Just because it’s true, doesn’t mean it’s right

And you are not staying because you want drama. Or because you don’t know your worth. You are accepting this situation because something tells you have faith, everything happens the way it should. And because you are a good ass person who understands that he is going through a tough time and that pressure doesn’t help your love. And because this man rocks your fucking world. The way he talks, walks, smiles. The fact that he questions your beliefs, listens to your advice, lets you rest in his arms while kissing your forehead. And no words are necessary. Because,  you both know…

You know what you have is strong. Because it’s like tho whole universe is shaking. But it doesn’t necessarily mean it’s right. Or easy. Or meant to be more than what it is. Right here. Right now. We might not always end up with the love of our lives. They say you need connection, and timing. And sometimes when we meet someone and fall head over heels,  the timing is shit. Sometimes when we meet someone that makes our heart sing, we ignore that it also turns and twists that heart and creates worry and anxiety. Tears and fights. Uncertainty. Exclusion. And as much as we want, we know it’s too many things in the way.

omurden-cengiz-1060742-unsplash

This first paragraph is a part of a longer text that I will share sometime in the future. Take care all. Be true, to your feelings, your needs, and your love.

Much love
Anna

To carry your own heart

You say you’re fine
As you’re falling apart in front of me
You say you’re good
But you can’t hide the truth
I see you
I see everything
You have no idea

My dearest friend

Dare to rest in your imperfections
Remember to embrace uncertainty
Know that you are worthy

While your world is shaking
While it hurts
And you haven’t figured it all out yet

Because it’s OK
You say you’re afraid of being lonely
Of showing all of you
And you’re not even sure of who that is
You’re afraid of messing up
Of letting love in

You say you can’t give what they want
But perhaps the greatest expectation is to get a glimpse of your weakness
Try to show your vulnerability

backlit-blur-close-up-279467

And trust that your imperfections are part of your perfection
And that someone wants and will catch you when you fall
You don’t always have to be strong
Or knowing what you want
Or making the right decisions

But you need to respect yourself
Give your body and mind
Rest
Reflection
And sparks
You deserve to be the best version of yourself
You deserve stillness and peace of mind

When things are taken from you
When you are rejected
When you meet struggles you didn’t even know existed
When you are forced to redefine who you are
It’s uncomfortable and scary
But it’s maybe the most important process you can embrace

To meet yourself
To light that candle and burn new incense
Turn off the music just a short moment
Let the apartment change
Let the smell fill your being

Sit down on the cold floor and carry your own heart
You will see it’s heavy and shaky
But also light and bright and beautiful
It will tell you what you need
Once you accept
Once you respect your own journey
Once you dare to be quiet for a while
And don’t always fuel energy through others
But through your own mighty love

accessory-burnt-ceremony-326627

Close your eyes
I’m here even if I’m not here
Change is painful
But when you learn to let go
And work with it, instead of numbing it
You can ride the waves with ease
And trust that everything happens for a reason
And you will get out much stronger
New doors will open
And your choices will be easier to make
When being closer to your own heart
And paying attention to your own beautiful self

You will be fine
And I adore you

/Anna

Who cares about hoes?

I could choose not to. I could choose to sigh and move one. Ignore. Forget. Think that oh well, it’s a man’s world. But I choose not to. When a man uses the word hoes in his insta story. When a man spreads his legs next to me on the bus so I get less space. Then I choose to question and I choose to spread back. This is not because I want to cause a scene or be mean, or because I’m an angry feminist. I am a happy feminist with hopes. We all have a responsibility to form the future we want. Equality doesn’t come like that. And culture doesn’t change unless we bring in new perspectives or someone dares to question the norm. If we react when we are minimised verbally or physically, men will learn. They might not even think about it, and I’m sure most do these things without a sexist intention.

Screen Shot 2018-08-15 at 20.28.57

So small steps towards a world when I get listened to as much as my male friend, when I am respected and where I don’t have to squeeze my knees together because a penis sitting next to me.

