Dana Tai Soon Burgess, here with Miyako Nitadori, wrote the recent memoir Chino and the Dance of the Butterfly. Photo by Mary Noble Ours, Courtesy Patch Canada PR.
"For me, dance is a universal language through which I can communicate my inner landscape. All of humanity danced before we had written or even spoken language. We inherently understand the postures, gestures, and rhythms of the body. These can express happiness, sadness, and even resilience of the spirit.
I’m a fourth-generation Korean American. I grew up in Santa Fe, New Mexico, in a Hispanic neighborhood, attending bilingual Spanish and English schools by day while experiencing a very Asian American experience at home. My best friends were American Indian, Hispanic, and Asian American. Early on, I learned to move between different cultural worlds by embracing one concerted language: dance. Movement became my primary, galvanizing mode of communication. Through dance I expressed how I perceive the world."