Saturday, 20 August 2011

Dear London

I know many of you don’t know me that well, or haven’t had a chance to spend any real time with me and maybe that’s why I felt it necessary to write this letter.  If you do know me, you know that my reasons for moving to this country were very personal.  I knew that in order to grow as a person and as a dancer, I needed to force myself entirely outside of my comfort zone and that this challenge would put me face to face with many of my personal fears and insecurities.  Even in knowing this though, I don’t know if I was anywhere near ready for the ugly things that came out, or the situations I found myself in during this process. 

As I mentioned, moving here has brought up many personal fears and insecurities, which I never even realized existed within me.  I have never felt such personal internal struggle in my life, with regards to my own person and dance and it has been a challenge that at times I wish I had avoided.  I do believe though, that growth is impossible without discomfort and I know that I will leave this time in my life much stronger and more balanced , than when I entered it.  Unfortunately though, in this process of learning and growing, I fell in love.  This is a very personal note for me to post in such a public space but this is the first time in my life I feel a bond with someone that is strong enough to make this seem reasonable or necessary, in order to let them know how I feel.  I owe this note to the person I love because I was dishonest with him and in turn with many others, as I was scared and felt vulnerable.  I’m hoping that somehow in letting my fears out of hiding and sharing them with others, it will help heal him and I both eventually.

I have spent the majority of my time in this country with a man by the name of Carlos Neto, some of you may know us, some may not.  Either way, I will tell you that this man is extremely special to me.  He has held me up in times when I thought I could not go further and has believed in me when it felt like no one else did.  The bond I share with him is one like no other I have ever experienced with anyone and at first this scared the life out of me!  I’ve thought I was in love a few times before in my life and have had my fair share of relationships, but this has always been different for me.  From long before I moved to London, I knew this man would be in my life and I never doubted it once.  I messaged him almost 2 years before I actually arrived here and continued to watch his career online from then on.  Knowing that he existed here in the UK, gave me strength and confidence that I would have a kindred spirit to dance with when I arrived here and I definitely was not disappointed in that respect!  The day I met him in person, I knew he would be in my life for a long time and that has not changed since.

Over the course of our relationship though, we have had our ups and downs, as most people do.  Through these ups and downs sadly, the insecurities and fear began to compound for me and I became scared of losing him to people and a city that I had begun to feel disillusioned with.  Unfortunately, these fears and insecurities got the better of me in the form of dishonesty.  My whole life, I’ve made a concentrated effort to be honest and up front about my feelings and my positions on things and somehow in my time here, I ended up letting my fears control me rather than my heart and in the end I have lost something that I do not want to live without….Carlos. 
I know there is a very real possibility that this is a mistake which can never be resolved but I wanted to take this opportunity to publicly thank him for being in my life over my time here and also to leave no room for speculation or discussion from people who do not know my true self or my feelings on things to guess at my situation when I am gone.  To anyone who cares to know, I love this man with all my heart.  Him and I have both made mistakes in life and in loving each other, as any other couple has and out of fear of losing him I made the ultimate mistake in lying to him.  I did not do this to be deceitful or vindictive but because my fear of being imperfect for him outweighed my fear of lying.  There really is nothing that excuses looking the person you care about in the eye and being dishonest but please know this is something I will always regret doing.  How we can become so wrapped up in our own fears that we don’t even realize the mistakes we are making, is quite scary and disconcerting to say the least!  I guess, while I have a captive audience though, I just want to clear the air for anyone who has any interest in the scenario in letting you know that of all the things that have been up and down and in and out since I came here, the only constant for me has been him and the belief in “us”.  It has given me comfort when Ive felt alone and has motivated me when I have felt lost.  If I were to write a list of all of my most memorable and meaningful experiences in this country 98% of them would involve him and I will never ever forget the things he has done for me, or the inspiration he has brought me.

When we do not know someone or their situation, I know it can be easy to judge, this is our human nature.  Before I leave though, I wanted everyone here to know that I am only human and in this, I am imperfect just as you are.  My experiences here have taught me many  things and for that I am grateful.  To leave this country without the man I love saddens me more than anything I have experienced in life thus far and this will stay with me for quite some time, maybe forever.  I have definitely learnt the importance of honesty despite any fear though and I hope reading this helps you to avoid the same mistakes I have made.  If you love someone, only treat them with love and respect and never let your fears mask your true self.  You are beautiful just as you are and when love is real, nothing is too much for you to handle together.  Thank you for listening and sharing in my experience.

