The first time I heard about Maya Tamara – the principal/ artistic director of Namarina Dance Academy  – was from Didi, Melissa’s mother. She loved our Les Papillons de Victor aprons so much that she asked Didi if it was possible to combine two aprons and make it into a dress. I thought, “Wow, that is one awesome lady.” When I finally met her last Sunday, in between the rehearsal of “The Secret Garden of Admiral Kasarung in Modern Ballet”, my presumption was confirmed. I prepared myself for an inspiring session with her.

“I have been dancing since I was five, so ballet was deeply rooted in my body. I realized that this is where my heart is, my life-calling.”

Ms. Maya indeed captivated me. I remember watching her at the corner of the ballet studio during the rehearsal and immediately felt her strong passion to ballet. As a student at the Royal Academy of Dance in London, Maya explored Ballroom Dance to European Folk before finding that her heart was bound to fall in love to ballet. This strong love fulfilled her childhood dreams to travel around the world – something that she thought was only possible if she was to become a stewardess. “I have never thought that I could eventually do it by becoming a ballet teacher, so now I am even happier.”

Her inspirations come from various sourced: classical musics (Vivaldi is her personal favorite), dancers like Margot Fonteyn and Mikhail Barishnikov, to the details and colors of the clothes she wears.  “I never wear dark colors, because it would make me feel miserable. So I wear colorful clothes to make my day brighter. That is also how ballet fits in my world, it makes my life sparkles.”

At the end of the day, there I was sitting in the backseat of a taxi, contemplating on how I have been feeling disconnected with my own body in the past few years due to a certain condition. I used to dance as a young kid and and I remember how good it makes me feel. After the talk with Ms. Maya, I know that it is not too late to rekindle that love. It is time to reconnect and re-explore my own body. I am signing up for a class next week.- xox, Shalimma Robbiaswaty

 “The Secret Garden of Admiral Kasarung in Modern Ballet” is a Namarina Youth Dance 7th Season Performance that adapts Tulisan’s illustrated edition with the same title. The performance is scheduled for November 15-16 at Gedung Kesenian Jakarta. Follow their tweets @_Namarina for more updates.