Dance like nobody’s watching*: my first (traditional) dance performance in Stockholm

Art has been a part of my life since I was little. Out of curiosity, when I was in elementary school I told my mom that I would like to learn ballet. She, instead, enrolled me to a traditional dance class XD She said it would be much more useful in the future, that I could go abroad and introduce our cultural heritage by performing traditional art. I, tempted by the prospects of going abroad, started my first dancing lessons at age 7. It continued until sometime, but then I found another interest in music, and completely stopped dancing when I started junior high school. It was not until when I came to Sweden that I started dancing again.

It was all started when one of my Indonesian friends, Winda**, who studied Bioentrepreneurship master program at KI, asked me if I would like to participate in the next Indonesian Market event arranged by the Swedish-Indonesian Society. I was hesitant at first. It has been so long since I last danced (apart from making abstract movement when I listened to a good music 😛 ). But thinking that it might be fun, I finally agreed.

There were 13 Indonesian students (and alumni) studying at KI, KTH, Stockholm University, and Uppsala University who were going to dance for the event (including a singer). We were planning to perform Saman Dance, a traditional dance from Aceh, the westernmost province of Indonesia. This dance is listed as one of intangible cultural heritage by UNESCO and was previously performed only by males (although it is commonly performed by both genders nowadays). This dance is also quite popular within the society, not only in its province of origin but also in other regions.

In general, the movement of the dance itself was not very difficult. What made it more challenging was the synchronization of movements among the dancers, the speed, and the fact that we had to sing between those all XD Moreover, we only had approximately 3 weeks to prepare everything, and most of us had never danced this kind of dance before XD

However, it was really fun, both the process and the performance 🙂 I was so happy that some of our friends could come and watch our performance (thanks for coming! ❤ ). And I also am happy that, somehow, my mother’s words do really come true 🙂

What about you? Have you ever learned your traditional arts? Please share your stories below! 🙂





*Inspired by William W. Purkey’s quotes:

“You’ve gotta dance like there’s nobody watching,
Love like you’ll never be hurt,
Sing like there’s nobody listening,
And live like it’s heaven on earth.”

**Special thanks to our extra-patient dance instructors, Winda (KI) and Alvi (KTH-alumni) for teaching us 😀

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