How to become a dancer on dance moms

How Do You Get Cast On 'Dance Moms'? The Audition Process Is A Lot More Hollywood Than It Seems


by Allison Piwowarski

Is anything what it seems on reality TV? Here I've been thinking that all the stars of Dance Moms are just Abby Lee Dance Company dancers (and their moms) who have trained with Abby and happen to be on the show. Turns out, I am a gullible gal, because there's a lot more Hollywood pizzazz thrown into the casting of Dance Moms than you'd think. If you ever found yourself wondering, "How do all of these moms who want their daughters to be stars just magically show up on this series?" it's because the only magic involved is Hollywood magic. So what does that casting process look like?

Well, the show doesn't just pick any mom of the Abby Lee Dance Company parent pool. Why? Because some of those moms could be noncompetitive, and supportive of every child, and basically, a total bore to watch on television. Dance Moms lives on highly emotional situations, and to ensure that the current season is as drama-packed as the next, casting needs to be a little more selective.

That's why there is a website for an open casting call for Dance Moms ! Now technically, I, a 23-year-old non-mother, could apply too, but I wouldn't be selected (or maybe I would if I put my Creative Writing degree to good use... In that case, watch out Maddie Ziegler, my imaginary daughter is coming for your solo). But after the casting directors weed through the phonies (like me), they are left with a special pile of names of potential new Dance Moms cast members, and the picking begins.

So what does this application look like? First, it has the usual questions:

  • Name of parent(s)
  • Name of dancer
  • Age
  • Job
  • Current studio
  • Video links to dance solos

Then, things take a turn for the specific. This is where the casting producers will separate the Brookes from the Maddies (if you will). Here are a handful of questions the casting application will ask you, and how I think a real Dance Mom would respond.

How Good Is Your Kid?

What Casting Is Looking For: Here is where a Dance Mom says how amazing her dancer is. This is not a place to hold back the dedication to making sure people know that you've got a star on your hands.

How You Should Answer: "On a scale from 1-10? My child is a Beyonce. Whether she is doing pirouettes or tumbling, those that watch her think they've been touched by an angel."

How Important Is Dance To You?

What Casting Is Looking For: You live, breathe, die, dance.

How You Should Answer: "I live, breathe, die, dance."

Who Is Your Kid's Biggest Competition In The Dance World?

What Casting Is Looking For: Here is where Dance Moms have to show their knowledge of the dance competition world. You can't just say, "Someone who can spin around four times, 'cuz my little baby can only spin thrice. "

How You Should Answer: "Maddie Ziegler"

Which Moms On

Dance Moms Would You Butt Heads With?

What Casting Is Looking For: Again, you want to show some knowledge of the show, so this is a great time to name drop.

How You Should Answer: Name every single one of the current season moms.

After the applications are sent in, there is a open call where mothers and dancers attend. That's where the face-to-face happens, and you actually have to show up with a child dancer (so, I'm officially out). From the looks of sites promoting the open call, the casting call for the 2015 season was in Los Angeles. It's a long way from Pittsburgh, but the most dedicated Dance Moms hopefuls wouldn't let that get in their way.

Images: Scott Gries/Lifetime; Giphy (5)

Dance Moms stars who went on to launch successful careers and net worth

Lucrative TV gigs, fashion lines and eye-watering net worths revealed

By Eden Faithfull|1:55am Apr 29, 2022


  • 9Now
  • Gallery

1 of 8Attribution: Instagram

We know them as sweet little girls with unbelievably overbearing parents, but the stars of Dance Moms, which you can watch for free on 9Now, are now all grown up and have their own flourishing careers in the entertainment industry.

Scroll through to find out what your favourites are up to today and their eye-watering net worth.

2 of 8Attribution: Instagram

Maddie Ziegler

Maddie Ziegler became one of the best known faces from Dance Moms, earning an international audience after starring in a number of Sia's music videos and her film Music.

The 19-year-old dancer has also racked up multiple acting credits, having made appearances in Pretty Little Liars, Disney's Austin and Ally and The Book of Henry.