And some of you might think, and I ask myself this too, why do I have to claim my space all the time, why do I have to tell men who talk solely about themselves that I also would like to share things. Why do I have to react on one single word? Why do I always choose to fight? I guess it’s simply because I love and respect myself. And truly believe that we have to dare to question the small things in order to change the big structure. And please remember I am very good at separating people and people’s behaviour. That’s important to say.

I know you love me <3

 

A Swede in Amsterdam – my first 6 months

Dear readers, sorry for the poor updates. It’s like I’m writing in my head but it doesn’t come out. Here’s an update. Believe it or not, it’s almost 6 months since I left Gothenburg for Amsterdam. With an open mind and heart, and without a timeframe. A move that was led by my intuition and my longing for something different. Scared and excited. Prepared yet not prepared at all, didn’t even have a place to live.

Screen Shot 2018-07-15 at 13.21.22

Things have happened – and changed, as usual. Within these months I have taken steps in my integration process, not necessarily to become Dutch, but to be able to live in this country, as in getting my BSN number sorted, which is basically the key to everything (like the Swedish personal number), opened a Dutch bank account so I can “pin” as the Dutchies say, at the supermarket (they don’t take Visa and Mastercard), registered with a health insurance company which is mandatory here (about 100 euros a month), started a gym membership. And so on. I also lived in three different places, worked three different jobs, quit two jobs, started a Dutch one-woman-company, accomplished two full courses teaching urban kizomba in Amsterdam. I’ve also managed three trips to Sweden, one to Geneva and one to Luxembourg during this time.

Screen Shot 2018-07-15 at 13.22.25

Screen Shot 2018-07-15 at 13.22.17

So rather intense, but good. #Lifeadmin has become my most used google docs and sometimes I wish I had an assistant since I hate admin, also because I don’t understand what information the Dutch insurance company or the Dutch bank send me, because it’s in Dutch. Which I haven’t learned yet. But I can say ik drink koffie and wil je dansen (thanks Yvonne). Which after all, are two quite useful phrases.

Screen Shot 2018-07-15 at 13.22.35
Playsuit from Myraswim.

Despite all challenges, I would still say this move has been easy and first and foremost – the right decision. I wanted something new and different and Amsterdam has certainly been, and still is, a love affair. The fast pace, people who look you in the eye, the biking community, the international vibe, diversity, space to be yourself, no one questioning your choices, age, eating preferences etc. Amsterdam is an open minded city as you might know, especially when it comes to drugs and sex. It smells weed everywhere, you get used to it. But also when it comes to having a non-conventional mindset and way of living, which is liberating. The only negative thing about Amsterdam would be the hoards of tourists, especially those who rent a bike with zero biking skills, or common sense for that sake. There are many tourists who have been saved by my bell I can tell.

Screen Shot 2018-07-15 at 13.21.32

Screen Shot 2018-07-15 at 13.21.06

So avoiding the city centre at weekends is a good advice, unless you want a panic attack. I spend most time where I live, in the central West. It’s a so called hip area with loads of restaurants, shops and several trams outside my window, reminding me how it was to grow up at Älvsborgsgatan with the constant noise from the tram brakes. But I don’t mind the noise, it’s actually making me calm. I derive energy from the city sounds, from the neighbour’s party, from trams, from the feeling of being where the action is.

Screen Shot 2018-07-15 at 13.21.46

So what do I do here? I’m a freelancer within social media/content/communication/marketing, right now working with Hey Honey, a social content agency here in Amsterdam. I’m grateful for finding this opportunity since the job is so much fun, and it’s amazing to work with people who understand social for real.

Screen Shot 2018-07-15 at 13.22.10

Screen Shot 2018-07-15 at 13.22.00

I had my childhood friend Elin visiting me as well as my mom. So much laughter and loads of good food. Come back soon!

Lastly I had a question on Instagram: Which is your favourite restaurant in Amsterdam?

One of my favourite is definitely Zoku, this place is like a warm living room rather than restaurant. You order from a screen and pay right away, you serve yourself wine and they have live music every other Friday. And a rooftop that I have to explore! Another amazing spot is Café Binnenvisser, a super nice place to indulge in wine and cheese, always busy.

