Dance Me Free has been on a bit of a hiatus over the past few months. But we are so happy to be back, not just with some new and exciting interviews, videos and events, but also with an outstanding young dancer as our new photo feature for this season!
All the way from Provence, France, the beautiful Marilou caught my attention with her stunning features, her passionate poses and the way she makes dancing look so effortless and freeing.
I was taken aback by photos of this girl and couldn’t wait to find out who she was, what brought her into dance, and who the brilliant photographer was that was able to capture such great dancing moments.
It turns out that our very own Alessandra Quaglia – one of our most fun, friendly and charismatic, local dancers here in Vancouver- was the photographer. AND Marilou is a Quaglia as well! She is Alessandra’s niece and Goddaughter.
I jumped at the chance to have these two lovely ladies featured and I was thrilled when they accepted. So let’s find out a little more about Alessandra’s and Marilou’s views on dance. (Note: Marilou’s responses were originally in French, her first language. However, they have been translated here for the purpose of our readers).
How long have you two been dancing and which kinds of dances do you like doing?
Marilou: I have been dancing for 8 years now. I dance jazz, classical and hip hop.
And how old are you now Marilou?
Marilou: I am ten years old.
And Alessandra- you dance a few different dances, right?
Alessandra: I have been a dancer since the age of 8- a long time! I practiced many disciplines as a child but as an adult I enjoy tap and salsa.
What brought you to dance?
Marilou: I always saw mom and grandma teaching dance classes. And I would join their classes and put myself into the middle of their students. Whether the students were younger or older, I danced with them. I always wanted them to see me dancing.
Alessandra: My mom had a business right beside a dance studio in Toronto. Going to dance class was my favourite activity as a child.
That’s interesting that there’s a link there for both of you with your moms and your own dancing.
Alessandra: Yes and actually, Marilou was born on a Saturday, and she was in her mom’s dance studio on that Monday following.
Wow! That’s amazing! I wish someone had put me in a dance studio that early!
Alessandra: I’ve always been intrigued by how this would impact Marilou’s life. And she has embraced it wholeheartedly.
You took some fantastic shots of Marilou while visiting the family in France. What was it that inspired you to take photos of her, especially dancing?
Alessandra: She is incredibly beautiful and photogenic. She knows instinctively how to move and look into the camera. And I want to document her growth as I don’t get to be with her that often. Marilou has no inhibitions yet, so I can feel her true passion for the dance through her excitement and confidence. I can see through the lens where the passion comes from and it warms my heart. I was amazed at the progress she has achieved in the past three years since I last saw her. I wanted to capture her natural ability.
Marilou: I am inspired by my mom and Dorothée Gilbert. I am also inspired by what I see and experience in my life, as well as the music that I listen to.
What would you say to others who are considering taking dance but are not sure what they would get out of it?
Alessandra: Just try it. It’s one of the true personal expressions that makes you feel so alive. It’s a chance to connect with people and disconnect from your devices. Become part of a community of people who are happy when they are dancing. It will make you smile.
Why do you dance?
Marilou: I dance because… well, when I dance, I forget the bad times and I feel free.
Alessandra: I dance because it feeds my soul. It relieves any stress. I love the human connection with people I dance with. And even with tap, which is not necessarily a social partner dance, there is a certain language you can express through the movement of your body. Dance makes me feel sexy. It makes me feel like I’m in my own little bubble, free of worry. It’s a place to connect with the music I love. I feel blessed for the opportunity to connect for a brief few minutes with a good friend or even a stranger who I may never have known outside the dance floor.