CSDC: Spirit Week for Showcase!

Happy Monday! We’ve gotten through the first day of the week, but we’re already through the 2nd day of Spirit Week for Culture Shock’s 2013 International Choreographer’s Showcase! Join us in celebrating all things dance in preparation for this exciting weekend!

For Sunday, we’ve all tweeted what dance means to us personally. Check out our Twitter to see some featured posts.
Today, we all shared a photo of us dancing something other than hip hop.

Don’t miss out on the rest of the week!
Tuesday – If you could tour anywhere, where would you go? Tweet your favorite place!
Wednesday – Post a photo on Instagram of you with your dance company!
Thursday – Make the Culture Shock logo out of something and post it on Facebook!
Friday – Post on Instagram a photo of you dancing at your favorite place in DC!
Saturday – Tweet what Culture Shock has done for you.

Want a preview of what our freestyle team is preparing for you at our pre-show? Check out the promo vid below:

This is an especially exciting event for me because it’ll be my first time performing with Culture Shock DC on stage. It hasn’t exactly hit me yet – everyone says how crazy it’s going to be, meeting all these fellow Culture Shock members from all over the world. All I’m worried about right now is making sure I have enough energy for the weekend and making sure everyone else will have a good time. So here I am, pausing for a bit and taking a slow breath in – realizing that, yes, showcase has finally come. And it’s going to be out of this world.

CSDC: Going to Showcase? Get Your Tickets Now!

If you haven’t heard already, Culture Shock DC is hosting this year’s International Choreographer’s Showcase on Saturday, October 19th! It will be epic. With that said, don’t miss out on pre-sales, $25 for the first 300 seats. After October 15, prices will go up. So click the link below and reserve your spot now! Don’t forget to exchange your Eventbrite ticket at Pre-show, October 18th, or all day before showcase October 19th.

Click here to buy Showcase tickets!

Can’t make it to the show? You can still support CSDC by donating on our Go Fund Me site. Thanks to those who have already supported this event. We’ve almost reached our goal – with less than a month left, we can still make it! We need your help to make this showcase the best it can be. Every contribution is greatly appreciated.

Click here to contribute to Culture Shock DC!

We better see you there!!!!

Photo Credit: Glenn Orion Photography
Photo Credit: Glenn Orion Photography

CSDC: International Choreographer’s Showcase Promo Vid

Happy first week of fall! In addition to your plans for apple-picking and visits to haunted mansions next month, make sure to catch our 2013 International Choreographer’s Showcase. You’ll get to see performances from Culture Shock Dance Troupes from all over the world, right here in D.C.!

When: Saturday, October 19th 2013

Where: Rachel M. Schlesinger Concert Hall and Arts Center

Tickets: $25 pre-sale, $35 at the door

Check out our promo video below! Hope to see you there :)

Song: “Take Back the Night” by Justin Timberlake | Choreographers: Chris Munar and Cina McKenna

HONG KONG EXILE, Saying Hi from Canada

It’s been a little over two months since I started my new job. While I’m enjoying it and learning much more than I expected in a short time, the last thing I want to do coming home is stare at the computer screen again to blog or even browse for leisure. But this week, I was reminded of why I should blog more.

Natalie Gan, a contemporary dancer based in Vancouver, reached out to me this week about my experience in Taiwan. Despite it being two years ago, she still contacted me to talk about the dance culture and events happening in Taipei. Knowing a fellow dancer from Canada with the same interests has encouraged me to commit more to my ongoing research that is currently put on hold. Her questions and desire to explore Taiwan brought me back to when I first stepped into True Fitness for a class with Wesley Lo and when I met my friend Lene who introduced me to the college dance life. One of my goals for this blog is to connect dancers from all over the world to learn from one another. Natalie’s reaching out showed me I am able to achieve this goal. Even though my trip was years ago, the people I met along the way will always keep me connected, and I can do the same for others.

Natalie is with an inspiring company called HONG KONG EXILE (HKX). A trio of multi-dimensional artists (the others named Milton and Remy), their mission is to create and share theatrical, experimental work inspired by cultural politics in an era of globalization. Natalie studied contemporary dance and international studies in hopes of connecting the two through her work. HKX performs together but they each have individual ongoing projects, including research, travel and executing productions. Whether you’re in Vancouver and want to see their latest work, or are interested in following their passion for the arts, you can learn more on their website at http://www.hongkongexile.com/.

