Category Archives: emotions

Why I Decided to Stop Dance Classes

Not that I don’t like dance- I love it! But my passion started to wane and it’s taken me 7 months to understand why. Firstly I didn’t notice any improvement in my fitness. I lacked a lot of energy and started to gain a lot of weight. Even the advanced classes go at the pace of the participants and fitness isn’t the main goal. So when a teacher sees the dancers struggling she adjusts the pace. This means that I’m not challenged enough to break a sweat and learn more moves.

My last teacher included some yoga moves as part of the class. I really liked this because it improved my posture and flexibility. A few minutes was better than nothing, but I needed more. I got fatter and fatter. The troupe costume looked awful on me. I wasn’t allowed to wear a belt that slimmed me down. Although it was a nice social outlet and a chance to put on some make up and do my hair, I didn’t look forward to performances.

So I decided to travel to Sydney and do some workshops. This included Kami Liddle among some of the other big names in Bellydance. Working on Kami’s instructional DVD a few weeks before my trip helped my confidence and I was able to follow her sequences. I learned about my strengths and weakness, and made some goals for myself. I also made two good friends.

When I returned to my home city I continued the instructional DVDs. I tried to share them with some of the other dancers but we never got together. I didn’t notice any improvement in my technique and I started to get bored again.

So I decided to give up dance classes.

In January, 2015 I went to Paris and participated in workshops there. I learned more doing the workshops than any class I’ve done before. It was intensive and I felt like I was getting a real workout. The teachers gave advice on improving strength, balance and flexibility.

Workshop events include performances and these inspired me a lot. I saw what was possible with hard work and dedication. Not that I could be that good. These are professional dancers and dance is their full-time job. But that I could set goals for myself and improve. I started to feel good about myself again.

These are some of the performances:

Moving to Europe was tough at first and I could never go back to the dance classes I used to do. I wanted to learn and grow. I realized that I wasn’t getting good at any one thing. I was spreading myself out between my teaching career, dance and writing, among other things. So I decided to work less. I accepted a part-time job. It turned out to be the kind of job I always wanted but didn’t know it. I also had more time to dedicate to my writing.

Eventually I started Flamenco and read that sprints help in the stamina needed. I started walking and jogging. A friend gave me a bike and I ride everywhere. Eventually I joined a gym.

At the gym I can work out at my pace.  There’s a variety of workouts to choose from, including yoga, dance, stretch- you name it, they have it! I never get bored because I can change my schedule to suite my mood. Plus they have a pool, saunas and spas. They also have a beautician, massage parlor, and restaurants. I’m sure I left something out… Oh yes – not to mention the roof top garden, bar, more saunas and spa!

Now I’m developing my flexibility, strength and balance. At the gym I have found my peace- I can be alone and be surrounded by other people. My flamenco allows me to get better at one kind of dance and not lots of different styles for which I will never master. This is important to me because of my confidence. Everyone is different and I have realized this- and have gone my way.

I don’t perform any more but have focused a lot more on my writing. I’m concentrating on my first novel for young adults and plan to publish another poetry book. In time, I will perform again but I’d like to do it when the time is right. I feel happier and fitter now.

Dance classes can become quite draining when politics and other dramas start to form.  It’s wise to try different teachers when you first start learning. And not get attached to one- it could stunt your growth. I’m going out more and trying different things and meeting new people. Life is good.

Thank you for reading. If you have any experiences on dance please share in the comments section. Likes are always appreciated.

My First Poems That Dance Workshop

Soft Tears

This Friday I’ve been invited to present a workshop on poems and dance for the Darwin Dance Collective. I have been attending workshops with DDC for 3 years. Each visit has brought inspiration of which I’ve taken away with me and on occasions have written poetry.

What I appreciate at Dance Collective is that there are no mirrors, no cameras, whatever we create is a one off, never to be repeated, & not performed, giving a sense of security and freedom.

We will be experimenting with different variables such as moving to silence, to words, to music. We’ll be creating poems and moving again to them in different combinations- groups, pairs and on our own. Including a poem I wrote after one of the DDC workshops.

Darwin Dance Collective is a group of people who get together and do dance improvisations weekly or fortnightly. A different member takes the sessions each week, though there is no obligation to do so. Sessions take place in the tranquility of the Yoga Centrre. You are made to feel welcome and comfortable in the company of friends. It is a very different dance experience. One for the soul.

Along with my bellydance, improvisation with other styles allow me to stay grounded and not become flat. It’s easy for this to happen when one concentrates on one style, and especially when emphasis on regular classes is on learning a choreography and performance. Improvisation is good for social and emotional well being because it doesn’t follow steps. It’s non-competitive because you make up the steps, and they don’t need to be perfect. There is a skill to it, and you discover this along the journey it takes you. I love exploring space.