Love always

Friday, 8 July 2011

Decisions, decisions!!

Sometimes I feel like I am a yoyo at the end of a string that is much too short and has me rolling back down before I ever fully get up!  This is one of those times.  Over the past couple of weeks, I have truly been enjoying London and all it has to offer, as my best friend has come to visit for the summer, which is great!  We've been bike riding in the park, took lots of good classes, shopped and taught classes.  It has been so nice to have a "partner in crime" so to speak for a couple of weeks, to experience my life here with me.  It has also reminded me though, of the things I have always wanted in my life and that they are not necessarily coming closer any sooner, while I sit here and wait on them.  I've been watching friends here in Europe going from one summer dance camp to the next, with the money they've worked hard for throughout the year and I can't help but feel slightly envious and frustrated, as I cannot afford to do the same since being here.  Then it kind of dawned on me this morning.....why, am I stressed about not being able to go to dance camps that are quite expensive due to their amazing line up of international (north american) teachers, when if I went home and saved money I could just go to LA to take the same peoples classes on a month pass that costs a fraction of prices here??  For some reason this really got me thinking this morning and feeling motivated to just do whatever it is that will make me the most money for the next little while and then do just that for a bit!  For some reason, too often I make life decisions based on other people around me and what works for them, rather than just choosing what is the best option for me and running with it in hopes that those people will either support it or better yet, follow suit! 

I need to start making life and career decisions based on what is in my best interest from now on, rather than always worrying about what works for everyone else and trying to accomodate everyone.  The hard part is trusting that in doing this, I will be surrounded by the right people and situations for me and I dont need to try so hard to create them.  I truly love what I do and from now on will let only that be my focus.  Too many times, things get wrapped up with personal issues that shouldn't be and I end up feeling hurt and confused as I was trying to make others happy before myself.  This is a lesson I thought I had learnt ages ago but somehow it is still relevant apparently!?  hahah.  Oh life!

Anyways, I know this entry is somewhat random but I just needed to write and this seeemed like the best outlet for today as it was quick and easy.  If this makes no sense to you, stay posted for future entries:)

Thanks for sharing in my journey with me!

Sunday, 5 June 2011

What's next??

So its actually now been a couple months since my last post!?  Wow, time certainly does seem to fly these days, its crazy!  Things have been going fairly well since I wrote last, I have been teaching quite a bit and been working at creating even further opportunity for myself to travel and teach. 

This past week I ended up being involved in a music video that was being shot just outside of Manchester for a new band called IvyRise.  I was unsure whether I should do the project or not, as financially it was not the best option for me but my curiousity won out and I ended up there, dressed in a period costume, looking like a quirky Marie Antoinette of sorts:P  It turned out to be a really good experience and much was learnt about how to choreograph for these types of things and everything ran very smoothly, so Im very happy I pushed myself to do it regardless of the seeming adversity.  This coming weekend, I have been invited to teach in Portugal alongside some amazing and talented choreographers from both Portugal and the UK and I am beyond excited to be back in this lovely country, doing what I love and soaking up some sun (hopefully!) in the process.  Going to Portugal last year was definitely one of the best experiences Ive had since moving here and if this trip is even half as lovely as the last, I will be extremely happy!  Somehow dancing in other countries (especially ones that arent necessarily as "developed" with regards to their dance scene) is extremely motivating and inspiring for me and always reminds me why I do what I do.  People tend to be much more appreciative of your time and talents in these places and are not afraid to outwardly show their appreciation, which leaves you with such a positive feeling:) 

I have also been spending a lot of time recently contemplating what my next step from here should be and have still not come up with any solid conclusions.  There are just so many things one can do in life and so many things to be accomplished that it seems utterly daunting and overwhelming to decide on any one particular thing at times!  I wish there was a little fairy godmother who could sit on my shoulder and make these important decisions for me, with complete certainty and knowledge of the best outcome for me.  Of course, this will never be the case and I will have to eventually make these decisions on my own but at the moment it just feels like there are so many "possible" paths, with no particular one seeming 100% right, just yet.  I am hoping that over the next little while the right one for me will unfold and I can walk down it with confidence and a clear vision of what it will hold for me.