She also starred in Steven Spielberg's film adaptation West Side Story, as Velma.

Maddie's latest role in HBO Max's The Fallout, as Mia Reed, is likely to be her biggest one yet. She is well on her way in making her mark in the entertainment industry.

Maddie has also dipped her toe into the fashion scene with her eponymous clothing line, Maddie. She also has her own activewear collection with clothing brand, Athletica.

It's reported that the star is worth around US$5 million, according to The List, and it looks like that will only increase as more opportunities arise for her.

3 of 8Attribution: Instagram

Jojo Siwa

We all know her name and her glaringly colourful wardrobe, and 18-year-old Jojo Siwa has made nothing less than an empire for herself after leaving Dance Moms.

The teenager first signed a deal with Nickelodeon and starred in her own show on the network, The JoJo & BowBow Show Show, before then going on tour with her musical stylings for tweens and teens and amassing a net worth of US$20 million, according to Celebrity Net Worth.

In early 2021 Jojo made a big announcement about her sexuality and debuted her new relationship with girlfriend Kylie. The pop star revealed she was coming out while wearing a T-shirt that read "Best. Gay. Cousin. Ever."

However Jojo and Kylie broke up in November 2021 after nine months together. But recently, there's been some speculation that JoJo and Kylie have reconciled and are, effectively, back together. But Jojo is yet to confirm or deny.

She made history on the 30th season of Dancing with the Stars US by being part of the first same-sex dancing partnership in the show's history.

4 of 8Attribution: Instagram

Mackenzie Ziegler

Mackenzie, who became known for her killer hip-hop moves while on Dance Moms, has gone on to leverage a career in both dance and writing, showing off her diverse talents. She's also become quite the star on TikTok too.

The 17-year-old, who is the younger sister of fellow Dance Moms alum Maddie Ziegler, found further fame on television when she competed on ABC's Dancing With the Stars: Juniors and made it to the finals.

That same year, she released her book, Kenzie's Rules for Life: How to Be Happy, Healthy, and Dance to Your Own Beat.

She has also starred in her own Nickelodeon show, Nicky, Ricky, Dicky, & Dawn, and released an album called Phases in 2018.

Mackenzie is worth an estimated US$3 million, according to Celebrity Net Worth.

5 of 8Attribution: Instagram

Nia Sioux

Nia, 20, rocketed to musical fame after her time on Dance Moms, and in 2015 released two singles, 'Slay' and 'Star in Your Own Life'.

In 2016, she was in the off-Broadway show Trip of Love and made her film debut in 2018's Runnin' From My Roots.

She also put her dramatic experience to the test and starred in hit soap opera The Bold and the Beautiful for a period of time.

Not one to be limited to a single career path, Nia also travelled to the 2018 Winter Olympics in South Korea as a correspondent for NBC in collaboration with video sharing app

Nia's net worth is reportedly US$2 million, reported by MDDailyRecord.

6 of 8Attribution: Instagram

Chloe Lukasiak

After a fairly difficult stint on Dance Moms, Chloe, 20, went on to develop a flourishing career in modelling, acting and writing.

She starred in the series Welcome to My World and the films Center Stage: On Pointe, F.R.E.D.I. and Loophole.

Chloe's net worth is reportedly an astounding US$6 million, according to Celebrity Net Worth. Part of that wealth has come from her wildly successful Instagram and YouTube channel, where she posts makeup tutorials and daily life updates.

If that wasn't already a lot to handle, she has also written a book entitled Girl on Pointe: Chloe's Guide to Taking on the World.

7 of 8Attribution: Instagram

Abby Lee Miller

Perhaps the most infamous star of Dance Moms was the no-nonsense coach, Abby Lee Miller.

Abby, 56, has definitely had a difficult time since leaving the show in 2017. She made headlines when she went to jail for felony bankruptcy fraud, and was later diagnosed with Burkitt lymphoma, a rare type of non-Hodgkin's lymphoma.

She has since announced that she's cancer-free, and returned to the show for Season 8, Dance Moms: Resurrection.

Abby is worth a reported US$2 million, according to Celebrity Net Worth.

