I hope you are having a refreshing summer! Try to stay hydrated and cool. It’s hot out there. I’ve been keeping pretty busy, as to why there has been so much time between post! I know there is much to catch you up on and I will try to update you as much as possible! Heads up, this will be a long post.
First, CHINA! China was, how can I say this… an experience! The people had to be the most shocking for me. They were so intrigued with us as black people. They wanted to take pictures ALL THE TIME. But, not in a good way. Almost like we were a part of a circus. One day, we did find this little market and the people there were different. They called us African Queens and Kings. They thought we were so beautiful. One even reached and grabbed my faux locs (yes, I had Faux Locs this trip that I did myself might I add lol). After having a Solange moment, I realized they were just intrigued with something they had never seen before. Oh, they smoke cigarettes a lot in China! It’s so hard to breath and the air quality is terrible. One day, my roomie and I opened the blinds to our room and couldn’t see out! Almost all the hotels we stayed in were amazing (besides the time I found spiders in my bed). But beautiful! Very energy efficient! Below you will see a video of one of the hotels with a few other pics. I learned a few words too. These words were used on a daily and I kept them very close. Thanks to a church member, she sent me the need to know’s. It was a huge help (Thank you Mrs. Brenda)! We didn’t visit the touristy cities in China. We went to a lot of places that had maybe one English speaking person if that (these cities will be listed below as well). There wasn’t much time to explore as we performed every other day, And if we weren’t performing, we were traveling by train or plane. We traveled so much that I think I’ll be okay with not traveling for awhile lol.
Here are a few words (just a few words. It was best to speak with your hands or just pull up Google translate):
Hello- Nî Hao
Yes- Shí (she)
No- méiyôu (pronounced Mayo, yes like mayonnaise lol)
Thank you- xièxiè (shay-shay)
The Cities visited:Note: we traveled for two days straight to get to China! Memphis-ATL-DC-LA-Shanghai Feb. 27- Mar. 1st. There was also a 13 hour time difference.
Shanghai, Hainan, Wuhan, Changchun, Dalian, Nanning, Liuzhou, Pingxiang, NanChang, & Beihai
We returned to Liuzhou for our last show. Below was our route back to the states after a 20 day tour: Liuzhou to Beijing, Beijing to Dallas, Dallas to Memphis
Once we returned, we were excited to sleep because we knew we had the time…. so we thought! The very next day, I got a call that we would leave in 3 days for NY for Two whole weeks! Now, I was extremely excited but jet lagged at the same time. When I tell you I was up at 4am everyday so confused on where I was. One night, I was messaging my coworker and was telling her to come to my room thinking she could appear through my closet. Yeah, I was so confused. But when the day came to leave, I was packed and ready to go!
For those who don’t know, Collage had the amazing opportunity to perform Dougla, choreographed by Geoffrey Holder with Dance Theater of Harlem for their City Center season! What a dream! Those two weeks have to be a huge highlight of my career thus far. To be around so many beautiful brown ballerinas and ballerinos…. there are NO words. We were received very well, and I even had some family and friends in the audience. What an experience. Did I mention that I got to meet Carman De Lavalade?!?!?!? Oh yeah, the picture will be below for sure. Her presence, her knowledge, her wisdom, you just don’t know until you meet her. What a dream!
After the two weeks, we returned to Memphis to perform our last show of the season. With both the trip to China and New York, we bonded as a company and I felt closer to everyone more than I did before. We are truly a family and I’m so happy to be apart of this company!
Once the season ended, I headed straight home to Kansas City. I was able to spend time with family and close friends. I worked a couple of jobs including Ailey Camp Missouri. Six weeks of teaching middle school aged kids. They were long, exhausting days but so worth it! the kids worked so hard to apply themselves. These kids never danced before (most of them) and they had to perform at the Kauffman Center for Performing Arts! What a challenge but these kids were ready. They did such an amazing job! I miss the kids and their dedication. Hopefully I get this opportunity again next summer!
I’m back in Memphis, and season 2 is off to a great start! For my next post, I’ll release our tour schedule for the 2018-2019 season! Hope to see you while on tour. As always, any questions, comments, or just to say hello, shoot me an email! I appreciate you following my life journey. Until next time.