Home. What do you call home? Where is it? This used to be an easy question when I grew up in the same house for 12 years. 3 years later, I’ve moved to a new country and gone from living on my own to living with roommates to living with my boyfriend. Nowadays, when I go across the border I often get caught before answering “where do you live”.
I’ve always thought of ‘home’ as the place that I lived. The actual house where I slept. I’ve always, of course, dreamed up houses like this. Once coming to Vancouver, the place that I slept was constantly changing. Just last month I moved. This was my 8th move in less than 3 years. Just as I got used to a place, a location, a bed – it was time to move. First it was a dorm, then three different locations through the summer, another UBC housing situation, a “summer” house, a “school year” house, and now finally an apartment. I started to think about each house and decide which one felt the most like home. Honestly, they all did, in their own way.
What values do I connect with home? First of all comfort. I think about where I feel at peace and relaxed. A place where I fit in. Somewhere that I can completely be myself and feel no judgement.
All this got me thinking of other places that aren’t my house. When I was 9 years old, I started taking dance classes and did my first performance on stage. I remember that being a very exciting day. My mom did my make up and I got into the costume that we bought. I was backstage with all of the other kids and the parents who were wrangling us into different dance groups. My mom, dad and sister were all in the audience waiting for my number. I stepped onto the stage, perfectly executed my dance to NSYNC and had a blast! I can still remember the feeling of stepping into the wings having just finished the dance. My heart was pumping, my forehead starting to sweat and there was a huge grin across my face. One of my teachers made a comment to my mom that I had “it”. A little extra something that lights me up on stage and makes people want to watch. This wasn’t something anyone had taught me, it was an innate feeling I had for the stage. It was then that I knew I couldn’t stop. I couldn’t be away from dance or performing ever. To me, this level of comfort and openness is only achieved in a performance. I can possibly replicate it in rehearsal, but it is never the same as being in front of an audience.
I feel at home in the dance studio, rehearsal spaces and most importantly, on stage. When I was in high school, I used to think I felt at home in these places because of their consistency and familiarity. As I’ve gotten older I’ve been through a lot of dance studios, some conventional and some unconventional rehearsal spaces and many different stages. No matter where I am, and no matter if I’m there once or for months on end – these places always feel like home. I’ve had people say to me that they have been out of their house for 12 hours and more than tired, they just feel like they want to be at home. I feel that way about going to the dance studio.
Since I can’t always be in these places, and I especially can’t always be performing, my actual home is pretty good back up.
Greenring, Tanner. “The 30 Most Gorgeous Living Spaces In The World.”Buzzfeed. N.p., 1 Mar. 2013. Web. 05 June 2016.
NSYNC VEVO. “*NSYNC – Pop.” YouTube. YouTube, 24 Oct. 2009. Web. 06 June 2016.
“Queen Elizabeth Theatre Vancouver.” TV Towers Vancouver. N.p., 14 May 2013. Web. 5 June 2016.