Stream complete seasons of Dance Moms for free on 9Now.

-- no more galleries --

How to become a dancer? - Online magazine FOODIKA

Olga Bardysheva - master of sports in ballroom dancing, 3-time champion of Russia, 2-time champion of Armenia, world champion in flamenco, judge in sports dancing. As a choreographer, Olga worked on creating dance numbers and programs for pop stars: Diana Arbenina, Jasmine, Grigory Leps, Natalia Vlasova, and others. Actively engaged in coaching and teaching.

  1. Olga, tell us how you chose the profession of a dancer?

I didn't choose, she chose me. It so happened. I never really thought about my profession or what I would do. For me, dancing is a sport, an art, an outlet, an expression of myself, the highest point of pleasure. I danced when I felt bad and when I felt good. All my experiences in this or that situation accumulated and were reflected in music. It was a blast. It was a power that came out of the depths of my soul. Music and movement give such a colossal experience in presenting oneself, understanding oneself, which, perhaps, cannot give anything else. Dance raises you to a new level of being, and those emotions that you cannot express, you live in music and get catharsis. Every time you come out of the dance as a new person - you start life anew, from scratch. These sensations are so exciting that life without dance is ordinary, boring, uninteresting. With dance, she is more expressive, more expressive and brighter many times over.

  1. How old were you when you started dancing? What brought you to the dance studio?

I started dancing at the age of 10, which is actually quite late. However, at 15 I already danced in an international class, which turned out to be a very quick result - to pass such a large number of classes in 5 years. My mother brought me to the dance studio - my crazy superactivity had to be urgently implemented. My mother really did not like my pastime - running around the yards, climbing fences and trees. She decided: “Let the daughter go in for dancing and sports rather than skinning her knees!”.

  1. Is it possible to start dancing already at an age, will there be results?

You can start dancing at any age. There will always be a result, because dance is, first of all, an impulse of your soul. And what is the result? It can be viewed from different angles: for example, you have learned some figures - this is already a result, you have perfected them technically - this is another result, these figures, perfected technically, filled with your soul impulse, emotions - this is the third result. You brought these technically perfected figures filled with emotions to the public - this is the next result, the next stage of development. Figures honed technically, filled with emotions and presented to the public, you danced in pairs - this is the fourth result. Yesterday you danced like this, and today in a different way - this is already the fifth result. The result is a change in your attitude towards yourself with the help of some instrument, in this case it is dance and movement. You can start dancing at any age. In any state of health, and the result will always be. This is the most beautiful thing about dancing.

  1. Can absolutely anyone be taught to dance?

Any person can be taught to dance. We have a sense of rhythm in our mother's womb, when we hear her heartbeat, and, one way or another, we react to the beat of her heart. And when, in infancy, a mother cuddles her child to her, he calms down when he hears the rhythm of her heart. It's built into us from the beginning. It's just that with age we lose naturalness: they can look askance at us, and we hide. All small children dance, they feel the rhythm, they make movements. This is inherent in any person: when you are driving in a car, listening to the radio, you always move your head to the beat - and this is dance. Any movement to music is a dance. You can even dance with your finger. That is why any person can be taught to dance.

  1. What is the minimum age you have worked with and the oldest couple you have choreographed?

There were four-year-old children - wonderful, wonderful. We had fun with them. Of course, due to their age, they will not remember much, but they copy wonderfully and do it with more pleasure than fourteen-year-olds. As for age couples, I will say this: they are happy grandparents who are living their second youth. They can enjoy the dance, the music, and each other in the dance. And they don’t care at all about the “beautiful result” and the view from the outside - they just enjoy the process. And that's great.

  1. What is the hardest part of dancing for you? Maybe some element or the dance itself?

For many years I have had a motto: “Everything is easy and simple, the main thing is to feel and capture the essence. ” There is nothing difficult, on the other hand, everything can also be difficult. The whole question is how to treat. Dance is body language, which may be harder today, easier tomorrow. If you are engaged, everything is easy and simple for you.

