hip hop

# 12 Be Ignited Studio presents The Discovery of Fire

Cas Whiteley performing 'Small Bump'.  Photo by Joanne Black Photography

Cas Whiteley performing 'Small Bump'.  Photo by Joanne Black Photography

The aim is to converse. But first I shall rehearse. No doubt I will stutter and confuse my verses. But the purpose, is to the speak to the masses. With dreams put to the corner, struggling with doubt, aching to fly.
— The Discovery of Fire 2015

I had a dream a few years ago that I was standing on the Little Theatre stage. I was all alone with a spotlight, looking out into an empty audience. Then as the lights warmed, seats began to fill and I could feel people standing behind me. The lights grew so bright that I had to close my eyes. When I opened them I was standing on the centre aisle of the theatre, looking back towards the stage - a stage filled with performers taking a bow. This was my reoccurring dream for a few years, and last week it became a reality.

Be Ignited Studio's first end of year show, The Discovery of Fire, was a story told by many voices. The theme of doubt and fear is pretty common, you get it in most dance movie franchises. We didn't want it to be cheesy and predictable, and instead have audiences feel uplifted and excited about life. We took out the storyline and used the music and dance to tell about the ups and downs of the studio, of feeling like a failure, the struggles to explain to people why it's ok to think and do things differently. I don't think this will never go away, but now that the show is over, we can focus on writing the next chapter.

 The studio had 30-40 dancers on stage over two nights, and overall I couldn't be more proud of everyone involved. On behalf of the studio, we want to thank the following:

  • Our sponsors: O'Hagan Home Loans & Insurance, Glassman & Locksmiths, Simply Graphics
  • Kelly - Lighting and Production (thanks for answering all my questions!)
  • Rose - Sound (ever so patient with all the mix changes!)
  • Cameron - Stage Manager
  • Theatre Whakatane - Lighting & Sound equipment
  • Glassman & Locksmiths for selling tickets
  • Charmaine Hands and front of house team
  • Gabe & Eli for coming over to perform
  • Kaitz & Jackson for performing and helping out backstage
  • Corazon - my Mum for all the amazing catering this year, being a super cheerleader for the studio and the ticket sales ninja!
  • Manny - my Dad, for letting Mum use the credit card to pay for the studio food haha
  • All the dancers, students, and supporters of the studio

The biggest lesson I learned from the show is that you don't have to walk your journey alone. There are a lot of people who want to help, and many don't know how to, unless you tell them what you need. It doesn't have to be money, it could be their time, lend a shoulder to cry on, give encouragement, or just honest constructive criticism. By working in a team we are accountable, and we also share the burden. 

The Discovery of Fire is proof that dreams do come true...like legit.

# 7 That moment

Our photo shoot for The Discovery of Fire poster promo. Photo by Emma Weber.

Our photo shoot for The Discovery of Fire poster promo. Photo by Emma Weber.

Last week has been a real eye opener, with some of the usual ups and downs of studio life and people in my life, but mostly because I got super emotional. The great thing was that after my big cry, I realised it was exactly what my soul needed to process the emotional chaos, and I woke up at peace with it all. I sat in my car alone, enjoying the twilight and serenity of the coastal lights.

By the way, above is the result of our photo shoot from Friday, and it summed up the fun and learning we've had this year.

On Saturday I went to a workshop called 'Living and Working in your Element', hosted by the awesome Steph Holloway. The workshop was a taster to her usual 4 session course, which helps people identify and design the life you love. She also wrote the book of the same name, and I was lucky enough to design it for her.

I have also decided to give slam poetry a go. I'm even entering my first ever slam in two weeks time, my friend and I are heading to Tauranga together. This isn't what I'm going to perform, but it was one I wrote this weekend.


Scared of missing out, being unwanted.
Of losing friends who I thought got it.

I was defined by their words
Because fear is a blanket that sooths you
Until the lack of oxygen turns into a smothering
And you don’t want to let go because it’s comforting
And in your lowest of lows
Fear, feels like a life raft.
— fivefootronna

The biggest lesson I was reminded of is that we can't force people to be in our lives if they don't want to be. We may feel hurt if we feel they are pushing us away, but it's ok. If they are meant to stay in our lives, they will, otherwise we can learn and grow from that experience.

Love yourself, and live life in love and light.

Much love and hugs