Until next time. Drafting a new post called Stop Texting Me.

Much love <3

Anna

Sexy dancer

Let’s talk about how female dancers are described and portrayed in written communication.

Can we please use a little less words like “sexy”, “beautiful”, “young” to attribute female dancers and female related dance moves. I see a lot of this communication in workshop schedules and video descriptions online, and would like us to stop for a while and reflect.

It might not seem like a big deal, however words are powerful and an essence in culture, so if women are always described as sexy, what happens with our talent, technique and innovative contribution to expressions and styles in the scene?

This is not about whether kizomba or urban kiz is sensual or sexual, but about the communication we use around female dancers. Sexy ladystyling vs. Sensual ladystyling.  There is a difference.

I think many of us would describe urban kiz as sensual however, which to me means something beautiful, emotional and even mysterious. And yes, the dance can look, feel or be interpreted as sexual, no doubt about that, but leave it out of the attribution, leave it for the dancers themselves to decide.

If I want to be sexy it’s up to me, not up to you.

empowerfemaledancers

 

Why I moved to Amsterdam

People ask if I moved to Amsterdam because of a new job. Well, I do have a new job here but the will to make this move came from something else originally, before that opportunity came up. The reason can be described more as love or longing, a desire to be in a more international, creative, vibrant and inspiring place, which in this case means being true to myself.

Amsterdam

For the longest time I’ve had a sort of vision board (à la word nerds, hence text only) with different cities where I could see myself. All with pros and cons. Easy to get a job, already have contacts, high rents, good kizomba, bad weather, and so on. That board has given me headache as well as strength. It’s been staring at me, waiting for me to make a move. It’s been my reminder that I have dreams and aspirations that have to be taken seriously because I deserve that. Although, even if it was supposed to give direction, it has certainly caused a lot of dwelling and questioning at the same time.

I’ve understood that I need something else but have been unsure where. And how. And as a person who always want to make the right decisions, it’s been difficult to figure that out. So what do you do.

The board

When you feel like the city and country you live in takes more energy than you’re getting back. When you escape traveling every weekend and on the flight back feeling like you’re going in the wrong direction. When you’ve lived there so many years that you know every single street and shortcut, when nothing really inspires you anymore. When you stop swiping because of the uninteresting supply. When ruthless horizontal rain hits your face. When men actually push you aside in order to be the first to enter the bus (yes gentlemen are rare there). When Swedish makes you tired. When you explode of ideas and dreams but the only way to feel alive and in sync with them is when shutting out the slow and grey, disappearing into your own soundtrack with headphones constantly glued to the head. When you bike home through a dull but still nice city filled with a feeling that you don’t belong, and the realisation that something else needs to cure this restlessness and thirst for freedom.

When things are actually pretty good. But you still feel empty.

Then it’s time for change. So the board has been around a while – meaning it took me some time, but with a more defined direction, friends’ support, contacts and coincidences, Amsterdam suddenly felt like the natural choice. Right now. Everything changes as we know so let me emphasise that this is where I want to be now, I want to give this city and job my best and hopefully we’re a good match. How long I’m staying is also a frequently asked question. My answer is how can I know? What we have is now.

Anna

And then you might think, isn’t she running away? Isn’t happiness something from within regardless city? Well yes and no. Thing is I am happy. Just not content. And I do believe that cultures and places impact our well-being and our feeling of belonging enormously.

So far, my love for this city grows for every day. I can’t stop smiling. Biking around here feels unreal, every little inch of the city center is so beautiful. I feel calm, and like I’m not longer superior to my city, but rather can grow into Amsterdam and I look up to her. You’re right, might be a honeymoon phase I know, but I haven’t felt pure happiness like this in a while and I’m so grateful. You know the feeling that arises from within, like a tickling feeling in your heart and stomach that makes you smile ridiculously automatically. So right now, I’m resting in that. Aware of that there will be times when I hate Amsterdam or when I will feel lonely and so on. But why worry.