Space is a friend, and from my improvisations with DDC I have discovered this and have enjoyed experimenting with movement.


Silent Fruits

The Gift of Appreciation

This is a poem dedicated to inspiration that bloomed from a party, of all places. I haven’t written for a while. Did I drift to laziness? Hibernation? Down on confidence? A mix of these and more? The theme for the night was mirror white and we all dressed in white. Silent fruits relates to the quiet, unnoticed seemingly little things we do for people that are actually quite fruitful. Instead of ‘flowers’ I used fruit, of which stem from flowers. I won’t give too much more away but the fact that love is quiet, unobtrusive and unseen until it touches us unexpectedly. Impressions welcome and a gift.

Silent Fruits

Night rose to meet its bloom

All who played with it subtly died

But you were the exception

White in the garden

Brightening as night rose

You danced among the green

Highlighting the unseen

An elevated smile elected mine

As humble eyes slid to a close

Softly penetrating me to a close

Under the light of the moon

Synchronizing all as night rose


-Maria Grujicic-

Quixotic Fusion to Spoken Poetry

Mute this video and listen to my poetry. Wait for the dancer to start moving before you start my first audio.

Let me know what you think?

The Grandmother I Never Met

The Soul I Want to Keep

What I do know about my grandmother is what my father always told me. “You have her voice, you have her eyes.” She had style. I saw a photo of her published in a book. She was posing for the camera in the most distinguished way with my grandfather next to her. I stared at the old photo hard, trying to see some of her personality that I could take away with me. I dearly wanted to know her and perhaps learn more about myself so I created her in my mind.My grandmother was just 15 when she met my grandfather, who was much older than her. It was illegal to marry that young in Greece so they went to Marce, France. So the story goes.As a baby she sang to me. It was over the time we visited Greece. I have the vision of her cradling me in her arms and it won’t leave my head. Tragically she died young. She had diabetes and for some reason did not care for it so it spread. The doctors needed to amputate her leg because it got infected and she died because of the loss of blood.If you ever visit the island of Kalymnos, you will find a statue of a woman holding a ‘laina’. She is the symbol of strength for the island. The woman worker who prepared the house. She gathered food, dealt with household chores and cooked for the family. How interesting that in such a male dominated culture a woman is the symbol of the island. She’s interesting to me because of her beauty, strength and grace. Likewise, my grandmother is highly spoken of and my grandfather who was great in his own way, seemed to be her shadow.

The Pull of A Spiritual Bond

Chasing My Roots

Kalymnos Independence DayI look and act like my grandmother. She is the one I hold onto. She is my dream of who I want to be; graceful and kind with a thorn by my side, that allows me to breath among human kind. I remember her, I have a kind image of her. A young woman, the reflection of a mother of the past. Living a life of the now, holding onto that while everything else is destructive and in ruins. The tension love holds, the veins I hold in place and the heart I guard for dear life. Oh how it plays in my mind, that thought I left behind in the anonymous land I love.

Every time I visit Greece I’m immersed in emotions that haunt me in beautiful ways. I yearn for these feelings when I am far. Do we all feel a spiritual bond with a specific family member? Or is it just me? Are my genes so strong that they are pulling me in her direction or am I over-romanticizing the thought?

I ventured abroad 10 years ago to find my roots as I searched for clues to my identity. It’s a funny ole thing to do because one might think they they already know themselves. But I needed to search my past and it wasn’t because of untold stories. I was drawn by my past spirits. A home will always have this power of attraction. The problem was that I was pulled between Greece, the origins of my family and Australia, the place I was born and grew up in. The power of this pull eventually came from different directions as I made my home in different cities of Europe. And attracted me so deeply to Paris.

I have family living in France that I never met properly. I’ve seen them once when a few members visited my aunt in Kalymnos. It was the first time I heard Greek spoken with a French accent. It was delightful and I pondered about visiting them. But what would I say since they are now so distant? And besides, the bond I have is with my grandmother.

When I visit Greece again I will search for the photo of my grandparents and add it to my post.

By Bike To Australia & Back

Inspiration of Greece

By Bike To Australia & Back

A story of poems that illustrates a continuous beginning. Fresh and anew again and again. My poems are about absorbing the world around me with a pencil and paper in my hand. The way I see my life and the lives of others as I build my own outlook. There are poems for every mood in each chapter, sequenced like a story. A story of every day life, love, family and travel.


