original intentions of this blog. Jia Says is a place for me to start fresh.
It was a tough decision to transfer to Squarespace, which powers my new website. Ultimately, I know it’s the right choice. It will allow me to focus more on my content and encourage me to blog more.
Hope you’ll come visit soon! Looking forward to new adventures.
Every time I visit New York, I feel at home. My friends tell me how they wouldn’t be able to handle the hustle and bustle, but that’s exactly what draws me in. Each corner you turn, a new story is waiting to be discovered, whether it be a local art studio, a new café, or skateboarders filming on a Sunday afternoon.
This time, I wandered much of the city alone, which was exactly what I needed to let me mind slip away from reality. Initially an unplanned weekend in the city, I made some of the best memories letting my instincts guide me to the Frick Collection and sipping my first ever cappuccino.
But having good people to share certain moments with is just as necessary, let’s say for a thrilling interactive Shakespeare play or a lazy morning dim sum.
After a long night of catching up with a friend, I needed a pick-me-up the next morning. I rarely drink coffee, but Blue Bottle Coffee was right around the corner, famous for their cappuccinos. I can’t compare with anything else since this was my first cappuccino ever, but it was delightfully warm with a subtle nutty aftertaste.
On my way to the Frick Collection, I passed by Central Park and came across Parisian sculptor Tatiana Trouvé’s “Desire Lines.”
I highly recommend The Frick Collection. Originally Henry Clark Frick’s house, he intended to build it to display beautiful art he valued. The house is preserved with his furnishings just as if he were still here.
Before our anticipated play at the McKittrick Hotel, my friends and I went to The Meatball Shop in West Village.
The highlight of the weekend was, without a doubt, Sleep No More. An interactive theater production by Punchdrunk held in the mysterious McKittrick Hotel, this twist on Shakespeare’s classic tale Macbeth left me speechless with its detailed installments, intricate choreography, and eyebrow-raising storylines. It’s an experience that’s unexplainable in words. You have to be there to see how incredible it is.
You can never pass up a good soup dumpling.
While wandering our last few hours in Chinatown, we found a skateboarding shoot in progress.
Our last stop before heading back to DC, some sweet treats for sweet people.
Last weekend was the annual Red Hot Blues ‘N BBQ, and all-blues weekend held in DC with late night dances and a barbecue competition. I couldn’t make most of the dances over the weekend, but I was able to squeeze in time for opening night’s Thursday’s Back Room Blues and Dupont Circle on Sunday afternoon. It’s been a long time since I had so much fun dancing with new people, and going to these events reminded me of how much I need to add blues back into my dance life.
Blues is that one dance where I can let go. I find comfort in trusting my partner to guide us through the song together. Each dance is different – the connection, the personality, the playfulness or seriousness mixed with the music create unpredictable moments that I look forward to. I don’t have to think, I just live in the moment and dance the blues away.
Showcases always remind me of how much talent is out there, but these youth showcases are especially inspiring. I can’t imagine how proud the directors must be to see their kids bring their passion, skill and dedication to the stage. This is Future Shock DC’s closing performance from last Saturday, just a small portion of the power these kids showed us:
Of course, I have to feature Culture Shock DC. I cheered so hard during this entire performance. You can hear how wild the crowd went in these videos. I’m incredibly proud of everyone, from hard work they put into the long rehearsals to the unexpected impressive debut that night. Check us out!
Culture Shock DC | 5th Annual Youth Showcase
Culture Shock DC Freestyle Team | 5th Annual Youth Showcase
This is old…but it just hit me that I haven’t posted Culture Shock’s performances from our showcase in October. It’s more for my personal log, but go watch them if you haven’t already!
Culture Shock International Choreographer’s Showcase | October 2013 | Act I
In terms of costumes and concept, this was my favorite set. I had so much fun picking out my outfit and accessories, and everyone looked so darn good.
Culture Shock International Choreographer’s Showcase | October 2013 | Act II
Everyone remembers the showcase by this performance. I hadn’t performed on a stage in months before this show. When I stood on stage and felt the audience’s energy, I got an adrenaline rush and remembered why I love to dance.
Next time anyone asks me about my life, I guarantee 100% I’ll respond with “busy.” It’s a solution word to describe everything at all times and dismiss any problems in order to address them later, if ever. Yet it lingers heavily afterwards – and guilt trips other people to say “same here” to feel accomplished or valued. What does “busy” really mean though?
Throughout my whole life, and especially through college, I made an effort to stay “busy,” to consume as many opportunities as possible that came my way. But I was constantly seeking more. For what reason? Maybe to feel that I was doing something worthwhile, maybe to feel important. It gave me an adrenaline rush, to think I was racing against time to achieve more than I could manage. “Doing nothing” was a toxic phrase for me because I wouldn’t know what to do with myself. Looking back, in those times I was “busy” I was doing too much and forgetting to make myself a priority. But it wasn’t taking on too many things that got to me, it was getting wrapped up in taking those things and leaving them unfinished – because I was too “busy” all the time.
Like Tyler Ward says, it’s all in my head – the more busy I think I am, the more busy I believe to be, which then causes me to think I have no time for anything. This article challenges us to avoid the word “busy” and replace it with more specific, engaging words to describe our lives. Once we do that, things will seem more real, more connected, and possibly more manageable – leading to solutions for that personal project I keep pushing back or that friend who I haven’t seen in months. Talking about situations in detail makes us think through the process of solving those problems, increasing productivity. I would prefer a productive life over a busy life, thanks.
We all have busy lives. But one person’s busy is different from his best friend’s busy or his neighbor’s busy. And what we often don’t do is un-busy ourselves, to take a step back and think why we’re so busy, what is worth our time, and what isn’t. Then weed out the ineffective and let the essentials grow.
My first sentence is false, then. I’m going to try deleting “busy” from my conversations this week, and instead face those apparently busy issues by thinking through them elaborately. At the end of the week, I will be back here celebrating being queen of productivity with a new blog post.
So life happened, and I didn’t come back a week after. But, I have felt more productive by avoiding the word “busy” and have already gotten back on track with one of my personal projects. This year is off to a good start.
2013 was a year for many changes. While change is exhilarating, it’s also tiring. This year was filled with great memories, but I’m ready to move forward.
For 2014, I’m taking all the time I need to focus on myself. There are so many things I’ve put on my ever-growing to-do list, including unfinished blog posts, that I’ve put off because of one excuse or another. One day, it was because I was figuring out my career path. Another day, I was too tired. And before I knew it, I was making excuses left and right – weeks flew by, then months.
My career, aside from dance, is the most important thing for me, and not knowing what direction I was heading earlier this year made me nervous. I currently have that figured out and feel much better about it, but I’ve ignored the smaller things that made me the best that I could be, to really take care of myself.
This year, I have personal goals to help me figure out who I am as a dancer, thinker, friend and family member. While the new year gives us a chance to start fresh with a clean slate, I’ve already started tackling some of my projects. Why wait until a date to tell me when to start something? So here’s to 2014, a year for planning, preparing and focusing.