Music Monday: A Dance in the Past

On Saturday at my Shab’am dance exercise class, the teacher mixed into her playlist some songs that took us way back. The songs have good memories for me and it was fun to dance to them. The first song that took me back was Starships:

The other song that took me back was Rick Martin’s She Bangs. I remember dancing to this with my friends and having such fun.

Our teacher has promised that she will keep these songs on her playlist for another week so we can look forward to dancing to them next Saturday. ūüôā

What songs have taken you back to the past this week?

© Colline Kook-Chun, 2018

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Music Monday: Familiar

As a classroom teacher, I am expected to do DPA (Daily Physical Activity) with my class on the days they do not have Physical Education. I have chosen to give my students 15 minutes to dance. I project a list of songs that they enjoy moving to onto the board, and they dance to the music. They love it and over time I have seen an improvement in the way they move their bodies.

One of the songs they enjoy dancing along to is Familiar:

I was curious to see the singers, so I decided to look up the official video:

The reason I know this song is because I have danced to it myself during my zumba classes:

I like the rhythm and the beat. Maybe that is why I keep hearing the song in my head. ūüôā

Have you danced to the song Familiar?

© Colline Kook-Chun, 2018

Music Monday: A Little Dancing

At the moment there are two songs on my playlist that I listen to – and watch – every day while I make dinner. I love the songs – they get my feet tapping and make me want to move to the music. I enjoy watching the videos because of the dance moves.

The first video I want to share with you is the song Nota de Amor  by Winsin and Carlos Vives:

I love watching the dance choreography – so graceful. I never get tired of watching the video (though I am sure my children are tired of hearing the song!)

Another song I enjoy watching and listening to is one sung by Ricky Martin featuring Pitbull. I found this song quite by chance while scrolling through Ricky Martin songs. I enjoy the beat and watching the dancers during the live performance.

I have been listening to these songs for about three weeks now – and they often pop into my head during the day. I am not to sure when I will get tired of them!

What is your current favourite song?

© Colline Kook-Chun, 2018

Let’s Zumba!

Women, and a few men, moved through the glass doors into the open space and gravitated to their spots. I hung back, choosing a space near the closed doorway. Self-consciously I pulled my t-shirt down and breathed an internal sigh of relief as I noticed that I was not the only overweight person in the room older than 30. I had steeled myself for months to join this class. Twenty years ago I would have been one of those women who walked through the door with confidence. But now? I knew I would not be able to keep up the pace.

Image result for zumba“Welcome to Zumba. If you are are here for the first time, don’t worry if you can’t keep up. Put your feet to the ground, move to the music, and have fun!”

Five minutes later I was looking at the clock. My breathing was laboured, my heart was racing, and it was difficult to move my feet at the speed of the instructor’s. Ten minutes. Fifteen minutes. I kept at it, determined that I would once again move like I did twenty years ago. Not only did I want to lose my excess weight, but I also wanted to regain my fitness.

The class ended with sweat dripping down my face. I had not been able to keep up – the moves were unknown to me, and many of them were fast. But I finished. And decided to go back for more.

It had been seventeen years since the last time I had done any type of cardio exercise. I chose to do Zumba because it is a dance-based exercise and I have always loved dance. It is not quite the same as what I used to do when I danced Latin and Ballroom but in joining a Zumba class I can move rhythmically to the music.

I danced my first Zumba class six months ago – and now no longer look at the clock after five minutes. My legs are stronger and I am therefore able to do most of the moves. I still get lost with the choreography, but not as often. I have not lost weight, but have lost centimetres. I join a class twice a week when I am able – and would go more often if there were more classes available at my local gym.

I love it! Zumba is definitely for me. During the winter months, the obstacle I have to overcome is getting there. It is not pleasant leaving the warmth of our home to walk through frigid temperatures to the gym. In the argument to myself, I always bring up my word of the year: Discipline.

Have you tried a Zumba class?

© Colline Kook-Chun, 2017

A Dance Dream

Before I woke up this morning, I was in a beautiful dream. Or more a memory. I was dancing the way I used to: gliding across the floor in time to the music. I was with the friends I used to spend time with at dance socials, lessons, and competitions. I glowed with the pleasure I felt while moving to music.

Dance is something that I miss in my life Рand I have for a long time. My husband and I mention, from time to time, that we should dance again (we met through dance). And yet it seems impossible at the moment. Our girls are older now and yet the responsibilities of work tire us both. I know the time will come when we shalll dance again Рand have the courage to find places to do so in this city we have moved to.

In the meantime I shall dream of dance and listen to the music that takes me back to the time when I moved energetically and gracefully on the dance floor.

Five-Minute-Friday-badgeDo you dance?

© Colline Kook-Chun, 2015

(This post was inspired by the Five Minute Friday prompt: Dance)

A Dance Memory

“Shall we dance? On a bright cloud of music shall we fly?”¬†

Listening to the strands of music that filled the ballroom, Lily’s fingers tapped to the rhythm of the song.

“Shall we dance? Shall we then say goodnight and mean goodbye?”