IMG_5473

Leaving Sweden was not so difficult however slightly weird. I was in Stockholm this weekend organising a dance event which was fantastic. But to travel north and sort of come back hit me hard. I felt sad when I arrived and relieved when I got back to Amsterdam again. Can also be the weather difference that was notable. Felt so happy to return to this new air. Embraced by mild temperature, a rain that felt like a summer drizzle and the smell of weed and coffee in every corner.

The first time here has been rather hectic, not only because I didn’t have a place to stay (now I have a temporary solution) but also all the small things you have to learn. For being a person with total control I’ve felt blase and very much a rookie. The language is one barrier but also things like you have to understand. I made some improvements. I got a phone holder for my bike so I can see the map when biking, I also realised if I wear the headphones I can hear the directions instead making it even easier, cause you should know biking here is serious business and you have to be very alert. I now go grocery shopping all prepared with a big backpack like the dutchies. I wear gloves when cycling. I don’t cycle on the sidewalk (penalty). I talk to strangers. Then we have this helmet thing… People don’t wear them here. You can spot a whole family on a bicycle, no helmets in sight. Will I be the only person in Amsterdam wearing a helmet? Or will I get lazy and blend in, and not ordering that Thousand helmet I planned to…

Much love <3 Anna

Sluta tjata – dejta med respekt

Hans ögon går lite i kors och jag gissar att det är alkoholen. För han luktar inte fresh.

 “I like you”, säger han och flinar berusat.

 Han står lite för nära när han inleder sin lama övertalningskampanj. Jag (och många andra tjejer säkerligen) har hört den förr. Men hur kommer det sig att han på riktigt tror att det ska funka. Och det här med tjat, inte bara hopplöst osexigt utan också ett jävligt medeltida grepp, eller?

Tror han att om han tjatar tillräckligt så kommer jag nog tända på honom, orgasmerna kommer flöda och jag kommer plötsligt tycka att han är en jäkligt skön snubbe? Nej, nej, och åter nej. Om jag tycker du är en skön snubbe så ser du det i mina ögon, du märker det i min kommunikation och du ska inte behöva tjata dig till mitt gillande.

Jag var tvungen att skriva, på grund av den senaste tidens inflation i jäkligt lama och tjötiga snubbar som pockar på uppmärksamhet. Men förstå mig rätt, jag blir glad om nån uppvaktar mig (denna svåra envisa och upptagna kvinna som ingen förstår sig på behöver det) så absolut kul, men…förutsatt att det finns någon slags jämlikhet och förståelse i kommunikationen. Och inte på bekostnad av min tid och energi, då går det bort. Och det krävs inte så himla mycket, nyckelorden är respekt, kommunikation och lyhördhet. Och tänk utanför boxershortsen, please.

 Här är några approches som jag ser ett mönster i, följt av mina råd.

 “Jag vill ha dig.”

Ja, det kan man ju säga till nån. Men det beror på hur man säger det och varför man säger det. Säger man det med en öppen förhoppning och väntan på en respons, då är det en sak. Säger man att det på ett sätt så man smetar ut orden över hela arket och det inte finns nånstans kvar för mig att gestalta vad jag känner, då är det inte så nice. Eller säger du det på ett sätt som att jag är utvald och jag ska vara jävligt glad att det är just mig du vill ha, då möts vi tyvärr inte heller.

 “Kan vi inte ses bara eeeen gång till då.”

Ja, för då kommer säkert viben, pirret och hela fyrverkeriet.

 “Vi kan väl mysa bara hemma, Netflix and chill”

(plus tusen emojis)

Det här förslaget innehåller så många fel på en gång, om det är första träffen. Jag orkar knappt förklara. Så många unmatches som har skett pga denna fråga. Först, visa respekt – och intresse. En första date sker främst ute eller i ett mer socialt sammanhang, och visa lite driv och ta initiativ till ett ställe eller aktivitet. Och sen, även om det endast är så kallade oseriösa intentioner från ena eller båda parter, så krävs det ändå en viss VIBE och attraktion, vilket skapas/upptäcks ur mer än en bild på en app. Det krävs också att man connectar och känner sig trygg med personen i fråga. Så snälla sluta ställa denna fråga – bjud ut mig istället.

 “Men bara casual sex då!?”

Det här är inget du behöver fråga. Vill hen endast ha en slags kk-relation så märker du det, det sker organiskt. Jag var med om denna fråga när jag efter massa tjat utan något tecken på inkännande, friendzonade en kille rätt brutalt och skrev rakt upp och ner tack men nej tack, varpå jag lägger ner telefonen i fickan och tänker att fan det där måste ta hårt men nu är det gjort – och denna fråga kommer tillbaka på min skärm. Blir du avvisad, försök förstå och för guds skull, förhandla inte! Man kan aldrig vara för tydlig antar jag.

 “Make time for me baby, kom igen jag vill ju se dig “

Gillar jag dig prioriterar jag min tid för dig. Simple as that. Och har jag verkligen inte tid så ser jag till att förklara det för dig.

 “Var inte rädd, varför är du rädd?”

Jag är inte rädd idiot – jag är ointresserad. Jag säger inte nej till att möta upp dig senare för att jag är rädd, utan för att du antagligen är oskön eller dålig i sängen. Till denna kategori hör också “var inte blyg”. Good lord, jag blir bara provocerad.

photo-1494948191186-981b478d8cc9

Att dejta idag är lite slit och släng, det håller jag med om och det kan vara helt ok. Men respektera en person som är ny i ditt liv, bjud ut hen, ansträng dig – försök inte få hen till Netflix and chill i steg ett. Och den du är intresserad av inte visar intresse, rannsaka dig själv och lyssna på hen. Att tjata sig till uppmärksamhet, ligg och vad det nu kan vara är inte värt och inte nice, och det är lätt att den andra då känner sig instängd och sätts i en slags försvarsställning och känner sig pressad att hitta argument.

photo-1503647144508-944df2566461

 Och till alla som befinner sig på andra sidan tjatet, stå på er, var er själva, tassa inte på tå, låt de skämma ut sig, låt de kampanja med ögonen i kors – men får du inte utrymme för att själv jaga eller undra eller prata, eller rum för nån sparkle – gå vidare. Rensa och ta makt över din tid och din energi.

Much Love <3
Anna 

Being a sensitive person in the kizomba scene

photo-1497621775992-d6f40284424a

That moment on the dance floor when you see your old dance crush. Who you for a while also thought was your love. When you cannot really let go of the memories, and the fact that you used to dance for hours. And when you end up leaving the party without having danced, barely said hi.

And you wonder, how can it be. These dramatic changes. From being so close and connected to seemingly strangers.

You blame yourself for not being more pushy. For being all naive thinking he would search for you on the dance floor, when these days clearly he has a huge fan club.

In those moments, the dance world feels destructive and dark. But then next thing you know is this dancer you’ve been watching, suddenly comes up to you with a big smile on his face, asking you to dance. And moments later you find yourself captured in a flow of creativity and awesomeness, forgetting about everything else.

Paris Kizomba Congress 2017

And you might have several more of those magical moments. I had amazing dances Paris Kizomba Congress last weekend. With both new and old dance partners, that made me shut out the world and just feel. That wonderful effect of kizomba.

And that’s how it is, constant changes, dance crushes coming and going, flows of oxytocin, disappointments and feelings of emptiness, in a lovely mix. These contrasts.

And the only thing you can do is accepting change. And that sharing in this world is the only way. Dance crushes are amazing, but replaceable. Your next festival you might not be that interesting anymore, and reverse, suddenly you feel that this person you had great connection with is not as magical after all. And that is natural when dancing, because we all develop, change our style and taste along the way, the more we dance. When accepting that your taste, your favourites and the level of magic can vary, you can embrace this world in an easier way.

pexels-photo-594421

Also, I strongly believe that connection is something created in the present, inspired by your mood, openness, sensitivity and energy that particular day. Together with the music (the DJ) atmosphere, and universe, the follow and lead create a unique connection, which I know can be difficult to recreate.

That’s why you have to learn to let go. However if you are a sensitive person in the kizomba scene it’s not easy. When you lose your crushes or lose your love or when you find yourself in the middle of dramas you never asked for, you can get a dip, start to doubt yourself and even hating this world you threw yourselve into with open arms.

