I started dancing in Carnaval San Francisco over 10 years ago, however my family has been participating as dancers and musicians since its inception in 1979. There is so much I love about this celebration of multiculturalism. As a mixed-race person I strongly identify with the African Diaspora story, where Black Africans were stolen from West Africa as slaves and shipped across the Atlantic Ocean to the eastern regions of the Americas. Here Africans mixed with various indigenous groups to form new cultures and traditions. The fusing of cultures resonates with me on a deep, spiritual level.
I see myself as someone who can fluidly move between cultures while being rooted in their individual histories. Like a mermaid swimming through different seas and oceans but always in the same water. That’s why I wanted to lead my own contingent this year. I want to share my love of dance and movement and inspire other’s to get in touch with their bodies. Dancing is one of the few things that quiets my mind and deepens my connection to the universe. It makes me feel at home in my body and I want to encourage other’s to connect with themselves. Carnaval is more than beads, feathers and glitter, to me, it is a chance to uplift others physically, emotionally and spiritually.
This year we will unmask our inner mermaids and dance our truth. As a group, we will reclaim our identities and our bodies as we dance through the streets of San Francisco.
Be a mermaid, connect with yourself and join #BeadSquad!