This all sounds very deep and serious Im sure haha but having said all of this, I am also making a very concentrated effort recently to just enjoy each day as it comes and stay positive, motivated and healthy.  I am constantly working at battling my underlying fears around various things including, love, money, success and so on but also know how important it is not to let them eat me up and spit me out.  Replacing my negative thoughts and becoming aware of my negative thought patterns in general, seems to be helping with this but it is definitely an evolving process:) 

I am going to do my best to post sooner this time compared to last and thank you all for taking an interest in my life and thoughts.


Sunday, 27 March 2011

Just thoughts, that's all:)

So, its been much too long since I decided to write here last and I've been feeling a bit at a standstill this past week, so now is a good time I think to share:)

Just over a week ago now, I came back to London from a lovely trip home to Vancouver for my 30th birthday!  I had a wonderful time seeing and spending time with my friends and family, albeit short but nonetheless wonderful hehe.  The trip really reminded me of the ease of my life at home and how much I miss that here in London.  Here everything seems to have to go through "a process" to get done and the amount of hustling you do for work or life in general is not necessarily reciprocated with regards to how much success or work you see.  It feels like life here is somewhat "like pulling teeth" at times and Im not sure if this is just how it is, or if it is something I am putting out regarding my time here and I am seeing it being created before me.  The "in tune" part of me knows it is the latter but arrrrgh, just so frustrated with what feels like constant awareness and trying to push through all these old thoughts and feelings to finally make a little progress and then arrive on the other side to new blocks to overcome!?  The little kid in me just feels like giving up being over here and run home to all that is safe and comfortable to me but the year I have already put into this journey, to only finally now be seeing results, tells me that is not the answer.  Ultimately there is nothing wrong with things here and I now feel much more settled and have some amazing friends that I am truly thankful for.  Work is going decent, although there could always be more and I am able to dance heaps these days which is nice.  Something is missing though, something just does not add up with me and the UK and I cant quite place it.  It has been helping that the weather has been lovely lately and this seems to lift some of the city's dullness and gloom and I have definitely found myself strolling in the sun appreciating many things that are "London" to me.  To be honest Im not sure what has caused my upheaval this time overall.  I know that my time here will come to an end with this year and I guess I also feel like now is the time to achieve the things I originally envisioned for my life here, like travelling and teaching and seeing the rest of Europe and just basically "exploring" a bit more as I feel like life here is a bit too isolated and not necessarily a true representation of all that European life has to offer.

I guess the simplest answer to this is to just simply travel and get on with it, which I am pushing to the forefront in my head and will start looking into short trips over the next couple of months, so I can tick some of my desired locations off my list, as a start at least:)

Aside from that though, I have also been giving some thought as to what I want to do when I do have to return home after all of this and the notion has me both excited and uncomfortable with what it holds.  I would like to go spend some time in LA I think and train and just put in face, as I have not done that since I started dancing professionally and I think it could be beneficial to me on a few levels, so I need to look into that.  There has also been a lot of nagging thoughts regarding what I want to do with my dancing and with my life overall and what the most natural progression for things would be for me at this point?  Im still not sure entirely but somehow I feel like all of my travelling and experiences up to now will have some role in this, we will see how that unfolds though I suppose.

On top of all this work/dance stuff, I have also been spending countless hours in deep thought about some of my subconscious thoughts I have realised I have with regards to men and relationships and I am struggling to stay more on top of what I am putting out with regards to this and truly creating the most ideal environment for myself with regards to this.  It is a process though, sheesh  and can at times be daunting and ever so frustrating!  Im still at work on this but I think I am slowly making progress with it at least, which is always encouraging:)  Some days, I am so happy to be solo and just living life for me, other days old Shauna creeps back in and starts trying to tell me I need someone else to share my life with to feel fulfilled.  For the most part though, I am happy on my own for the time being and am just trying to stay focused on work and dancing and life in general rather than on someone else's thoughts and feelings and how my actions affect them.  Oh life, so much to think about all the time and one never really knows whether it is right or wrong do they.....its all just part of the process and everyones is different, so interesting really.

Anyways, speaking of staying focused on work and stuff I should probably be doing some instead of rambling away on here hahaha.  Hope everyone is well and happy and enjoying the Spring! xxoo


Sunday, 6 February 2011

Warning, some major gratitude going on in here hahaha:)

Hey People,

Sorry its been awhile again since my last post, or at least it feels that way since life is moving so quickly lately!  This year has been full of ups and downs already and we are only in the 2nd month!?  How is that possible??

