Laura Street

I was one of the lucky kids who got a chance to try many different things in order to figure out what I really liked. Dance was one of the disciplines that left a permanent footprint on my soul. I never excelled at it and I certainly lacked self-discipline to become any good, however, it was the way music had been let to my world.

I remember the day, a few months into my dance class, when I came to realisation that some people have rhythm within them and others try, successfully or not, to learn it. I was standing by the bar facing mirror wall in one of the rehearsal rooms at the local theatre but instead of warming up for the class, I was staring at the girl a few heads away from me. I can still picture her graceful transition from warm up exercises into interpretation of sounds, when she started tuning in to the subtle jazz our teacher’s husband was improvising on the piano in the background. The fluency of her movement… Look, I remember it was Billy Taylor’s song “I Wish I Knew How It Would Feel to Be Free”. It appeared on Nina Simone’s “Silk and Soul” album from 1967. I love that music but the way that girl moved to the song, it was stunning. I wasn’t able to interpret sounds the way she did. In retrospect, I think, back then, I felt a little bit like the main character from Zadie Smith’s “Swing Time”, who was in a permanent state of jealousy mixed with admiration for her natural born dancer friend - Tracey. The girl from dance class was my Tracey.

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