The dancers moved gracefully in front of her, skirts swirling as they passed by. She admired the graceful necks of the women and the broad shoulders of the men.

“”Or perchance, when the last little star has left the sky, shall we still be together with our arms around each other”

Hearing these lyrics, a teardrop fell slowly down her cheek. She remembered her love. So graceful, so strong. She had felt like a princess in his arms. And when they had danced! All the troubles of the world had seemed to disappear as they glided across the floor. During those moments, they were one with the music. Nothing else had mattered except their oneness and their affinity to what was playing.

“And shall you be my new romance? On the clear understanding that this kind of thing can happen? Shall we dance?”

And they had danced at every opportunity. At every ball. At every social. Even in the small dining room of their shared home. Closing her eyes, she pictured them laughing without inhibition as they had danced down the Champs Elysee on their honeymoon. The French had loved the romance of it – and so had she! Her love had known how to romance her – and how to bring laughter into her life.

She looked again at the dancers on the floor, their images reflecting in the mirrors hanging on the walls. The buzz of conversation revealed their happiness, their contentment. She should not be here, dressed in her widow’s clothing, mourning the death of her soul mate. She had thought she was ready. After all, it had been three years. But it had not been long enough. She was not yet ready to be a spectator to the evidence of what had made her so happy.

Turning her head, she indicated to her nurse that it was time to leave. Nodding her head, the young woman began wheeling the chair to the entrance.

What do you think happened to Lily and her loved one?

© Colline Kook-Chun, 2015

(This flash fiction was inspired by Laura’s Literary Lions prompt: Dance)

The Epically Awesome Award of Epic Awesomeness

Epically Awesome AwardLast week I was given an award I had not heard of before: The Epically¬†Awesome¬†Award of Epic Awesomeness. The title makes me smile – as does the blogger, Alex, who nominated me for this unusual award. Alex: a woman who posts on¬†interesting¬†thoughts and ideas, a woman who tells it like it is, a woman who often makes me chuckle or think seriously about what she has introduced to blogger conversation. Her blog, …Things I Love, does not focus on only one topic of interest, but instead on the spectrum of things in this world that she enjoys. I smile because the title of this award is a name I would definitely associate with her.

As with any award, there are some expectations that come with it:

  • Write ten things about yourself
  • Nominate 10 blogs that you find awesome (and, of course, let the bloggers know about this awesome award).

I prefer, however, to follow the example of Alex and bend the “rules” a little. Instead of ten personal things about myself, I will share ten things that I find to be¬†truly¬†awesome¬†in this world.¬†

  1. Ave Maria: This is a hymn that still brings goosebumps to my skin no matter how often I hear it. 
  2. The Argentine Tango: This tango is one of my favourite dances to watch. I love the quick movements, and the passion that the dancers ehibit.
  3. Strictly Ballroom: the best modern dance movie in my opinion. This satirical reflection of the competitive dance world reminds me so much of what I experienced when competing.
  4. The Cheetah: My favourite land animal is the cheetah. Not only do I find this cat beautiful, but I believe it to be graceful as it stalks and runs for its prey. 
  5. The Peacock: I marvel at the beauty of the peacock, my favourite bird. The colours of its feathers are stunning as they parade in the sunlight. 
  6. The Lord of the Rings: I have been a fan of Tolkien since I read “The Hobbit” when I was 11 years old. My favourite novel is certainly “The Lord of the Rings” trilogy. When the film came out, I was not disappointed. It is time, I think, I watch/read this story again. The story is exciting, and the cinematography in the film is just, well, awesome!¬†
  7. Braveheart: The theme of amazing cinematography is seen again, I believe, in this heart-rending film. 
  8. Gangnam Style: There are many versions of this song created by Psy. My favourite one has to be the one performed by the Ohio Marching Band. 
  9. Gumboot Dancing: I have always found this athletic dance interesting to watch Рfrom the time I was young when we used to go on a Sunday afternoon to watch the miners sing and dance. 
  10. Ladysmith Black Mambazo: This group of men who sing acapella never fail to impress me whenever I listen to them. 

There are so many more awesome things in this world – but I shall stop here ūüôā

Now to share some awesome blogs. These are 10 of the bloggers that I follow and read as often as I am able. A visit to them may introduce you to someone whose awesomeness you would enjoy.

  1.  John who blogs at from the Bartolini kitchens. 
  2. Francine who blogs at Francine in Retirement.
  3. Leanne who blogs at Leanne Cole Photography.
  4. Suzanne who blogs at A Window in the Woods.
  5. Frank who blogs at A Frank Angle.
  6. TBM who blogs at 50 Year Project.
  7. Vladimir who blogs at Wind against Current.
  8. Elizabeth who blogs at Mirth and Motivation.
  9. Laurie who blogs at Pride in Photos.
  10. Ruth who blogs at Ruth E Hendricks Photography.

