Taiko conference is, as always, a reminder of just how much my skills are lacking. There's nothing like being in a workshop and having some 10 year old in front of you pick up the rhythms instantly and play them with grace and panache and find yourself still not being able to play them by the end. But this conference to me was a good reminder of what I do have that does hold up to the rest of the community, and that's passion. I have enough skill to share that passion with other people and I think that's the most important thing. I want to share taiko. This is what makes me happy and I'm sure it makes the world a better place. So as I go forward, I know that I will never be a taiko star, but that taiko played and taught from the heart is as strong and as important as stuff fit for Carnegie hall. If I can give people happiness, power, spirit, community, connection and just make them see the world a little differently, then I am serving the taiko community.
It also made me come to realize that there are so many groups out there who are even more sheltered than us at ONE, and that maybe every excuse I've ever given needs to be turned around, so instead of saying, "oh, syncopation is hard for me" I should say, "how can I get better at syncopation?"
It also showed me that we need more foot work. You can windmill your arms until the cows come home, but a simple shuffle back and forth can change the whole staging of the group and the visual and add so much movement, especially as a group. So many groups had really nice footwork which added so much.
As always, I'm amazed at such big hearts the taiko community has. Especially the people who are the stars and the masters and all they want to do is share taiko too.