Allister's Journey with Mental Health

I've been fortunate enough to pioneer hip hop dance in New Zealand with Dziah Dance Crew which was back in 2003 we were the first team to co...
I've been fortunate enough to pioneer hip hop dance in New Zealand with Dziah Dance Crew which was back in 2003 we were the first team to come back from the Hip Hop Championships in Los Angeles at the time Now we have like, 12, 13 crews going every single year, which is, which is a bit of a buzz but, at the time, we were just trying to make a name for ourselves and very fortunate to go from Dziah to then start our team that we have now, which is Prestige Dance Crew. We got sponsored by Lee, by Nike we got sponsored by Adidas for a few years which was mind-blowing for a kid that dropped out of school and I didn’t even have Adidas shoes myself and now to be considered the All Blacks of dance in 2006 it was too much for myself. We also didn’t have mentors at that time, we were getting gigs left, right and centre like, people wanting us here, which was really cool, but we didn’t know what to do with it I’m gutted, but I'm also about trusting in the process and understanding that life takes you where you need to go but, in terms of capitalizing on that moment I guess the learning for me was to understand that, moving forward now, but we've had to do lots of learning, lots and lots and lots of learning. I'm also a secondary teacher, been teaching out at Manurewa High School for the last 5 years. There’s been lots of like, in terms of just myself personally, the wellbeing stuff, in terms of what I was going through dance, what saved my life without dance then I would have, I guess been the stereotype, the stigma, the what everyone said, what everyone says of South Auckland kids. But fortunate that it didn’t happen, it didn’t go that way, I stuck to dance, I was fortunate enough to have the right people around me at the right times. Its a difficult subject man, its difficult because, everybody has their own personal view on it, and just for myself like, over the last 3 years I've been dealing with it intensely so intense focus, really understanding it for myself trying to unpack it, speaking to the people I need to that I need to speak that have, the skillsets to be able to give me the frames and the understandings but still a lot of it is you as an individual still kind of journeying through so, thirty years of trauma for myself, and I’m only 35, like three decades from when I was 5, to now be 35, its, even though I was doing significant, cool, exciting things inside I felt like I was in a jail, inside I didn’t feel anyone cared, inside I didn’t feel anyone loved, but then I was purely on my own personal journey. From physical, to mental, to sexual, all of those sort of abusive behaviours that kind of happened to me was, something that, really effected me as an individual, I’m just grateful that there were other family members that, even though they knew I was, I was kind of crazy, I was going through like, emotional rollercoasters, I was up and down as a kid, I moved between so many different homes because I was considered, crazy. Dance came through, it helped, definitely saved my life I'm just trying to focus on me so I can be, I guess, the best version for my boys, for my wife, for my colleagues, for the teams I'm apart of, You know, just to be on and so that people that see us they understand that, yes we aren’t perfect, but we can do whatever we want. I just think if people can focus on the day, especially if your in it, like if its raw, if its, and you haven’t been able to speak to it, talk to someone, definitely talk to someone, reach out, speak to someone that’s close to you to ask for help, for some organizations. Please, that’s what I would offer, is to speak to someone.
Mana Pasifika

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