A Dance Memory

.. I missed breakfast, bah.
A cup of tea with a biscuit. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

The tea had been made and poured into dainty cups. I carried the tea tray through to the living room, placing it on the table in front of the sofa we always sat on. My grandmother favoured the spot in the sunlight as it warmed her during the cool winter days. I enjoyed the spot as the sun shone on her face, highlighting her smiling face. I passed a cup to her, with the “p’tit biscuit”. After helping herself to a spoonful of sugar, she sat back comfortably and began stirring her tea. I settled in next to her, ready to spend hours in the company of someone I loved very much. I enjoyed this weekly visit to my grand-mere: I discussed my concerns with her and shared my joys. She told me of hers; and took me into the past and a life experience that no longer exists.

Rhythm, a sequence in time repeated, featured ...
An early moving picture demonstrates the waltz. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

It was a mild winter’s day when she took me to a balmy Saturday evening in Mauritius. Men and women had dressed up for the evening. The men, she told me, looked handsome in their suits – no jeans and t-shirts for this evening’s attire! The women were dressed to the nines as well: hair done up in the style of the day, and bodies enveloped in beautiful dresses. It was the weekly dance: the band was playing and couples were dancing on the floor. Everyone knew how to dance: the waltz, the foxtrot, the quickstep. The band played the rhumba and cha-cha as well. My grand-mere reminisces on the dance card she had, a card that was always full. “I was a good dancer and everyone wished to dance with me.” The smile on her face told of fond memories and pleasant experiences.

“So different from today,” I said to her. “Nowadays no-one knows how to dance – the men seem to avoid dancing and moving to music. Ah, I would have loved to have been there:¬†listening¬†to the sounds of the band, and moving to the¬†rhythm¬†of the music with someone who knew how to dance.”

We moved away from the past and back to the present. Our journey into the past would occur the next time we met. I remember leaving her that afternoon thinking about how beautiful she must have looked when she was 17 years old. And how gracefully she must have danced for her dance card to be full. Now I think back to the times when my grand-mere took be back to the past and smile. Smile because I am thinking of the past, a past which was made richer during my weekly visits with the matriarch of my family.

(This post was a response the the Weekly Writing Challenge posted by the Daily Post. This week we were challenged to try something different.  It was more difficult than I thought to write down a memory of a visit with my grandmother. I can only hope that with practice I will better be able to capture the moment with words.)

Return of a Favourite

Last night I settled in my couch in front of the¬†TV¬†for a dose of my favourite reality show. My viewing of reality shows has¬†diminished as I become fatigued with the¬†exaggerations¬†and the “true-life” drama that is played out in front of the camera.¬†¬†I often wonder how many of those incidents are exaggerated or¬†artificially¬†created.¬†¬†Survivor¬†I no longer watch: I used to enjoy watching the challenges but the constant sniping and back-stabbing irritated me.¬†Big Brother I watched once and never tuned to again.¬†American¬†Idol¬†I have followed but am not saddened if I miss an episode, or switch on late.¬†The last season of¬†Do You Think You Can Dance I did not watch in its¬†entirety: the egos seem to grow every year and there do seem to be better things to watch on TV.

Dancing with the Stars Show
Dancing with the Stars Show (Photo credit: Sheree K)

But Dancing with the Stars is a reality show that I never tire of. I enjoy the music, the dancing, and the glamour. The interactions of the judges never crosses the bounds: though the reaction of  Maksim Chmerkovskiy to judges comments is at times extremely disrespectful. On the whole the participants do show respect for one another and, even though it is a competition, pettiness never seems to be a part of the equation.

Last night I knew that we were in for a treat: and I was not disappointed. I enjoyed seeing my favourites dance again: Helio Castroneves, Apolo Anton Ohno, Gilles Marini and Shawn Johnston. I enjoyed watching the choreography created by the professional dancers, and the flamboyant costumes worn by the dancers. The music carried me away; and I watched the screen with a smile on my face.

The evening ended with me feeling happy: no tension caused by listening to people argue and snipe at one another; only a fervent wish that one of my favourites will not be eliminated.

Do you watch DWTS? Which reality show do you enjoy watching?

© Colline Kook-Chun, 2012

Dance

I love to dance.

A man and a woman performing a modern dance.
A man and a woman performing a modern dance. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Moving in time with the music. Letting go of your cares and worries. Feeling the music move over you and wash away your cares and worries. It is a time when movement is not restricted, is not bound by the chains that society has placed on our bodies. We can move our arms as far out as they can go, take leaps and bounds, be big or be small. The only limit to our movement is our imagination. And once our thoughts are no longer chained, our body is able to move freely.

I have danced to the rigid rules of competition. And I have danced freely to the rhythms of music when alone, with a group of people at a party, or with my children in the lounge. At all times, my soul has soared with the movement to music. I have always found dance a blessing as it not only energises my body, but also my spirit.

Do you enjoy the movement of dance?

© Colline Kook-Chun, 2012

(Join me in the Five Minute Friday Challenge hosted by¬†Lisa-Jo Baker.¬†Participants write for 5 minutes with no editing, no over thinking, and no backtracking. This week’s prompt is: Dance)