Looking back on the past year I literally cannot believe I’VE DONE IT! I made it through my whole year in China (even planning to go back for another year after Summer) and I am so filled up with good memories. It’s been up and down to say the least and I feel like a totally different person now, it’s mad. I wanted to reflect and make a list of highlights from my year, so here they are; in no particular order:
1. One thing I have always loved about being part of dance schools is the culmination of all the hard work; be it at the end of term dance show week or at exams. Growing up, performing in shows and completing dance exams always meant a HUGE amount to me personally, so being part of my first 2 shows as a teacher and entering my first set of students in their RAD Ballet exams was a special experience. Watching the kids buzz backstage or show off their progress in exam rehearsals made my heart burst.
2. An advantage of being over in China is that it’s much easier access to amazing travel destinations. Japan this year was my absolute favourite and probably one of my favourite destinations I’ve visited, but of course I also love to look back on my trips to Beijing, Huangshan and Hangzhou.
3. It’s not really one specific highlight, but I have such happy memories looking back at all the nights out I have had, especially dancing with Hana! I am sad to have said goodbye to her as my flatmate since she is flying back to Czech, but Hana I will see you in Prague for an Aperol Spritz and a dance!!
4. ADA! To top off a brilliant year, I spent a week in Orlando FL where we took our dance competition team to compete against other kids from all over in the American Dance Awards. Essentially, it was a full week of non-stop rehearsals, classes and performances. This was an AMAZING experience – seeing the incredible standard of such young talented dancers; being in the crazy atmosphere of a national dance competition; and actually getting the chance to perform a solo on the big stage. I never imagined I would have a week like that! I’m really grateful for it and I think the kids are incredibly lucky to have this experience, especially when they’re so young. Our team won A LOT of Golds, Ultimate Golds, Allstar certificates and Special Awards. We were really surprised also that we managed to get our 3 huge group numbers into the final ‘dance off’ competition.
5. OF COURSE, having my huns travel all the way over from England to see me was the best week EVER and I think going to Disney Shanghai was literally one of the best days of my life!
6. Last but not least, where would I be without my little bubbas???
So that’s it!
I am going to miss my CISCA family next year and I wish them all the best of luck in their next chapter of adventures. This photo is from September 2016 and July 2017. What a year!
Luckily I was home in time to catch the final performance of Pearl Anthology by the Central School of Dance, which was unbelievably nostalgic as it was the 30th anniversary show. This meant that every dance was a favourite they had staged before, a lot of which I was actually in when I was younger. It was amazing to see all the little ones I used to assist with and/or teach all grown up and beautiful, so I am SO glad I could get there in time.
I can’t wait for the rest of Summer!
Bring on next yearrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrr