May you all have the confidence, trust & power, to make YOUR leap of faith
I’ll share my story cause some of you are going through something similar
I was a dance teacher for +/- 20 years (I started young). While I liked teaching, and while I was good at it, my heart kept saying that my true path was elsewhere
During the last few years, I kept teaching dance in the hope that some day – one day, the big creative vision will come true and I’ll be able to – finally – follow my true purpose & STOP teaching
Yes I liked it. Every class. But I knew it wasn’t my calling, it was not the WHY I was on earth for
Yes I was good at it but I’m good at many things. And I learned that being good at something doesn’t mean you should do it
Jan 2018: I was living in HOPE, hope for a life change and a business REFOCUS
Dance Theatre, Dance Storytelling, creating shows, and teaching THIS to students: that’s what makes my heart beat, and that’s what I wanted to do full time – not half the time
May 2018: I stopped teaching dance, only taught a tiny bit since
In the words of Lisa Nichols – my vision went from OPTIONAL to NON NEGOTIABLE
I had no back up plan though
While it felt liberating, it came with financial pressure
Big part of my business was based on it. But it felt RIGHT
I trusted SOMETHING would come up in my energetic field
I was literally telling the Universe / God / my Guardian Angels / Green Tara: I am READY, tell me, what’s next
Two months of chaotic uncertainty later, I received a place at the International School of Theatre of Jacques Lecoq in Paris
A dream come true
I landed… I am safe… until my next leap of faith
As a choreographer / theatre director / comedy specialist – I’m taking things to a next level. Time to play EXTRA BIG
Wishing you to play big, trust, and make YOUR own personal leap… and you’ll land safely
It makes me boil, boil to the bone All my efforts were in vain – I wish I had known It didn’t matter whether or not – artistically – I had grown That glass ceiling wanted me away from the throne
Initially, I saw myself rise and rise and rise During the ascension – I thought it was all lies Women were flying high – as much as the guys Little did I know it was sneering in the background – in disguise
Let me introduce you: The Glass Ceiling Ladies and Gents: Gender Inequality Drum rolls… OFF BEAT please!
It hit me hard, and by surprise.
– by Cindy Claes
It feels a little bit like…
Walking straight into a glass door.
Whether your nose is bleeding or your eye is bruised, nobody even noticed you missed the entrance.
It feels a little bit like…
Running with sweat and tears after a train who has already departed.
But your waving ain’t catching nobody’s attention.
The arts industry is poisoned by gender inequality.
Female choreographers / theatre directors are not receiving the same commissions, support and opportunities.
I don’t have all the answers on how to make a deep long lasting difference.
I can only share with you the way it made me feel:
Frustrated, sad, angry, helpless AND…
Here is a brand new opportunity for the Hiphop – Dancehall – Afrobeats – Krump community!
I will be one of the lead guest teachers on a one week course in Belgium: Groundwork. Alongside Yves Ruth, and other invited teachers, we are about to share our dance theatre knowledge with a bunch of really enthusiastic dancers and choreographers. I can’t wait!
The good news: dancers from all over the world can apply!
We will start on Monday morning. The week will be made of dance theatre workshops, creative time, reflection time, as well as a performance opportunity!!!
Everybody will reside at Destelheide during the week. It’s an incredible arts centre in Belgium. We will eat together, create together, get tired together, jam together and more! In other words, there will be zero distractions from the outside world. Only artistic expression and the team!
When I was a young dancer, I didn’t know which possibilities even existed to make a living from my creativity. It is the Hiphop Theatre world that changed the game for me. And I am always extremely excited to share what’s possible when our dance forms meet physical theatre on stage. It’s one of the most magic and rewarding experiences ever. I always see dancers’ eyes light up.
It will be a very powerful experience for myself as an artist as well.
I am about to start studying at Jacques Lecoq in Paris (physical theatre and comedy). The school gave me special permission to miss out a week of training to teach at Groundwork. I will be coming from Paris with loads of new energy and new knowledge! Let me tell you… I wanna put it in practice! So be ready to experience the fire in the belly I will be coming with all the way from Jacques Lecoq!
If you have any questions about this professional development program, please email email@example.com directly.
If your heart is saying YES to live this experience… do not let anything hold you back!! GO FOR IT!!
The program is for dance artists who are hungry to expand. There is no audition, it’s not about your technical skills, it is about your vision and your motivation.
PS: when they say YOUNG ARTISTS… (we have debated about this a lot) – it means 18+, but there are people who are 35 years old who want o do this as well 23 years old dance artists. We will make sure there is a focussed hard working atmosphere in the studio. You make sure you apply and don’t find excuses not to apply.
Groundwork is organised by TIMISS and DESTELHEIDE in Belgium:
Dates of the residency: 29 OCT – 2 NOV
Price: 120 euros, inclusive of food and accommodation!
I was on a meditation course this weekend with my favourite teacher (a Buddhist monk called Gelong Thubten).
We talked in-depth about the importance of integrating compassion and kindness to our practice of mindfulness.
During the meditation practice, our mind will inevitably wonder and thoughts will pop up, all in the name of distraction.
If people tell themselves things like “common’ you, can’t you focus!” it raises their stress levels.
If on the other hand, we kindly, gently bring ourselves back to focussing on the breath, without judgement, oxytocin is being released, which makes us feel safe and calm.
How compassionate are we with OUR creativity?
I am guilty.
I have definitely attended dance classes where I thought: “Common’ Cindy! You aren’t getting the groove right!”