Dancers from It's Battle Time Vol. 3 2011
Dancers from It’s Battle Time Vol. 3 2011
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Hip Hop Studios in Taipei

Seeing how helpful my post about dance studios in Beijing is to readers, I’m posting up a list of dance studios I found in Taipei, Taiwan back in 2011.  The warm humid air and scorching sun reminds me of the last three summers I spent in Asia, but I haven’t shared all the treasures I found on the eastern hemisphere yet. Like my other post about Beijing’s studios, this one is inspired by one of my readers who commented on a Taiwan post.

In Ximen, you’ll find IP Dance Skool, known for its locking instructors. When I interviewed dance instructors and students who practiced in the parks, many of them either took classes from or recommended IP Dance Skool.

From what I experienced, most of the notorious studios are located in the East District (Zhongxiao Xinsheng to Sun Yat-Sen stations). HRC Dance Academy, Lumi Dance School, and Merry Monarc are all located near Sun Yat-Sen, First Place near Zhongxiao Dunhua, and No Limit (no link) near Zhongxiao Xinsheng. However, you’ll find students casually practicing at MRT stops like Ximen and Taipei Main Station, and I’m sure they’d be happy to tell you other places closer to the Shida area. Below is a vogue class with Dashaun Wesley at No Limit:

True Fitness gym is near the Guting station and it offers a hip hop class every week as well as ballroom and other group fitness classes. I took the hip hop class my first week in Taipei (click here). A monthly membership is required, but when I told them this was for my research project, they offered me a free trial for this first class and even let two of my friends join me. Wesley, the instructor, has years of experience under his belt, from performing in celebrity concerts to teaching students of all ages. I recommend giving this a try for a beginner lesson.

For the studios I went to, the prices for each class ranged from 320-450NTD, which I think is the average pricing for most studios in the area. The more expensive studios have better-known instructors and space can sometimes be limited, so I think they are worth the extra bucks.

For most studios, you can walk in and sign up for one class at a time a few minutes before they begin. Most places also have packages where you can prepay for a number of classes and take the ones you’d like to try out for your convenience.

July and August are good times to go to Taipei because that’s when the Metro Street Dance Competition takes place. With youth and adult divisions, each group of teams will compete for the finals outside MRT Jiannan Rd. Station. This is a chance to see all the talent in Taipei mixed together and mingle with the dance community.

Featured: 3 Reasons to Travel While You’re Young

Read Jeff Goins’ post: 3 Reasons to Travel While You’re Young

I saw this on my friend’s Facebook page and I absolutely had to repost it. Not only does the author, Jeff Goins, touch on the positives of traveling, but many of his points apply to my life right now. With just 20 days until I become a “big girl,” I have been anything but functional figuring out my next steps. Goins’ words reassured me that I am in fact going in the right direction when my eyes landed on this paragraph:

So if you still have a reasonable amount of control over your circumstances, you should do what really matters. Because life won’t always be just about you.

So true. As the academic year is wrapping up, the most common phrase I hear from my senior friends is “I need to figure out what I want/am going to do.” Another common phrase I hear is “I want to go back to (insert foreign city or country) again.” So DO IT before it’s too late! This is the time when we are young, attractive and healthy individuals, with no back pains to rest out or diapers to change (but don’t get me wrong I adore babies). This is the time when we can just indulge all on our own and figure ourselves out.

While my mom still worries when I go to places by myself, I find it to be the most liberating and valuable lesson. In the times I stayed in Taiwan and Korea on my own, the possibilities were endless. I learned something new every single day in the way I wanted to see it, from the way people communicated to the insignificant differences between mainland China and Taipei. Even traveling with my friends to Southeast Asia opened my eyes up to new adventures. I have never heard from any of my friends who studied abroad to say they didn’t enjoy their time overseas. Squeeze in that last bit of traveling now and maybe you will figure out what you want/are going to do in that time.

I, however, am at a different stage right now. While I would happily book the next flight back to Singapore or take my first walk down Champs-Élysées in a heartbeat, I know this is the best time to take my first serious step towards starting my career. The reason I like Goins’ post so much is because it still applies to my current transition phase. Though I’ve been faced with difficult decisions on choosing what I want to do versus what I should do, Goins reminded me to pursue my real long-term goals which will ultimately make me happy. While I recognize the risk of not liking my decision and possibly taking a complete 180 in a few years, it doesn’t matter because right now I know it’s what I want to do and right now is the best time to make that choice. As Goins says,

Do this while you’re still young. Do not squander the time. You will never have it again.

Thank you Goins. You just made my day. And now I’m craving fresh crab from Malaysia.

Missed Goins’ post up top? Click here to read: 3 Reasons to Travel While You’re Young