Club member Judith Edmonds, opened the presentation for the Pattaya City Expats Club meeting on Sunday, May 27, by introducing her 20 year old granddaughter Jodie Roberts. Jodie is currently on holiday visiting relatives in Thailand and graciously agreed to share her plans for a dancing career.
Jodie is a Londoner, and as of this October she will be in her 3rd year of studying mainly contemporary dance at De Montfort University in Leicester, England. The definition of dance being to move one’s body rhythmically – usually to music. Humans have been dancing for a long time. References to dance can be found in our very early recorded history. The university course is intellectually and artistically demanding, offering daily dance classes in contemporary techniques; ballet for contemporary dancers; plus fusion and improvisation, as well as performance and Choreography.
Jodie started her presentation by demonstrating her dance techniques to the song “Bridge Over Troubled Water” by Simon & Garfunkel (improvised). She freely moved across the stage fully utilizing the space available to her. She later danced to “Love on the Rocks” by Neil Diamond (choreographed). She commented that she dances to the music not the song. Dance is obviously a good way of keeping fit and Jodie confirmed this. She also considers that it provides a feeling of wellbeing. She sees dance as a common language and uses it to spread joy and positivity. Jodie described her career aspiration to have her own community dance company whereby she will teach a variety of ages, from toddlers to the elderly.
Studies have shown that dancing can help you lose weight, stay flexible, reduce stress, and make friends. One study found that people with cardiac conditions, who danced for just 20 minutes three times a week, saw their heart health improve significantly more than those who stuck to traditional cardio workouts.
This physical activity appeals to some who may not be active and therefore it may be an alternative to exercise. It is not only significant for your physical health but it also contributes to your mental health and social communication.
Outside of university term time, Jodie works at a children’s holiday camp in UK as part of their management team. Her career aspiration is to have her own community dance company business – where she can travel and teach dance from toddlers up to the elderly.
She has acted as a volunteer in Ahmedabad, India. (Ahmedabad is the fifth most populous city in India, and the fastest growing city in India). In her volunteer role she visited a girl’s orphanage and community centres in slum areas. She found this a very satisfying experience. However, she found communication difficult since few of those she came in contact with spoke any English. She now appreciates her own life more – since those she mixed with in India had little in the way of possessions or education.
One of Jodie’s inspirations was Trisha Brown, an American choreographer and dancer, and one of the founders of the Judson Dance Theater and the postmodern dance movement. Trisha received numerous honorary doctorates and was an Honorary Member of the American Academy of Arts and Letters.
Trisha Brown took classes in ballet and tap as a child and acted out Broadway routines with her older brother. She went on to study modern dance in California, but following a summer school with experimentalist Anna Halprin, she moved to New York in 1961, eager for new directions.
Jodie informed the group that she had recently danced to “Down by the Salley Gardens” with the Grand Opera Thailand (directed by Stefan Sanchez) at Diana Garden Resort in North Pattaya. She also informed the group of two dance studios existing in Pattaya – International Dance Studio and La Bailamos Dance Studio.
After the presentation, MC Judith Edmonds brought everyone up to date on upcoming events which was followed by the Open Forum where members and guests can ask questions or make comments about Expat living in Thailand. For more on the PCEC and their activities or to subscribe to their weekly newsletter, visit www.pcec.club.