So, it is officially my first year anniversary here in the UK, as of last week, which is also crazy!  The past year was pretty all over the place to say the least but somehow as 2011 approached, I made a conscious choice that it would be different and amazing and so far so good!  I am still working on the financial side of things, although I see improvement and feel like I am becoming more and more supported in that area.   I am very aware of my beliefs around money and am consciously trying to work on them and to make them more positive and productive.  One thing I really missed since being here was all of my amazing friends and family, who always make me feel special and supported.  I struggled alot with being away from them for the past year and at times I felt so lost in not having them to fall back on.  Recently though, I seem to be attracting so many amazing, smart, talented and loving people into my life and I have been feeling like myself again, which is so refreshing:)

This past weekend was non stop action and I loved every minute of it!  Friday I had an awesome photoshoot with an amazingly talented photographer and his lovely wife, by the name of Ben Mostyn (
he was a joy to work with and I felt like I was at home with my family, with all of our exploring around historic Bermondsey Street and trying all sorts of fun things, like running in an alley, jumping across blocks in the park and sneaking some pics in on a cool sofa in a kitschy coffee shop:)  He was so worried that I might find his approach odd and I just kept thinking, this is perfect!

Saturday was an awesome dance day, I have missed those full days of dancing non stop where you go home exhausted and can barely move haha.  I know, us dancers are a bit nuts :P
I took two awesome classes early in the day, taught my Intro class at Danceworks and then headed to my first class at Husky's with Miha and Chris, which I had been eagerly awaiting all week and was anxious to see the turnout as one never knows what to expect here in London, or anywhere for that matter when you are new!  We had a pretty decent turnout for our first time (it was free after all hahah) and it was three hours of good vibes and fun dancing and everyone left tired and happy, so I was happy and am so excited for next Saturday!  I feel so privileged and lucky to be working with these two inspiring and talented dancers.  I truly believe that when we support each other, we are all successful and working with these two has been no exception to this belief thus far and I am so thankful for them in my life.

Today I was up early again for a private I do weekly with a couple of teens who are entering a competition at their school (fingers crossed for them!) and we finished up the bulk of their choreography and are in the home stretch on our project.  Then had another private with two new students, who I had lots of fun with and am looking forward to working with them again.  Overall this weekend reminded me of why I do what I do and what types of amazing things you can attract and create for yourself when you stay positive and excited about life.  I feel so blessed every day recently with the amazingness around me and I wouldn't change it for the world.

On a seperate and very special note, I learned this week that my family and friends at home are pooling their funds together to fly me home for my 30th birthday!?  I cant even begin to tell you how touching this is and how special it has made me feel.  Because I am away from home, I sometimes feel like I am out of peoples thoughts due to the distance and to hear of all of the awesome people I know coming together like that just for me, makes me want to cry (of happiness of course!)  If you are reading this and are one of those people that donated to my coming home, I want to say thank you more than words can express I feel so blessed to know all of you and you have made me feel very special!  Whoever is in Vancouver and available, I definitely want to see you at my birthday party so I can thank you!!!

Umm, I know that was kind of random babbling but I just wanted to share my happiness as this weekend comes to a close and I will do my best to share with you again during my week!

Thank you to everyone who has been a part of my life both present and past, I truly credit who I am and what I do to all of you:)

Much love

Tuesday, 25 January 2011

My first ever video edit!!!

Hey Guys,

So, as many of you that know me know, I can be one of the worlds biggest procrastinators!!  I am full of exciting ideas and eager to get started on many things but my follow through is not the best at times, as I have thinking A.D.D and I cant seem to sit still long enough to get anything useful accomplished half the time.  Having said that, one of the things I wanted to work on this year with regards to my dance, is being a better all around "dance business person" incorporated into that is being able to edit videos, cut music, set pieces on people with confidence and a few others:)  Sooooo, my first order of business for the year was to learn how to use my "user friendly" imovie program which has been sitting dormant in my poor Mac for years now and was definitely ready for some usage!!  (I still have imovie 08 and we are on 11 now hahaha)

Anyways, I know it is nothing superhuman or anything and to most people is a mere drop in the bucket but finishing my first video edit all on my own was a big and important accomplishment for me personally, so I wanted to share the results:)  I hope you all enjoy and watch for many more to come this year and in the future! (check the link below!!)

favourite girl- rico love

Thanks for your support and hope you enjoy!