It took a few steps back and forth across the globe for Lotus Blossom, a 24-year-old music therapy graduate student, to realize she needed a new title.
Born in Colorado Springs, Blossom was raised in Germany until the age of eight, after which she returned to the plains of the Rocky Mountains. Following her return, she said she gave up her birth name, Krystle, and embraced the name given to her by what she refers to as “the Devine.”
“(My name) represents who I am now, after I went through a big change,” Blossom said.
Today, Blossom studies in the music therapy program, practicing her passion for teaching dance as a means to build body awareness in females.
“I want to start a dance class for teenage girls teaching them how to be aware of the box and not go for a classical, stiff dance,” Lotus said. “I want them to say ‘I know how my body is, I’m aware of its limits, let me see what I can do with it.’
“Women are always either bashing on other women or on themselves, they can’t say what they really think,” she said.
Last Saturday, the world celebrated Women’s Day, a day designated to women from all walks of life, recognizing struggles while inspiring the future generations of women. This week saw International Women’s Week, a series of events celebrating strong spirited women like Blossom.
Looking back at her experiences, Blossom says she’s been inspired by a number of mentors. She has learned the trade of how to make a strong woman and how to be a good mom from her babysitting job primarily and her dance teacher Ra-el, in her junior year of high school.
“Ra-el is very much my spiritual teacher,” Blossom said. “She changed my life; she showed me that there are good people around.”
Blossom has passed her passion of dancing to friends, including her former dance student Rachael Singer, who is now a belly-dancing performer and teacher in a Chicago Public School. Singer named Blossom as the reason she picked up belly-dancing in the first place.
“Belly-dancing is about being a strong woman and being connected and grounded; becoming empowered. That’s a good gift to give to somebody,” Singer says. “Lotus has not only affected me, she’s affecting my students, hundreds of other people and for me to see the power of a woman like Lotus.that has taught me so much.”
While she was introduced to dance and to the spiritualist thinking by Ra-el, Blossom said her mother was the woman who started to make her think about preservation and ecology.
“My mom was always ‘Don’t waste the water,’ ‘Turn off the light,’ ‘Learn to reuse things,'” Blossom said.
With an environmental mindset of being, Blossom said she has been a vegetarian for the past nine years, although she says that some might not consider her a vegetarian.
“I don’t eat anything that flies in the sky or walks on earth, but I do eat fish,” Lotus said.
Not having any biological siblings, Blossom found three other women when she was taking dance classes back in high school, women who are vegetarian and Spiritualists as she is and called them “her sisters.”
“Ironically, me and my sisters connect at the right period of time, right when we need each other,” Blossom said.
The four sisters always meet at dance camps or in random places, with gaps of even seven years apart. But, Blossom said, they always reconnect like they’ve never been apart, never planning to meet, but just running into each other. They keep on talking about one day when they will all come together.
“I run in a circle of women that are very similar to who I am,” Blossom said. “I avoid people that are not supportive of empowering women. I don’t waste my energy with them when I could be helping somebody.”
Lotus thinks that women need support in being who they want to be. In her attempt to help women not to be trapped in the mainstream, she turns to dance as her tool of empowering her fellow sisters.
“I don’t like being in a box. So I thought to myself, ‘What is a way to use my art [dance]?'” Blossom said.
As an undergraduate, she was Co-President of the Club Kulturang Philippino and a choreographer and producer for Rice Productions where she performed Asian culture dances and skits. Now she teaches a belly-dancing class at a local dance club in the community.
In today’s world, Blossom said she’d encourage young women to come together and help each other. In her faith as a Spiritualist, Blossom sees the earth as an ultimate nurturing mother.
“If you honor the earth and you honor yourself, then you honor women.” Blossom said.
Staff writer Lucia Papureanu can be reached at email@example.com.