Interview with Dancer, Casandra

When I first started writing, my focus was not interviews it was Poetry. My heart is heavily steeped in writing now, it’s finally time for me to finish my 5th book entitled Verity and focus exclusively on all future endeavours. I wanted my last interview, for the foreseeable future on CCIQ Press to be with someone, I not only adored, but also genuinely respected with regards to their choice of artistic impressions.  I can relate to all disciplines that foster a love of imagination through the movement of creating something beautiful within the simple scope of proper utilisation of one’s body to create a natural poise.  When, I watch Casandra dance I’m memorised by the immense motion that accompanies her expression as she elongates in a fashion as a tree moving to the notes in the breeze and crunched up into a ball slowly moving within a larger space.  Thank you, Cas for being open to a dance interview in addition to one on your poetics & for the dance clip you furnished me with. Now, everyone can see you shine.


RMMW: How long have you been dancing?

C: I have enjoyed dancing since I was about 5 years old (at least that I have memory of). It became a way of self expression
and something I enjoyed doing just for the feeling. It was not until I became a pre-teen (11) that I began taking lessons.

RMMW: What is your favourite style to dance in?

C: I would have to say hip-hop choreographies tend to be my favorites, but there is a magnificent and very much appreciated storytelling in contemporary dance.

RMMW: How many styles did you study? What are they?

C: I have dabbed in a little of everything. Ballet was first, followed by tap, contemporary, then choreography building as well as hip-hop and jazz.

RMMW: What do you LOVE most dancing or writing poetry?

C: That is a tough question... it is two different methods of canalizing my energy as well as expressing myself, but there is something that happens when writing that does not happen when dancing, I become accelerated and filled with adrenaline. I suppose I have more of a passion for writing, but when I am at a loss for words all I have left to hold on to is dancing.

RMMW: What do you think are the biggest challenges facing dancers in our day and age?

C: It is within itself a very competitive and short-lived career. Most dancers (professional) hit their peak between ages 22 and 24, by age 28 most of us have taken our bodies to their limit. If you love dancing enough to pursue it, you have to be willing to evolve and take your talent to new heights. I suppose I am trying to say that the biggest challenge is for your body to match up to your drive so that you may set yourself apart from the rest. (So, basically full-blown competitive passion and drive which is harder and harder to come by in these modern times.)

RMMW: Using your body as a form of expression must be exhilarating, how does it make you feel?

C: It is definitely exhilarating, it makes me feel good and happy, it makes me feel like I could take anything on, so, empowered.

RMMW: What ages do you teach? 

C: All ages really, but I enjoy working with younger kids most, they are more fearless.

RMMW: What is the biggest challenge about being a dance teacher?

C: I would have to say the biggest challenge I have encountered is having students open their minds to the fact that anyone can dance.
Not all of us are born with a natural talent for dance, but if you enjoy it and just let loose then you realize then power and strength that is found in self expression through the body.

RMMW: You're a beautiful dancer, your elongation lines are so clean and majestic -- do you choreograph or freestyle?

C: I do both, but freestyle seems to be more of my favorite. 

RMMW: Dancers normally put their bodies through the ringer, how do you maintain a healthy body -- what is your workout and diet regime?

C: I have honestly lost a lot of my regime in the last year. Normally my diet consists of plenty of water and smoothies, it is mainly a veggie-based diet, or at least organic. (I recently decided to go vegetarian again) And as for workout, dancing every day is key, as well as muscle building and maintenance. it truly depends what kind of dance you are practicing, but for the most part it is important to stay toned and eat as clean as possible.

RMMW: What do you want those who watch you dance, to take away with them from your performance? (I totally cried by the one you shared -- so beautiful)

C: Honestly, I am so shy and struggle with stage fright, but I suppose that whenever I share my dancing, I want to relay an emotional message that I cannot seem to verbalize. That of course can vary, depending on the emotion.

RMMW: Who are your favourite dancers and why?

C: Sonia Sanoja and Martha Graham have always been big insertions of mine, but I have love for dance, music and of course dancers! All types of dancers can produce a sensation of admiration within me, from an anonymous street-side choreography to Chris Brown on my TV screen.

RMMW: What is the most common misconception of dancers?

C: That all dancers dance ¨well¨. I know that it is probably an off-putting response, but a lot of people assume that because someone focuses on dance that this is naturally their strong suit. It takes a lot of dedication and discipline to even begin to execute basic steps and even with pushing our bodies to the absolute limit, there sometimes will still be things we cannot do. Some movements come easier than others and this truly varies per dancer.

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