The Romance With My Art

A Portrait In ParisOh how I yearn to learn the language and live in France one day. Paris is the place for artists. It’s where one goes to create, to be appreciated, to discover and to be discovered. It was where I had my portrait done and where I returned again and again for various reasons in my life. When in doubt, I always turn to Paris.

The last time I was in Paris I danced! I wrote my impressions and formed them to created poetry. I love being with my arty friends because they don’t see me as weird. They yearn to have their senses challenged in the same way as I do. I talk to them about my ideas and I can see in their faces that I’ve triggered something. They speak with no words and I then know I’ve created a spiritual bond. Just like the one I have with my grandmother.

Poems That Touch The Soul

“Sometimes we need to step away from our immediate surroundings for all to become clear and find truth.” I started writing to introduce my poetry book. Included are color photos of our dance adventure in Paris. If they give the same impressions as my own, you will experience unexplained emotions that can never be replicated or told again.

I continued to write, “This is true for myself. It is how I came to write my poems as I realised my subconscious love and passion for dance. My varied life experiences at home and abroad led to self-discovery and a realisation of a life of dance that I have always led that relinquished my disappointment of lack of pursuit.”

I explain my nomadic life and it is this life I have led in the pursuit of finding my artist self, the spirit of my grandmother.

“Life is dance, and without dance there is no life, and love for these are inseparable. I’m a dancer and poet at heart. Two inseparable art forms, one soul. “Poems that touch the soul & don’t adhere to the pattern of life”, refers to a nomadic lifestyle that lends itself to reach the unexplored self. This is an art form, one of its kind because it can dance and has always danced. It unites strongly through poetic philosophy that delves into ethical boundaries, aesthetics, education and love. A concept that encompasses and revolutionises a soul. It becomes true in its purest sense as every word put to paper is felt by my heart and a final breath celebrates creation.”


A Poem

This poem illustrates the journey of finding my artist self through my grandmother of whom I’ve never met. I can feel it. I do have her voice, I do have her eyes. And what more, I have her name ‘Maria’. Traditionally girls are named after their grandmother in Greece. I chose the name Malena which represents my artist self.The poem is published in my book, Sudden Clarity. Last night I created an audio for this poem just so I can share it with my readers.


Colors emerge with age
Rusty browns and creamy whites
Classic and timeless
Up to the present day

Poise and stance romanced
I searched for the thought in my head
Like an apparent fate
That raced to catch the bait
Only to return home instead

I went in search for you
I found you
And ironically returned without you
Hidden virtue of love and sacrifice
The torture runs again and again
as you,
The thought remains in my head
To let go of it
And free it
Is a symbol of love
for it
Freedom of self,
Alongside it
A vision of self
Within it
Is a hidden virtue of love and sacrifice
for it

And there she was
I saw her from afar
She was
She was
I looked back
And there she was
I saw her below
She was
She was
And I thought that was me
I saw her near
She was
She was
Enclosed in a city
High buildings
Like walls
She was,
In a coffin
I saw she was

It was a coffin for me
It was

Like the flowers he gave
She froze
The frozen flowers,
He gave
Like the photo
She took
Long ago
For preservation
Of the love
He gave

A curse
That buried her head
In love
they were
Two decades apart
they were
She unlocked her heart
It was a place
He buried his head
To rest
And watched
The times
People walked by
Without a care for a soul
A heart, a body
When it grew old
And youth, a past
A curse to bear
Use her, describe her
Find her!
She called
Malena was her name
Paris, France
Was her ultimate aim
Ich habe eine kofer in Paris,
Was her claim

I might be related to the Greek Australian journalist John Mangos!

Did you know that I might be related to John Mangos? Whether it’s fact or fallacy, I’ve been told this all my life. Before I changed my maiden name, people asked me ‘Are you related to John Mangos?’ all the time!

“John Mangos has had a thirty-six year career in journalism, the past thirty-three years in television. He is currently a news presenter for the Seven Network and is a regular guest on the Sunrise and Morning Show programs.”

The Family Member You Feel Most Connected To

Poems That Touch The Soul & Don’t Adhere To The Pattern Of Life

Maria Grujicic:


Upon waking up today I started thinking of a quote
my subconscious made and I wrote.
Last night I used this quote
as the subtitle of my next poetry book.

Upon waking up, it occurred to me that people may not understand it or perhaps misinterpret it, and I discussed it with my husband. Upon doing a quick internet search we bumped into a video showing a pattern on a screen that moves in a predictable way.

I searched again, and I bumped into this article a blogger posted, that seemed to answer the subconscious questions I had about my poetry. These are the ones I don’t use words to ask. They stay in my mind because they belong to my feelings.

