Into the Belly of the Beast – Farewell España

“The lust for comfort murders the passion of the soul.” – Khalil Gibran

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I am excited to share the prologue to the upcoming chapter of my life’s journey.

As you may already know, I have spent the past 8 years based in Madrid, Spain where I’ve been living and breathing dance, fueled by my passion and love for the arts. This has been an incredible experience for me and I have made monumental bounds in my artistic career and personal growth.

The European dance community has been incredibly welcoming and supportive of my work since my arrival in the early spring of 2011. In the past decade I have had countless opportunities to teach and perform all over the world, giving me the platform to do and share what I love. The people I’ve met along this viaje have been extremely talented, positive, industrious and kind – each of them making a unique and inspiring influence in my life. Without a doubt, witnessing the progress of my students over the years in their journeys as women (mostly) and dancers has been one of my greatest joys and accomplishments, filling my heart with a great abundance of love, pride & gratitude.

IMG_2262 Dance Junkies – Fin del Curso D’Ambra Dance Project – Madrid, Spain
IMG_2251Split Tribal Fest – Split, Croatia

In addition to living a life tethered to the arts, I have also taken advantage of residing in a vivacious European capitol city by joining protests on issues that concern me, giving voice to social injustices and animal welfare issues.

womens march 1Women’s March – Madrid, Spain

One of my most exciting experiences was in 2012 when I joined PETA (People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals) to participate in a major campaign against the fur industry in Seoul, Korea. The event got a lot of international media attention and since then the alarms have been blaring on this issue. Today we are seeing international laws being put in place protecting animals from this trade and almost every major fashion label and designer dropping fur, responding to the demands of enlightened consumers for cruelty free fashion.

IMG_2252 PETA Campaign – Seoul, Korea

In 2017 I decided to tackle the topic of animal rights and climate change head on with the production of WILD – Endangered Species Through Dance. This production was a career milestone for more me, collaborating with several national dancers to leverage the power of art as a force to raise awareness about animal suffering and climate change. The message was simple – we are not helpless in the face environmental degradation, saving these animals starts with us.  I was honored with the award from my home dance community “Outstanding Accomplishment in Dance” for this production, which moved me to tears.

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IMG_2249WILD  2017 – Madrid, Spain

VIDEO: WILD – Endangered Species Through Dance

If you have been following me on social networks, you’ve witnessed me shouting out in the streets of Spain against bullfighting, standing alongside other animal rights activists in protests against animal abuse and even initiating embarrassing fundraisers to raise money for local animal welfare organizations (yes over $1000 for Igualdad Animal by singing & dancing as Shakira in the metro last summer – lelololeloleeeee). 

IMG_2259Igualdad  Animal (Animal Equality) Protest – Madrid  
IMG_2265Tauromaquia Protest – Madrid

As I turn the wheel into my 40thyear, I have begun to ask myself some important questions as to how I can be more intimately involved in raising awareness on the issues that I believe are ultimately are going to define the fate of our planet.  If we look at the state of the world today, it seems that our humanity is slipping away from us. We live in a world where literally billions of animals are mercilessly slaughtered each year for food, where the rainforests are being destroyed to produce said food and palm oil endangering the lives of all their precious inhabitants, where people are starving yet we feed billions of tons of grain to livestock, where we are poisoning our air, soil and water to produce meat, where the list of endangered species is constantly on the rise… and more.  The word humane literally means “having or showing compassion or benevolence.”  We are not only destroying the only planet we have to live on, but we are quite literally redefining what it means to be human. The decisions we make right now in how choose to live our lives are going define the future and what our reflection is when we look in the mirror.

“And the day came when the risk to remain tight in a bud was more painful than the risk it took to blossom.” – Anais Nin

This brings me to my news – As of January 1st, 2019, I will be diving directly into the belly of the beast – spearheading the issues of animal rights. I have accepted a job working with PETA in Washington D.C. USA. Activists aren’t born, they’re made.

PETA

Capitol-Reflection

PETA is my absolute favorite animal rights organization and am very excited to work alongside people who are equally as passionate as I am about animal welfare and making the world a better place. The old saying “Knowledge is Power” is one of the greatest truths of our times – the more people who are enlightened with the truths behind the industries of meat/dairy, fashion, entertainment and animal testing, the sooner we can bring about real change in stabilizing our precarious environmental situation and work toward living in a harmonious and peaceful world.

This move is as much exciting for me as it is sad.  A change of this magnitude is never easy and turning over a new leaf will undoubtedly be riddled with challenges. First and foremost, I will sorely miss the dance community that has been family to me all these years that I have lived abroad. It was a great leap of faith for me to come here and I want to say to all those who have invited me into your countries, homes, dance studios & communities, I am forever grateful for the amazing experiences working, dancing, laughing, sweating (and sometimes bleeding – sorry!) with you. To my students, you are truly irreplaceable. I thank each of you who has ever taken a class or a workshop and above all, my dedicated Dance Junkies for entrusting me as a guide along your artistic journeys. Your openness to make my visions come alive has been inspiring beyond words. You literally have given breath and life to my work and without you my success would never have been what it is.  If I have made even a fraction of the impact on you that you have made on me, then I will consider my time here incredibly well spent. Words truly cannot express the gratitude I have for the love and dedication from each of you.

IMG_2250Dance Junkies – Madrid

I’m also very excited for the chapter that lies ahead, not only to dedicate myself to fighting for animal rights, but also to immerse myself in the thriving East Coast dance community. I look forward to meeting local dancers and discovering wonderful new sources of inspiration.  I am very eager to connect with dancers in the DC area, so please feel free to reach out to me and introduce yourself or share any contacts/leads for teaching, networking and performance opportunities.

I will organize a final event in Madrid, Spain soon to bring together the dance community for a farewell gathering. Do not think this is a final goodbye, I will of course return periodically to dance, teach and join you all for a relaxing cup of café con leche de almendras en la Plaza Mayor. Once I am settled, you can hop across the pond to come dance with me in the capitol!

Words are not enough to say thank you for making Spain feel like home for me all these years. It has been  the people who have made my experience here magical and utterly unforgettable.  This chapter of my life is one that is very difficult to close, but in my heart of hearts I know that the rights for the beautiful animals that grace an color our earth are worth fighting for. I came to Spain 8 years ago for love, and it’s love again that pushes me onward.

jazz

“A human being is a part of the whole called by us universe, a part limited in time and space. He experiences himself, his thoughts and feeling as something separated from the rest, a kind of optical delusion of his consciousness. This delusion is a kind of prison for us, restricting us to our personal desires and to affection for a few persons nearest to us. Our task must be to free ourselves from this prison by widening our circle of compassion to embrace all living creatures and the whole of nature in its beauty.” – Albert Einstein

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Into the Belly of the Beast – Farewell España

2 thoughts on “Into the Belly of the Beast – Farewell España

  1. Merlene Fernandez says:

    Congratulations on your new life path! We can be certain the worlds animal families will have an exceptional advocate for their future welfare Bravo, Crystal !

    Sent from my iPhone

    >

    Like

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