The Goodness Magazine - Magic is a shift in perception

From the Bronx to yoga – share your story

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Magic is a shift in perception

Tell us a bit about yourself.

My name is Luis R. Davila. I was born in Fajardo, Puerto Rico but raised in the Bronx for most of my life. Growing up there was very tough. At the time, it all seemed so normal, but now I realize that for most of my upbringing I was learning to survive and defend myself. The Bronx in 1984 was derelict with stolen, stripped cars, abandoned buildings destroyed by fires, gangs and many stray dogs and cats. At school I had to deal with being bullied on a daily basis and home life was wrought with a step-dad struggling with drug addiction and a caring mother who compromised her dreams to keep a roof over our heads, food in our bellies and clothes on our backs. Sounds typical, I guess, but the details of my upbringing kept us on a razor sharp edge.

What kind of coping mechanisms did you develop to deal with the hardships you faced?

Break dance, graffiti, and the art of rapping became my great escape. I loved music; Michael Jackson, Run DMC and Madonna became my heroes. I would lose myself imagining that someday I would be as ‘happy’ as they were. My interests in the performing arts lead me to participate in afterschool programs that separated me from the bullies and home life for a few hours a day. I learned ways to express myself without being called names. Eventually, my love for dance became noticed by a drama teacher in junior high school who recommended me to the Fieldston School of Performing Arts where I earned my first summer dance scholarship. Unfortunately, this was short lived.

What happened?

We send our gratitude to Luis who interviewed exclusively here for The Goodness Magazine.

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