What is so appealing about getting a degree or post graduate diploma or masters or PHD? Well for me is was no not really! I have a full time job dancing- waking up every morning thinking about my next show and performing to the best of my abilities and getting paid for it (pretty well too mind you). What more do you want then getting a good wage for something you love doing?
I only realized after starting my post graduate diploma in dance that dance was not only about entertaining people as we normally perceive it to be in the Pacific in this time. I discovered that the Dance field is so vast and diverse. We had students who were doing Law in relation to dance ( I know right-dance and law wooooooo), doing education and dance and how physical movement within a classroom can better their ability to learn. How dance can be used as a tool to minimize the effect of Alzheimers and how dance can give a child confidence which can lead to reduced bullying in schools. All these new wonderful things I learnt changed the way I think about dance and made me love it even more.
Most people would think that a dance degree would be mostly moving your body in a studio somewhere for hours on end but for me nearly 80% of my classes was theory based and consisted of long deep discussions with my peers about everything to do with dance, it’s social, political, cultural, economic, and academic aspects of it. It was mind blowing.
A paper that I did for my studies was a special topic paper, which means I can choose any topic I want (approved by my supervisor though) and study it more thoroughly for about 3 to 4 months. I chose to study my meke or traditional dance from my village in Nakasaleka in Kadavu. I had learnt over the years that my meke had become extinct and was extinct for quite a while. So I researched more into the different aspects of why, how, and when it became extinct and how this affects me and my identity as a young urban Fijian. I learnt this meke had been revived sometime back but again the revived version had become extinct also. Interestingly the revived version was created by two men who were not traditional choreographers or daunivucu. I found this interesting and want to know more about why the meke was excepted and who these two men are or were, how they re-created the meke and how it became extinct again. So if I do further my studies I would love to study these aspects more deeply and maybe one day try to re-create my traditional meke.