Because it’s not only dance. It’s so much more. When you dive deep into it, it’s relationships, jealousy, lack of confidence, psychological games, status and a whole bunch of other symbols, expressions and norms that we are surrounded by and deal with between those wonderful dances.

If you are a sensitive person in this world, you will have amazing kicks but also painful falls. Make sure you surround yourself with good people and make sure to let go when something bothers you, as applies to normal life too. Take care of yourself and embrace the gains and losses.

Much love,
Anna
Anna at Paris Kizomba Congress 2017

 

Infidelity

Something cruel and unforgivable or a natural part of being human? Something in between, or perhaps both? Nevertheless it’s a provocative topic. Because it questions and ruins the notion of exclusiveness and the concept of conventional relationships. It’s one of our biggest fears, to be cheated on and not being able to trust our partner. This post is not about justifying it, nor to doom it, it’s about the things around it and how we can deal with it. 

How to handle infidelity?

So, being exclusive tends to be the norm in relationships but are we really meant for that? People cheat all the time, hurt each other, lie to each other. It’s like we’re trapped in this norm but are not able to follow it, with the consequences of hurting the people we love. And is infidelity physical or emotional? And where to draw the line?

I like the relationship therapist Esther Perel’s TedTalk about infidelity and why we cheat. She says infidelity has existed since marriage was invented and so has the taboo against it. So if it’s such a common act in our society, why do we understand it so poorly? Check it out, but finish reading my post first.

When we talk about trust in relationships I feel it’s often associated with being faithful. “Do you think you can trust him?” is a way of saying is he going to be faithful, as if it’s the core of a relationship and everything that matters. Not “do you think he will make you shine, lift you, understand you, inspire you”. However, I know exclusivity is in fact the foundation for many people and something that defines a relationship.

But why are we so focused on protecting our access to our partner and eliminate all risks of sharing? We might be afraid of losing our partner, which is natural, but trying to control that won’t help. I believe people will always make their own choices anyway so it doesn’t matter if we worry.

What's the core?

Many relationships start off with trust issues and control, maybe because it’s a state of uncertainty when everything is new. There are couples who focus more on worrying and stalking social media accounts hunting for signs, rather than showing each other love. I believe the key to a healthy relationship is to give your partner all freedom you can – and a little bit more. Even if it’s scary. That’s always my advice to people who start dating someone (says the woman who’s been single for 4 years haha). I’m not saying it’s easy and that I walk the talk. But letting jealousy impact a relationship is nothing but unhealthy, especially in the beginning.

The core should be you want your partner to be happy. And this requires getting rid of your ego. You never own your partner. You have a relationship and share many things together, but you are still two separate individuals, with separate dreams, desires and integrity. Losing that perspective is losing respect.

So there are no rules at all? You should let your partner sleep around? Well I do think we need rules, or rather defining the relationship and talk about our needs. For example telling your partner that you love attention and you tend to be flirty in social contexts, or you actually need to sleep with others now and then but it’s purely sex. What if we could talk about these things? And what if we could also allow it, without harming the relationship. Or is jealousy inevitable in those situations? And what if it turns out you give your partner freedom and she/he is more interested in fucking the whole town than spending time with you? Well yes, maybe you’re just not a good match then. If someone really wants to be with you, their actions will show that.

Lately I’ve met many people with interesting views on relationships and sharing. They have come far with their personal development, believe in openness and some are willing to share their partner if she/he wants to go and explore. They still have their core of love and commitment, and they communicate a lot in order for it to work out. What inspires me with these people is they are so calm and free. Less lies and darkness, more openness and a lot of communication, listening and understanding. They are not limiting their partners and the purpose of the relationship is not to be exclusive, it’s to let each other grow and enjoy.

Can openness eliminate jealousy?

