One year ago I was sleeping in the canal
Updated: May 29
I am very sensitive to my students past. I never ask questions, I do not want to be intrusive. I do my best to offer a safe space, free of judgment, where everyone is treated equally.
I do my best to offer my students, a safe space, free of judgment, where everyone is welcomed and treated equally. So I never really know their actual status, where do they live, and so on.
We received some donations to one of the biggest Swing festivals in Belgium #brux Brussels Swing Exchange, and the location was in the epic place Tour&Taxi, close to one of the canals of Brussels. One evening while going to the festival, well dressed, perfumed, ready to swing, one of my students tells me: "You never know Aless, where life brings you. One year ago I was sleeping here, in the canal, and now I am swinging in this beautiful venue, and I get to know people from all over around the world."
The sky was collapsing over me, my heart shrank and got inflated, sweating, goose skin. I couldn't find any proper words, and I let the silence be our best friend.
Later on during the night, while the party was swinging, my friend went to visit and cheer up some friends who were still sleeping on the canal.
You never know Aless, where life brings you. One year ago I was sleeping here, in the canal, and now I am swinging in this beautiful venue, and I get to know people from all over around the world.
Later on I got to know that most of my students are living in the refugee camp or centers, in Brussels, or even in Luxembourg. The distance is not an issue for them, and their passion for dance keeps them moving forward (#swingconnects #refugeecamp #youneverknow).
You never know who is sitting in front of you, because the physical appearance doesn't give you a clue. You never know with whom you are going to share the next dance. Swing, Lindy hop, is a common language, a dance who brings people together.