Looked at my poetry thinking: “This isn’t good enough. You are not sharing that with the world.”
Preparing a show: “Girl, you better hurry up. Doesn’t look like ideas come quickly to you, or is it?”
Meditation combined with the practice of compassion brought me on a different journey.
Being kind to myself when ideas popped up transformed my relationship with my creative juices, but also with how I share it with the world.
Creativity and making this world a better world
As an artist, I always reflected how my creativity could make this world a better world. Whether I am creating a show, teach a class or perform, I want it to benefit society in some way, shape or form.
In Buddhism, we dedicate our practice to the benefit of others. Meditation is not a selfish act to improve our own lives, it is also a practice to benefit others, making all lives more peaceful and joyful.
I believe that when we tap into our most profound creative potential, we have the ability to impact our communities, relationships and environment. I want to see everyone feel confident in their creative approach to life.
When I talk about creativity, I mean ALL creative ventures:
– finding solutions to business problems
– being creative in our public speaking
– putting ideas on the table during a meeting at work
It is because I believe in the compassionate power of creativity, that I set up the:
DYNAMIC CREATIVITY RETREATS
A full weekend of dance, theatre, storytelling, creative writing… and compassion!
No previous experience necessary. All welcome.
SAT 25th & 26th AUG in London
The benefits of engaging in fun and mindful creative tasks impacts all areas of our lives (personal and professional).
Join us to tickle your funny bone and learn to think on your feet!
The objective of this Retreat Weekend is to:
Jazz music in the background, the smell of coffee and rose white tea, steam coming out my mug, all of a sudden… my eyes lit up!
“1000 Pieces Puzzle isn’t a project, it feels more like a movement.”.
I am sitting in a coffee shop, an informal catch up with Theresa Beattie, a phenomenal woman who has several decades of experience within the arts as a producer and artistic director. Her words resonate and echo a couple of times in the space… It feels like my mind stands still for a second.
It’s been 2 weeks now since we wrapped up the 2017 edition. I have desperatelly been trying to write a simple Facebook status, but not a word is coming out! Have you ever had a creative block when writing a Facebook status?!?!
1000 Pieces Puzzle (2017 edition) has been such an emotional rollercoaster of growth, an experience made of magic, bubbles and sparkle, it was such a powerful heartwarming event that I have been unable to write anything that would give it justice.
It was “life-changing”, as many participants described it. And life-changing moments are sometimes better described in silence than in words.
Sipping tea, my mind keeps repeating Theresa’s words in a loop: “1000 Pieces Puzzle isn’t a project, it feels more like a movement.”. My frozen stillness felt like decades even though I am sure it must have only taken a few seconds before I tried to speak again.
Theresa had heard of the programme last year, I had invited her as a consultant to be a part of a Business Brainstorm weekend to move Cindy Claes Productions forwards. Twelve months later, she saw the results live. An explosive collaboration between 30 dancers, and 4 countries: UK – Belgium – Jamaica – USA.
1000 Pieces Puzzle is an international dance exchange and leadership program I set up a few years ago. It is mainly, but not exclusivelly, aimed at supporting Hiphop, Dancehall, Krump, House and Afrobeats dance artists.
Ten years of day dreaming, 100s of sleepless nights and many flights later, the program is now a massive success, empowering artists and dancers with the necessary tools to make their own dreams come true.
Being speechless has its beauty, but if I want the program to expand and give opportunities to more leaders from the dance industry to rise, I must go on a quest of finding the rights words to describe “it”.
I take a sip of my tea and loudly respond: “YES! YES! Theresa… YES!”. A movement. This actually sounds right.
1000 Pieces Puzzle is about nurturing citizens of the world a.k.a. artists of the world. It is about highlighting the importance of each individual and his/her dreams, it is about reminding artists of the power of their artistic expression and making sure all involved use their creative work to make this world a better world.
1000 Pieces Puzzle is about building a society based on win-win situations. It is about embracing the champion that we are and about boosting the leader within ourselves. It is about supporting others generously and at the same time finding the courage to strive fully for our own ideas to come true.
1000 Pieces Puzzle had nothing to do with me, it was something way beyond the human being that I am. 1000 Pieces Puzzle carries an energy in itself, uplifting, joyful and a strong feeling of being ready to take over the world. It’s a mindset thing, in action, continuously in action, continuously in motion. It is something that happens within the interactions, the exchanges and the collaborations. The energy is created in the space by the dancers, for the dancers. And this energy travels beyond the studio, it has a domino effect and goes beyond the group that we were.
1000 Pieces Puzzle is a movement.
Thank you Theresa,
More blog posts will follow after this first attempt of writing more about 1000 Pieces Puzzle (2017).
***1000 Pieces Puzzle (2017) was presented by Cindy Claes Productions and Zinnema, in association with East London Dance.
Kimiko, straight outta Jamaica; and Krucial aka Queen Weapon, straight outta Los Angeles, will be sharing knowledge, technique and a piece of their artistic life journeys with us for one whole evening.
Kimiko has toured the world as an ambassador for Dancehall culture. She trained in traditional Jamaican folk dance forms, is a member of the DanceJA movement, and is a powerful female leader in the Dancehall industry.
Krucial is a passionate artivist. Co-chair of Black Lives Matter in Los Angeles, she has been dedicated to use dance as a tool for social change. She has toured the US with the documentary Stand, doing leadership and education work amongst the community.