Whatever happened to… (since 2011)

“Whatever happened to…” is a new blog series to allow Brockwood Alumni to post news about their journey since they have left and in that way keep in touch with the place and others who are curious about their new life. If you would like to write a little something for this series, please send us an email at alumni@brockwood.org.uk.

Maryam Benoit was a student at Brockwood from 2006 to 2011. In 2011 she had a gap year in Berlin where she pursued her passion for dance doing a contemporary dance training programme. Maryam is starting at Bennington College, USA this autumn. Below is Maryam’s description of her rich life experiences since she left Brockwood.

Ein Jahr in Berlin

I’ve always lived in a silent place, where at night, all I could see was an intense darkness and all I could hear was the loud overpowering silence. My entire life, bird songs have woken me up. Tall mountains, trees and space have surrounded me and the moon has lit up my evenings. Here, the sound of car engines wakes me up every morning, buildings, people and not much space surrounds me, and streetlights light up my evenings. But I have enjoyed the contrast, the change in lifestyle and learning to adapt to a new environment.

What happened to...

Whilst adapting to this new city, I have been taking part in a Contemporary Dance-Training programme at Tanzfabrik. I have experienced the mental and physical strength needed to be a dancer and I have learned to push myself through physically hard times. From this I gained a whole new satisfaction from my training, from movement. As well as dance technique and strength, the thing I am most grateful for is the body awareness that I have. I understand and feel different muscles and parts of my body, which I was oblivious to before. Taking part in the dance world here in Berlin has meant that I have been exposed to a very European Contemporary Dance scene that has inspired me and shaped my view on what Dance is. I have been surrounded by others who share the same or similar interests as I do, which has nourished my passion for Dance.

What happened to...

Other than exploring movement, I have been enjoying this lively city, which is filled with creative and open-minded people from different countries and with new ideas. Very quickly I felt at home and was busy exploring the Berliner culture, which I fell in love with straight away.
For the first time, I was living away from home and having to take total responsibility for my life. I learnt how to manage my time, rest enough, eat well, earn and manage money and take care of myself. I have gone through the most change this year, which has forced me to grow and become independent. This wonderful gap year in Berlin has proved that Brockwood prepared and helped me flower into a young, independent woman, and opened up my mind to the world.

What happened to...

Now, my year in Berlin is almost over, and I look forward to a new chapter in my life and to broadening my knowledge and interests as I take a step forward and continue my studies in Bennington College (USA).

To get a glimpse into ‘Ein Jahr in Berlin’, please see my blog:
http://tanzaufderleberstrasse.weebly.com

Maryam Benoit, alumna 2006-2011

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