  1. How do you come up with ideas for staging a dance? How do you come up with it?

Ideas can come from anywhere, from different angles - it can be graffiti, the screech of car brakes, the sounds of nature, the mixing of sounds, the melody of the city. All this can lead to some kind of plot, some kind of production. Therefore, every time you look around, turn on your imagination. Everything helps to make the process faster and more intense.

  1. Do you have the most memorable dance story?

The most memorable story is when my partner Kirill Nikitin, who now lives in America, and I competed in the highest category competitions in Ukraine. These were quite difficult competitions, not only in terms of the composition of the participants, but also in terms of political issues. When we reached the final, we were clearly hinted: "It's good if you are fourth." We nodded, although, of course, we wanted to become winners. And here is the parade, they announce the sixth place, then the fifth, we join hands with a partner, but not our pair number is announced. We decided that we were third. We join hands again, we are going to bow. They announce the number - again, not us. There was no limit to joy. We understand that we are second. They announce the number, and again it's not us. We have not been announced yet, but we already understand that we are the winners of this international championship, we are starting to hug. Then we received cups, medals and, according to tradition, we had to dance a victory dance. To celebrate, before the start of the dance, we forgot to take off our medals. And we danced rumba, and this medal constantly hit me on the head, I even worried about my teeth (laughs).

Interview with Dzhaz-Modern dancer Anastasia Antonseva

January 2016

Interview with Dzhaz-Modern dancer Anastasia Antontseva

Called: Katerina Vnildlo Anastasia Antontseva-a talented dancer, a teacher, choreographer, choreographer of modern dancing dancing dancing dance studio Gold&Dance. Graduate of the School of Modern Plastics. M. N. Suvorova according to the system of Isadora Duncan, Anna Braslavskaya's jazz-modern class and the Polestar Pilates studio, founder of the AJAZZ dance dance studio and the Creative Living Room ART Corner project.

You have the opportunity to find out how a person lives who has devoted himself to dance since early childhood. How to dance Moscow, St. Petersburg and boring office everyday life, how to liberate yourself in the modern rhythm of life, what is the difference between modern jazz and booty dance, how to improvise correctly, is it true that pair dance is a rehearsal of life together, how to support yourself in form - and about many other things in our conversation.

Special thanks to Anastasia for the video with improvisation, recorded especially for Contralto People and enriching our interview!

— How did dance come into your life? As far as I know, you contacted him when you were still young.

Yes, we met him when I was 5. My parents and I were driving by the House of Culture, where there was a big announcement about enrolling in a choreographic school, and just by chance we stopped by to watch it. The teachers looked at me, said that I had good data, and took me. And given that my mother herself always dreamed of dancing, this case is like the embodiment of her childhood dream in me.

— Did you want to dance then? What did little Nastya dream about?

Music is always playing in our house, it was the same in childhood, but I was never drawn to sing, which cannot be said about dancing. I always loved to dance and never missed the opportunity to move to the beat. It is difficult to remember what exactly little Nastya dreamed of, but, as they say, appetite comes with eating, so as soon as I started studying at a dance school, there was no stopping me. Moreover, children are often forced to do something, in my case, on the contrary, I was ready not to do and skip anything, just not dancing :)

— Is the childhood of a dancer somehow different from that of a non-dancer?

Oh yes! How different! If you remember school, all my classmates after school ran to the backyard to play, on weekends they all went somewhere for a walk, to meet, and I had DANCES! And, frankly, I did not understand what could be more interesting and exciting than dancing every day. After school, my mother took me to training sessions that lasted 3-4 hours: class (classes at the classical barre to the accompaniment), plastic, gymnastics, acting, rehearsals and, of course, performances on stage. All this was very tempering, disciplined and strengthened.

— Without dancing, would Nastya be frail and distracted?

That's for sure! And not only mentally, but also physically. By the way, our physical education teacher has always actively used this: all competitions, passing standards - all Nastya, well, she dances, she is so strong :)

- What was your favorite subject, and which was your hated one?

