Last week, Krista entrusted us with her dance story, routine, and funny and moving moments from the dancefloor. If you haven’t seen or read it yet, you can find it at the link.
This week, she told us about her collaborations with other dance teachers and schools, her inspirations, and she also shared some tips and a challenge to try her moves yourself.
You work with different schools and other teachers, and you are also a part of a dancing group. How do these collaborations work, what is the dynamic of this connections, as there is a lot of people involved?
For me, working together is great, because I feel like we are stronger together and can achieve more. It depends, of course, who you work with. You have to have clean intentions, be kind... It seems to me, that there is still a lack of kindness in our society and we are all learning, so do I. Otherwise, I definitely encourage collaboration, not forming exclusive groups.
We are a group of three girls, called 3NITY. Women to be exact, who teach different dance styles. Maja, Shee dancer takes care of dancehall, Meta is versatile, she has a great expression and then we work together. Besides that, I participate in several groups.
I am also a part of Katja Vidmar's and Albert Podrekar's team. We are working on the performance Življenje je vrednota. The style is jazz and the show is meant for general audience and it's charitable. Dancers don't earn anything; every ticket sold goes for charity, for children that survived cancer.
I saw this show myself and I highly recommend it. I liked it very much, it's extremely moving. Great performance and great purpose.
Yes, it's a good job that fulfills you and also it helps me to stay in shape, because of the trainings and performances. Stage is my home; I'm feeling really good there. But currently I'm on a little break.
I mentioned before Maša Kagao Knez; there are few of us girls that dance and perform with drums. So, two to three africans come, they play the drums and we dance. Maša does choreography and it's a bit different, because it's on live music.
Now you spend most of the time on afro-urban and kizomba. Is there any other dance or style that challenges you, or do you see any bigger challenges within these two styles?
There are definitely enough challenges within these styles for now and I'm not looking for any more. Kizomba for ladies is a new program, reggaeton fusion also. It is a fusion of all the dances I have danced, I will try to combine them with reggaeton. So this is a big challenge and also afro-urban styles like afro house koduro, afro beats...
There are so many nuances already inside of those.
Yes, it's quite rich, it's not only dance but also a culture behind it. Each step has its own name, and as a teacher it's good to know what that step means. Just searching for sources, where the step comes from, what it means is pretty difficult, considering I'm on the other side of the world.
Are you going to dance abroad as well?
I do my best in terms of financial capacity. I am working to make it easier as far as finances are concerned. The time will show.
Most recently, in the summer I went to Bratislava. There were two great teachers of Afro House, Kuduro, Ndombolo and Coupé-Décalé. It was a great opportunity and it's close enough that I could catch it.
Once you are at this stage, private hours are the most valuable.
Who is your inspiration? The teachers you follow, or do you have some outside inspiration?
It always starts with music or when I see someone dance and say: "This is it." Through my dance history I had diverse set of teachers that pushed me and taught me a lot.
If we are talking about dancers, my inspiration are excellent dancers in different dance styles. For example, I watch videos of other dance styles that I'm not involved in and get ideas there.
But my everyday inspiration are my students, ladies, girls when they come to my class. They are my inspiration right now.
Is there any dance lesson that you have internalized in your daily life?
There are quite a few, for example; an excellent salsa dancer, Orville, said to me years ago: "Kill them with love." This one seems really nice to me, despite the word »kill«. Just be kind and nice.
My base are competitive dances, but then I got into social dances, where the point is socialization and just to have a great time. I was misunderstood many times, because I taught technique and was strict: "Now we will train.", so I had to change my approach to social dances first. As I said before; as I teach, I grow, especially as a person. People are my mirror and it’s a lot that I can do this.
Krista, do you have any advice for our dancers?
They should dance as much as possible. It depends on what they want. It's a good idea to check from what they are planning to learn, from where a particular dance genre comes from and to get a little insight into the background, culture and the teacher, like where he came from, what he accomplished, what does he do. Then just enjoy yourself. Everyone chooses for themselves how far they want to come, but we must not forget the technique. When you know the technique or a certain movement, the body can process the dance smoothly and enjoy it even more. But there is never an end, there are always challenges.
Today Krista has prepared one short dance challenge for you, so you can check it out in the video.
I'll show you a few afro-beats steps.
Krista, thank you very much for the interview, it was a pleasure.
Readers, I hope you enjoyed our conversation and that you will try Krista's challenge and share it in your stories.