Wow! Where can I start? It’s been quite a season this year. One word that would characterize Sakata Season 6 is growth. As we know, with growth come growing pains, shifting change and newness. Usually people don’t like growing pains or change because it’s uncomfortable and not what everyone is used to. Without those two, there can be no newness and ultimately a slow death begins to happen. I am thankful for each new bit of change that was experienced because it has caused each of us to grow.
My hope for the Dance Industry
My hope is that all of the crews, winners, finalists, participants and those who auditioned will refuse to remain where they are as dancers and will work hard to become the best that they can be in their craft. I wish everyone well, those who love me and those who do not. In the end we are all working towards the same goal- a time when Kenya and East Africa will recognize and respect the dance industry just as much as any other working industry.
I’ve talked about my most memorable moments before: the hilarious moments when jokers came to perform during the auditions in Kisumu, the amazing performance by IDU that made me well up with tears (Judge Jesse was asking me if I was ok and there I was trying to wipe the tears away before the camera faced my direction) and performing onstage while pregnant.
Judging While Pregnant
This year judging while pregnant has brought with it its challenges and blessings. As a dancer, I value and critique my body shape and fitness level. Being pregnant has taken the control out of my hands as I’ve watched my body change in front of me and become the perfect temporary home for my baby. I’m so thankful to the Sakata team for bringing me lots of bananas to eat on set when my blood sugar started to drop, pausing the filming when I needed to run to the bathroom and overall celebrating this new life along with me. I’m also thankful to my fans who have cheered me on when I performed and have said only good words to me during this time.
To the crews who performed tonight, I’ve seen many of you grow so much this season. Your triumph is not measured by your trophy but by the levels in dance and performance that you have attained this season. Many of you have moved from being merely competitors to professionals. Keep that in your heart and soar.
This is the first time that I saw you on Sakata. Your clean choreography and effortless performances are what Kenyan crews should seek to learn from. Always remain original and continue being who you are.
(Hii ndio mara ya kwanza kuwaona Sakata. Mtindo wenu wa densi unafaa uwe mfano kwa vikundi vya Kenya. Endeleeni kuwa wabunifu na mzidi kukomaa katika densi bila kuiga kikundi kingine)
To The Crew:
I’m thankful that seasoned dancers are mentoring younger dancers. You are proof of the amazing dance spirit that gets passed on when dancers give of themselves for the next generation. Big up Arthur and Brian! I hope that you continue to grow in your craft. As you are new dancers it would only hurt you to become un-teachable at this stage. Keep learning and keep dancing.
Your audition performance was the best that I’ve seen in any audition performance to date on Sakata Mashariki. There is something special about your crew that goes beyond competition. I believe that there are more varied opportunities in dance, performance and teaching that await you soon. Keep your eyes and ears open for those new opportunities because that is what will bring you the success that you are looking for.
I know that you were expecting to win this year. One thing I’ve always valued about your crew is your professionalism and sportsmanship when the outcome was not exactly what you expected. Continue to keep that intangible element in your crew that makes you stand out from the rest. Not only are you great dancers, you are clever and responsible in your business choices. This is something that every crew can learn from. All the best!
One of my best moments was taking the time to mentor your crew. You have so much heart and passion in your choreography that anyone who watches you can feel it. I loved the way that you incorporated weight sharing and other choreography elements that we explored together into your choreography. I know that this is not the end of your story. This is the beginning. Every time I’ve watched you onstage you’ve grown. This speaks volumes.
You’ve kept a strong, acrobatic performance with afro-fusion and vogue throughout the season. Each time we saw you, your performance had a new element. There were many performances during the finale, some really great ones but not all were finale performance quality. Not only was your performance finale quality, it was the best finale performance that I’ve seen on Sakata to date. Congratulations on winning 20 million TZ shillings! You have definitely earned the title of East Africa’s Best Dance Crew 2015!
(Uigizaji wenu wa sarakasi na afro-fusion ulikuwa murwa sana msimu huu. Kila tulipowaona, maigizo yenu yalikuwa kiungo kipya. Kulikuwa na densi nyingi katika mkondo huu wa mwisho lakini hakuna aliyeipa ile nguvu iliyohitajika. Mtindo wenu ulikuwa wa sampuli ya hali ya juu kabisa kuliko ile ambayo nimeona katika Sakata. Hongera kwa ushindi wenu wa milioni 20! Kwa kweli kikundi chenu ndio bora zaidi mwaka huu wa 2015!)
In the spirit of sportsmanship and love for dance, I believe that at the close of each season we have a choice whether to remain where we are or to grow. Let’s continue to grow and embrace change so that as dancers, lovers of dance and those who observe it, we will all be able to bring newness to the dance industry one step at a time together.