Visual Representations

September 28, 2009

I stumbled upon this image on flickr.com as I was searching through images of beaches. It is more than appropriate to use for this assignment not only because the pier in the image is a physical landmark of my hometown, but it is also a landmark with deeper roots and personal stories. The pier is named Sunglow, and you can see why it might be called that by this picture. This image encompasses me as a person in many aspects– emotionally, physically, and spiritually. My footprints have left miles of tracks on this sand since I could walk. I have laughed here, played here, and even cried here. The image itself radiates both a sense of serenity and a fierce energy, and the impending sunrise in the horizon symbolizes a new day. I am an advocate of beginning each day without worries of the previous one, and I feel like this image captures that notion.

My life was completely turned upside-down just two short months ago when my father passed away from a cancer that did not give him the chance to fight and battle. The beach was the first place I went to after he died. In the past I went to the beach to relax and enjoy myself; now I go to the beach to grieve. A vast amount of my childhood memories with my father are right on that beach. In fact, just two days before he passed away we took an evening walk to this pier. His memorial in the newspaper said he was a lover of surf, sand, and sun, and it’s true. Few places made him feel the way he did when he was at the beach.

I cannot talk about myself without talking about my dad. He shaped me into who I am today, and I am so grateful for that. The beach is a sanctuary for me, and this image perfectly captivates the warmth and comfort I find when coming to this place. Because of my father and his passion for the shores of my hometown, I am a product of surf, sand, and sun, and I would not want it any other way.

Searching for a video that could describe part of my identity was not a difficult task at all. Dance is one of my greatest passions in life. I started dance when I was seven years old, and I have not let it go since. My favorite style is modern, a form that originated in the early 1900s as a rejection of classical, formalized dance. I have been devoted to modern dance since I was 11, and currently, I am a member of a professional modern dance company called Surfscape Contemporary Dance Theatre. Modern dance allows me to be myself through creative movement; I would not call myself a rebel by any means, but I do like being different. This video is a modern piece from Season 3 of So You Think You Can Dance?, and it is one of my favorite routines that has ever been on the show.  The choreography is so unique and definitely different, and it is the type of dance that has become a part of me.

The video shows just the dance itself without introduction or judges’ comments. It is the perfect clip for what I aimed to show. It’s not about the critiques or what people think; to me, it’s about doing what you love. I record each show so that when I watch it I can fast-forward to just the dances without having to deal with the drama or the commentary. The way I watch it also says something about the way I feel about life; I do not like dramatization.

Although I do not aspire to pursue dance as a career, I will always keep up with it. When I was little, I always used to say that I wanted to be a doctor and own a dance studio on the side. I am currently on the journey to the doctor part, but maybe one day my childhood dream will be a reality.

Word count: 686

Image source: http://www.flickr.com/photos/33265328@N07/3151326358

Video source: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=A5t8eHZw8WI

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6 Responses to “Visual Representations”

  1. Mayci said

    I love SYTYCD, so I was excited to be able to watch your video. I remember watching this dance a few seasons ago and it is spectacular! I agree with your choice of this particular dance to emulate your feelings for modern dance. If anyone doesn’t understand, or appreciate modern dance, this video will definitely change their perspective.

    I liked the way that you tied the beach photo into a deeper meaning for you. Almost all Floridians can consider the beach a symbol of their heritage, but it is so much more than that for you. Thank you for sharing such a personal and emotional image.

  2. sabrina0909 said

    Hi Tara, I really enjoyed your presentation. The video and image were very powerful and accurately illustrated a part of your identity. Both visuals evoked a lot of emotion and allowed us to see who you were as a person. I really respect how you incorporated so much personal meaning into the blog because I’m sure it was hard to do. Good Job!

  3. Linda said

    Tara, watching you present your blog and then reading what you had to say about the image and video you chose to represent you, I felt that I could really relate to you as a person. I also lost my father to cancer many years ago, and I still hold on to moments that keep his memory alive. I, too, am proud to represent the dance world, and modern dance in particular. Thanks for sharing this personal perspective on both. Even though I’m sure our journeys were very different, your blog made me feel like I could completely understand where you were coming from. Thanks…

  4. marinahass said

    Hi Tara,
    Can I cite your assignment in an article I’m writing?

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