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January Taiko Talk

By: Jack Fisher

Taiko and I have a long history. Well, for an eighteen-year-old. Long ago, 12-year-old Jack, the newest addition to the homeschooler crowd, selected Taiko as his musical education. This decision was reached at the end of much thinking, complaining and negotiating because, you see, Jack was at the peak of his love affair with science, logic and empirical thought, so could see no value studying music or dance of any sort. In hindsight, this can be added to the (long) list of times my parents were right, and I am beyond grateful that I have had the opportunity to learn, explore and grow with this group.

If I had to define it, Taiko is a discipline that mixes music, dance, and sport. It has challenged me on many levels.  Put simply, of its components, sport is the only one I naturally excel at — and it the least of Taiko’s components. Taiko has required me to persevere in the face of potential failure, in a world where it is becoming increasingly easy to run away from things you’re afraid of. — “Nope, not for me” is a large part of our search for “passion.” I for one, like to do things I’m good at.  As humans, it makes us feel good to be excellent and, in turn, trying new things scares us. They make us wonder what other people might think of us, and if we will ever get better. So in a world full of opportunities why try to stick it out on something that doesn’t come easily to you?

Well, as my mother’s mother’s mother most likely said at some point “nothing worth doing is easy.” However, just because something is hard doesn’t mean it’s impossible; particularly when you collaborate with like-minded people. That is really the lesson I have learned from my time with Taiko. Not that things should be easy, but that when unified, people can do hard things. I’m into my 6th year of Taiko: still no master by any stretch of the imagination. Despite that, it’s the highlight of my week. Because it’s a place I can go find peace and clarity, it’s a thing I do to test and better myself, and it’s a community of people who love and support each other. I really want nothing more than to share that with others, to show you what has given me so much joy and confidence. So if you see this “Taiko Talk” on the Dance Collective blog every once in and awhile and maybe wonder if Taiko might be worth checking out, let me be the catalyst you need to drop in for a class. We’re a quirky bunch, but we would really love to share our little slice of heaven with you.