It’s interesting how easily people repress their emotions. Such an allowance is not good for the soul, and thus answered my question again. I must trust my feelings. I wanted to use my quote because it is a personal belief that comes from my subconscious, the way my poems do. My soul needs this avenue to allow my soul to breathe. It is the one place I don’t have to adhere to the pattern of life. Hence, the subtitle of my poetry book.

“subconscious editor for such vigilance” is a quote from the guardian that made me think about the way my emotions and subconscious self edits my poems. And I recall commenting just yesterday in response to Frederick, a friend from my Poems That Dance Facebook page, that I wouldn’t want an editor to edit my words. It would be like editing my emotions and pulling myself apart.

As a teacher, I regard myself a poet and dancer first. I feel that people, like myself, are misled into thinking one must be perfect in an art to announce what and who they believe they are. The place your passion is, is you.

I love this quote from the guardian. If you’re a teacher or/and a parent, and/or poet, you will too!

“I don’t think kids need to learn whole poems to acquire the lines that will matter and mean most to them – the idea behind the recently launched Poetry by Heart campaign – they just need people who love poetry around, teaching it and reading it and being unafraid to be messily moved by it in front of them. These are some of the bits of poetry I’m made up of. Which are yours?”

Have a wonderful day.


Originally posted on Greatpoetrymhf's Weblog:

See on Scoop.itPoetry for inspiration

The Guardian (blog)
How strong emotion summons poetry
The Guardian (blog)
I have seen the sun break through / to illuminate a small field / for a while, and gone my way / and forgotten it.

See on

View original


Focus on now
Plans for a new day can wait
Never lose grip of what’s you
Continue on an unpredictable path
But remember there are many
Some are near and others are far
No regrets
Let go of the past
Hold on
Time will tell
Visualise me
& all of what is entering my mind
And you are free

This is a poem about freedom and being captured by one person.

Written By Maria Grujicic
Copyright 26/2/2013


Imouna Meraklou!
She cried
I’m doing this for you!
She cried
For your youth, not mine!
& my woes of a lost life
Failed pride
Absence of essentials
A mattress is all I have
& I sleep with a ritual for company
It’s not about me!
She cried
I live for you
But without you
Kind words fail dutifully
Sifting through clothes & jewelery
A mother and daughter
for company
Relevant only upon death

By Maria Grujicic
Copyright 26th February, 2013

Meraklou is a woman who has style in life and fashion. It’s a word in Greek and knowing this will greatly help with interpreting the poem. This is a fatal end, though I assure you happiness is set in disguise. :) As always, likes are appreciated and impressions are most welcome. Feel free to ask questions, as long as it is respectful, there is no right or wrong in poetry.

A Dominant Eye

Cat At A Parisian Hostel

Enter our private
I stop at the thought
& sleep
Lies are free
Within me
& a dominant eye

A la life!
You are my mirror
I can only tell time with you
A role that finds peace
& a key
It tells
It frames and becomes you
But it isn’t a favourite
Without a dominant eye

Nothing is forever
I discover
A collection of others
I smile to hide
Tears swell in my reddened eyes
I feel like a fool
I don’t have the breath to dream
Why do they separate the trees?
Entering the small details of life
Magnify you
I remind myself
It’s not forever
Without a dominant eye

By Maria Grujicic Copyright February 25, 2013

This is a poem that was inspired by my good friend Gala Yakovleva. It is a reflection from a thought she had of the dominant eye.. perhaps one of a cat, which always seems to be awake. I know it has been a long time since I’ve written a poem, but it was worth the wait because I thought about this poem long and hard. And the timing of polishing had to be just right, after pondering on the words I filled on my notebook. I wrote the ideas of this poem whilst in Paris and revised them upon return to Darwin, Australia.

A Star

A proposed star for Wikiproject Constellations.

A proposed star for Wikiproject Constellations. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

 A STAR was so bright,
It shone
And it turned into the sun,
Then when it burned the parts of the surroundings,
It dimmed a little,
And then a lot
Until it spread like a graceful moon
Softly silver-toned clouds camouflaged into the darkness of the night sky,
And the water ran, it sparked the light,
That turned to a flame and it also ran,
Music was heard from below,
And the star retreated to fall gently,
So eloquently to tireless sleep.

Maria Grujicic Copyright 2011

This is a poem I wrote a while ago. I wrote it to soothe the soul after a tragic event almost eventuated. It was a kind of thank you that the bad times past and I was able to think ahead into a brighter future. Self-Publishing Blog is the fastest, easiest way to write and publish your book.

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