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Life is short. Go for it. Do it. Live your dream!

I believe that once you stop training, experimenting, pushing your mind, body and soul; you have not arrived, you've given up.

These past three years have been the most stressful, creative yet evolutionary years of my creative life. Just before the pandemic hit I had lost my mom who was one of the biggest cheerleaders in my life. It was difficult to watch her decline and then finally hold her in our arms as she took her last breath.

I needed a break and for the first time in my life, I was planning to take a little vacation completely unrelated to dance or anything I do; however, the pandemic hit. I went from winding down to cranking up a machine I didn't know I had within me.

Like many artists, I was on Facebook every day posting about my free dance classes with no shoes. Myself dancing in the park on bridges and neighborhoods I had never been to in Toronto. I had to reinvent myself and as a result caught the attention of a different audience. I was invited to create work with theatre producer Isorine Marc of Jamii, Dusk Dances, Aga Khan Museum, The Canadian Stage Company, The National Arts Centre in Ottawa and the National Ballet of Canada to name few. Most of the work was online offering workshops, discussions or creating films. No word of a lie. It was not easy I had to imagine myself differently, create differently, entertain differently. I had to completely go out of my comfort zone and go to a different place in my mind to get through to the other end. One example I would share with you is when I was filming a work that I created entirely via zoom with two artists in Spain, being Emilio Ochando, and Miriam Mendez. We created PorQue/Why. Amirali Alibhai head of performing arts for the Aga Khan Museum invited me to present the work as part of the Duende Flamenco festival that was being presented online. As I was filming it in an empty theatre, I had to pretend as though I was dancing with Emilio who was projected on the screen behind me. There was no audience. There were no live musicians with me. It was just me and a projection. I could barely hold my concentration. I had to make it look like I was alive and engaged with the audience that wasn't physically there. I had to pretend. I never pretend. I didn't know where to find the energy source in my dance. I wanted to scream, cry and give up, I was cursing this pandemic as it nearly broke me.

Three years later I am rehearsing with the apprentice dancers from the National Ballet of Canada to perform with them for the first time in the history of the company of the National Ballet of Canada. On August 19th we will be performing Vida at Sharing the Stage at Harbourfront on the outdoor stage. I highly recommend that you come down and see the programming for this event. There are other wonderful guest artists such as Lua Shayenne Dance Company and Rock Bottom Movement that will share the stage with dancers from The National Ballet of Canada.

For me, this experience with the national ballet has been very profound, as I feel like I have reacquainted myself with the dancer that laid hidden in my being for so long. It has been difficult to work on the Marley floor. I keep sticking to floor, finding it very difficult to turn. I'm wearing shoes with no nails and rubber. The sound is different. I have to hit the floor differently. My mind, body and soul are awakened to the new presence of different dancers Hamish and Ethan who have been so inspiring to interact with. I'm out of my comfort zone and I love it!

Life is short. Go for it. Do it. Live your dream!

Carmen Romero 💃 xo

Dancers Hamish Lowe and Ethan Clarisey. The National Ballet of Canada.


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