Lina Kvarnström

Sverige • Sweden


A nine year old girl with dance as her greatest need and hunger was unconsciously observed by an elderly lady who studied her as she moved across the stage at the theater. She studied the passion that the girl created with the music, the love between the movements and the air, and the art form she used as therapy. When the music was silenced and the young girl panting needed to go out and get some water in the foyer where the lady sat, the lady looked quickly away.

After a brief moment of grubbing in the corpus callosum the nine-year old girl could identify the lady as one of her friend’s grandmother. The girl said hello and the lady replied succinctly wondering what the girl wanted to achieve with her dancing. The little girl didn’t know what to reply, she had never thought of dance in that way, she had just been dancing for there was something about it that made her feel alive. After a millisecond of reflection the lady interrupted the girl’s thought bubble and said: -It is not easy to succeed, you know…

The millisecond the young girl previously used as consideration was all she now needed to know what she wanted, and without thinking she answered: -I never required easy, just possible.

The young girl is me and this took place at “Parkteatern” in Örebro, Sweden. My name is Lina Kvarnström and I turned 18 October 2015.

As a five-year old my mother took me to dance, completely unaware of what she was getting into. What she didn’t know was that the studio she was about to take me to was the studio where I was going to spend bigger parts of my childhood in, something she supportively approved as I came home telling her: “Mom, look at me!”, showing something I had been taught. This studio would turn out to be the studio where I went after my first kiss, my first heartbreak, when I got my first acceptance letter, when I was bored, when I was happy, sad, angry or even exhausted. This studio would be the studio I went to as my mom became an angel after she had been fighting lung cancer for two years.

The same day as she passed away, the 21st of May 2015, we had dance recital. Everybody told me to stay home with my family, but with my dad and siblings in the audience, me and my friends experienced the most emotionally performance in our lives, with no doubts that my mother sat front row in heaven smiling at us. The 22nd of May 2015 my dad found a note at mom’s bed at the hospital, a piece of paper from my diary written the 4th of march 2004: “The future already knows that I’m going to dance but it’s weird that I don’t know it in my head even if I’m sure of it”

Below my entry my mom had written “Honey, you’re born to dance. I’ll be there when you need me.”

So this is for myself. Dear six year old me, what you wrote about is called “destiny”, and I’ve never been more ready for it.

What do I love about dance? I keep on repeating the sentence in my head in order to find out. What I love? We all have experienced this love-hate feeling towards dance and I don’t think that I really understand how much it helps me. I mean, if someone asked me to describe dance with one word I actually would say pain. But when my soul is in perfect symbiosis with my dance, I realize that the pain is not even pain. It’s just a part of me, it defines me. Period.

Let’s face the fact. People will doubt and they will tell you that “It is not easy to succeed”. Use those doubts and work until your idols become your rivals, because your potential is just as great as anybody else.