But, if you really love someone, why would you wanna share this person? It hurts like a thousands cuts just thinking about it. Right? I don’t have the answer but we have all been there, we met someone who rocks our world and we want him/her just for ourselves when we have fallen so hard. But even then in the very beginning when things are magical, this little worry can still occur, “what if I will lose him, what if he chooses someone else”. But what if we can let go of this anxiety and just feel love? Once again, at the end of the day people make their own choices that are out of our control so don’t waste your energy on the negative thoughts.

I doubt there’s such thing as the unfaithful type, although I think people are either more adventure or security focused. Infidelity is complicated and can happen for many reasons. I do want to clarify that when infidelity hurt other people which it usually does, it’s sad. Everything that is built on lies is harmful, that’s why I suggest a bit of openness and new ways of thinking. I’m not pro or against, I just think it’s a topic worth discussing since it occurs everywhere; in our lives, in the hip hop lyrics, in our culture.

My point is to emphasise that we block ourselves too much by focusing on keeping our partners for ourselves and that maybe it’s time to talk about how we really want our relationships and how much attention from other people we actually need and in what ways. You don’t have to be a victim for the norm, you can create the relationship you want with the rules you want that will make you and your partner most happy.

Open your heart and mind. Love more. Talk more. Worry less. Trust each other.

<3 Anna

Wanna dance? Let’s fuck then.

We had a great connection and I felt safe in his arms as we danced and laughed and worked up a great flow. The dance lasted for almost 1,5 hours and I felt so alive and happy afterwards. The next day we had a similar dance for one hour, playing around, having fun. He challenged me but never made me feel bad when making small mistakes, on the contrary, we laughed together and just expressed ourselves to the music. And the next day the question comes. Or rather an expressed will: I want you. I say I wanna stay just friends. And after that we don’t dance anymore.

pexels-photo-267285

This is sadly enough the reality many times in this world, and something I reckon was extra clear in Rovinj this year. There was an unusual strong sexual atmosphere over the whole place, and don’t get me wrong, I understand sex is part of it and not a bad thing – go and explore and have fun, but when it is the thing determining who you are dancing with, it’s not nice.

This is also something used in the hunt for a dance partner I’ve noticed. I’ve received offers to become someone’s dance partner or teach with a person, with a quite explicit expectation that I sleep with them. Because “the connection is so much better once we’ve had sex”. Might be, or might not. I don’t know. But I do know it’s a strong expression of an old-fashioned notion that men possess women’s bodies. By all means, sleep with your partner if you want, but don’t use it as a requirement when entering a partnership or choosing whom to assist your class. If it happens it should happen “organically”, naturally, unconditionally, but to put it into words as a very clear expectation is not nice – and certainly not 2017. And just to be clear, the ones I have ever taught with and assisted never asked that, but are respectful people and friends of mine.

IMG_0028

I want to emphasise that this problem is not necessarily representative for the whole community, and for all festivals, but in Rovinj I got the feeling that many guys had one thing on their mind, and once again, it’s not the sex itself that’s the problem, it’s when it’s used against you as a dancer. It’s when you are not chosen because of the signals you send out are pretty clear “you can dance with me but don’t expect more”. And now, all men who are thinking well the girls hunt for sex too, yes I do understand that. But I rarely hear of girls stop dancing with guys because they know he’s not up for sex.

So the guy who stopped dancing with me also stopped talking to me after my no thank you, which made me feel sad, to be honest. Not only because we were already friends and used to talk but also that we clearly had a good connection and we had fun on the dance floor, and suddenly that was just gone. Maybe it will change next time we meet in another context that is not Rovinj, who knows.

However the week in Rovinj was also lovely in many ways, the lazy days at Mulini beach, the socials provided by our Swedish DJ Paluxe, my lovely friend and partner in crime Sofia by my side. And I can’t emphasise enough that there are so many gentlemen and good people out there. I had wonderful dances with for example Albir, Papelini, George and Micha. And one of the best things this festival had nothing to do with dancing, but writing. Multiple people from different countries said they read my blog and appreciate what I do. That meant a lot to me!

Much much love to you all <3

PS here’s a FB live session where Sofia and I share our feelings about this festival after the last party (mostly in Swedish but some parts in English)

Let me inspire you. And provoke you.