"Dancing can be magical and transforming. It can breathe new life into a tired soul; make a spirit soar; unleash locked-away creativity;…or trigger forgotten memories.'' ~ Unknown. Model in Photo below: Ashley Rhianne Bellydancer. Photographer: Idol Hunter
I am from a small city in the North of France called Saint Amand les Eaux, close to Lille.
Did you always know that you wanted to be a French teacher?
It’s funny actually how teaching became my life purpose without me even noticing. My mom was a teacher, and I originally never wanted to become one, as I was seeing all the drawbacks of the job. But when I was 16, I became a French and Mathematics tutor for the younger kids of my neighborhood.
Then, when I was 20, I became a diving instructor as I was completely in love with scuba diving (and still am). I wanted to transmit my love for this amazing activity to the greatest number of people I could. And teaching was a great way to do so.
After that, when I arrived in Vancouver in 2016, I started my business of teaching French classes online and on-site. I could see there was a big love for the French culture on the West Coast, and it was quite inspiring to help lead and support that. Continue reading →
Most people know me as a partner dancer. But from time to time, I’ve been sneaking away from the partner dance world to attend classes that I would have to do on my own. I wanted a class in which I wouldn’t be able to cheat by relying on my partner for balance, energy or to just initiate the movements. I wanted to improve my ability to find the feeling in my own body first, and to develop myself as an individual dancer. This was not to get away from the partner dancing world, but to help strengthen myself as a dancer, and bring this back into the dances I was already doing. I was thrilled to be able to find all this, plus a great cardio workout, through House Dance classes! And I wanted to share with you the lessons I have learned from them.
Of course, the concepts below can and should be learned throughout other dance styles, including the ones I was already doing. However, there was something about my taking myself out of the style and space I was used to that helped ingrain these lessons in me on a deeper and more conscious level. The House Dance classes made the concepts I should already “know” clearer. And this awareness has given me more confidence to understand them and apply them more intentionally to my other dances. Thank you, to my instructor Kyle Vicente and iDance Vancouver Studios, for these great lessons! Continue reading →
Which styles of dance are you into? Do you have a favorite?
I started dancing in 2009 after taking some salsa and bachata lessons at McGill. My dancing journey eventually followed me to Toronto, where I got introduced to zouk, and from there on, no other dance has had my heart quite like zouk does. I’ve dabbled into other dances like bellyDancing, kizomba, and dancehall. While they do bring out certain parts of me, zouk allows me to express myself in ways I almost can’t explain. Continue reading →
I was always interested in dancing in general. And partner dancing came along for me about fifteen years ago. A friend asked me to go to a salsa night. I had no idea what to expect. We took the lesson. I thought it was pretty intense. I didn’t know what to do. And after that, the floor opened up for social dancing. I saw people were dancing together in a way that looked as if they already knew each other, like they were actually couples. But then when they finished the dance, they said thank you and then went their separate ways. And I thought how did that happen? How do they know how to dance with each other, without knowing each other? How do they know when to turn and what to do? That was my first exposure to partner dancing. And so I wanted to learn. Continue reading →
I know you dance a few different styles of dance, but … is Zouk your favorite (smiles)?
Oooh that is a loaded question! Currently, yes, Zouk is my favourite. I guess that is pretty clear to people who have met me. (smiles)
What it is about Zouk that draws you to it?
When I think about what draws me to Zouk, I think first about what draws me to dance in general, and a few things come to mind. To me, dance is about passion, connection, emotion and technique. I was drawn to Zouk because it really resonated with me in those three areas which are important to me. I have found a new level of passion in myself and my dance through my journey so far in Zouk. I am passionate about the music, my personal development, the growth of the Zouk community, and I love learning more about myself and others through this dance. Continue reading →
Lights, Camera, DAUDI! That’s how I think the saying should go sometimes. If you’ve ever worked with this extraordinary photographer featured here, you’ll know what I’m talking about. It seems only natural to think about Daudi, the creator of Daudi X Photography, when talking about camera and light. Daudi is extremely creative with both. For him, photography is not just a job. It is his art, it his passion. He not only expresses the way he sees the world through this art, but he also brings pieces of it to us, capturing special moments and bringing out what is unique in each of his subjects. Daudi covers a range of photo types but his greatest fascination is with people. He is probably best known for his work in the dance community. His professionalism and attention to detail in his work is impressive, as is his friendly, charismatic nature. While Daudi has spent much of his time showcasing the talent and beauty of the artists that he photographs, it is my pleasure to finally celebrate Daudi’s talent and inspiring story with all of you. Thank you Daudi for your enthusiastic and thoughtful responses.
Kizom-what?– Part 2 –Interview with Eddy Vents- discussing Kizomba Dancing (continued) To view Part 1, click here
Tasleem: At the end of Part 1 of this interview, you talked about the importance of the connection in this dance. Because it IS more about that connection and energy, it’s really hard to describe kizomba to someone else. Often, I hear itbeing described in terms of other dances. The description “African tango” has come up a few times, and I’m wondering what your thoughts are on that.
Eddy: I think people describe kizomba that way because they need to refer to the dance with something that is more familiar. If I explained kizomba to you by talking about the other dances it’s connected to or came out of, you probably won’t know what I’m talking about, because you’ve never seen those dances. So ‘African tango’ makes it easy for people on this side of the world, who have not experienced those African dances, to imagine the dance using something they already know.
(Interview #2 of 5. To read interview #1- Giana and Nery- click here)
I walked into James’ and Alex’s cha cha workshop a little low in energy. I was tired and wasn’t sure I would make it through the class. But it turned out to be one of my favourite workshops because Alex and James were so fun. In fact, the combination of the music they chose, the playful choreography they put together for us, and their own charisma, made me forget about my sluggishness earlier. Instead, I found myself laughing and enjoying myself all the way through, and I also left reenergized!
I really enjoyed your cha cha workshop today. Is it one of your favorite dances? You seem to have a lot of fun with it.
James: More and more now, it almost seems like we prefer cha cha over salsa (smiles). And it helps that because of our cha cha performance, we are getting asked to do more and more cha cha workshops. You can play with the timing a little more. You can put your own routines together for it in a way that can be a bit more interesting and more unique than the regular old patterns. But really, we like both.
Alex: But the energy does often seem to be much higher in cha cha workshops. It’s fun. You can have a laugh with it. Cha cha is very loose. As long as you feel it, you can do whatever you want in it, really.
“The reason I started dance goes back to when I was very little- about four years old. There was a mall by my house, and whenever my mom would go grocery shopping, there would be this this big window nearby. And I’d always run away from my mom and go stand in front of the window to watch the breakdancing classes going on inside. I had a lot of energy, so my mom asked, “Do you want to try it out?” And I just got into it really fast.
Dance was more than just a hobby for me. Right from the beginning, I really looked forward to going to class. I played sports and stuff, which is fun, but it’s not the same. There’s just a different environment and a different vibe when you’re in a dance class compared to when you’re playing basketball, or football, or soccer or whatever. So why do I dance? I just kind of fell in love with it right away.”