My favorite was the plastic lesson. I still focus on plasticity in my classes - this is emancipation, emotions, and some kind of freedom. Well, the hardest lesson, of course, was the classics. The machine was sometimes torture, I'm already silent about pointe shoes :) But even this I remember with love. Sometimes, at the gym, they stretched me to tears, I have no idea how our parents looked at all this.

— What about acting? There was no desire to go to this steppe?

I also really liked acting, and those lessons still help me in life. There were such thoughts, but still dancing is closer to me.

— Tell us about the school of modern plastic arts, what was it like to study, what did it give you?

... it's not so difficult to dance technically, it's more difficult to give an emotion, a feeling, to show with your body what screams inside you...

I finished it at the age of 16. In 11 years I have learned a lot both professionally and personally. There was a lot of communication with people of different ages, we were like one family, everyone worked on themselves, on the ensemble, created and were very happy. The teachers taught us not only the technique of dance, but also greatly influenced our inner development. We learned to be in a team, work and interact. Constant performances, concerts helped to feel confident and free. In general, the feeling of the stage is wonderful, and I still love this feeling very much. We were taught liberation and openness - all through dance, this is what I am now trying to convey to my students. After all, it is not so difficult to dance technically, it is more difficult to give an emotion, a feeling, to show with your body what is screaming inside you - and the school taught me all this.

— What is Anna Braslavskaya's class on modern jazz? Something like an upgrade?

Anna Braslavskaya is a bright and unique jazz fusion choreographer. Dancers of absolutely different styles come to her class: ballerinas, gymnasts, populists, fitness trainers, and just amateurs. Anya gives a class of perfect combination, you develop everything: you strengthen endurance, stretching, plasticity, and choreographic base. The load is crazy, after almost two hours of classes you can barely crawl out of the hall, but this is such a cool feeling that you want to come back for it again and again!

— Why do you think people are closed more often now?

Everyone has their own reasons, of course, but those people who come to me for emancipation are people who work nonstop, run, hurry, communicate in a narrow circle of friends, relatives, simply because there is no time. In Moscow, in general, no one has time for anything - a frantic pace, and most importantly, people do not have time for themselves, and if you don’t care and love yourself, then it goes without saying that you close yourself. Therefore, in order to be liberated, you need to stop and finally take time for yourself, love yourself: at least for an hour in the dance hall :)

— Do you manage not to fall into this rhythm yourself?

With difficulty, of course, I have to combine a lot, but over time I try to prioritize what really brings me pleasure.

— You studied under Isadora Duncan's system, how does it differ from others?

Isadora Duncan

First of all, Isadora's main message is dance as a natural continuation of human movement, so her system is as close as possible to our natural movements. Secondly, Duncan always called for dancing to be performed from the inside, showing your emotions and feelings. Therefore, the main difference of her system is the presentation of content in a form that is unique for each performer. That is, I can show you a movement, and we will both do it technically correctly, but it will look different, because our inner feeling and our emotions will be different. Each is unique, individual and free in its performance.

— Is this system close to you? And which of the other famous dancers is close to you or inspires you?

This system is very close and dear, of course. As for inspiration, Martha Graham, Maya Plisetskaya, Lester Horton, Rudolf Nureyev, Mikhail Baryshnikov, Fred Astaire, Michael Jackson, Bob Foss come to mind. ..

- Was there anyone you would like to imitate?

A little bit of everything, because all the listed gurus are from different dance styles, and I always want to experiment, combine, so I want to take something of my own from everyone.

— Do you miss the stage? Or are you still performing?

I miss the stage a little, of course, in the amount in which it was, but this is a passed stage, now I feel that I get more pleasure and return from teaching. Although occasionally drops out and go on stage. Now I want to give this opportunity to my students more, because this is a great experience and very vivid emotions!

— You work with modern jazz. And what is the technical difference between it and other modern dance styles?

In short, modern jazz, like the musical direction of jazz, combines different styles, genres and techniques. Therefore, jazz-modern is a style that maximally embraces various kinds of plasticity. This style combines elements of other genres, which makes it free, interesting and unique.

— What can and what cannot be said by movement, dance?

It seems to me that dance can tell about everything, it is a universal language for all people on earth. You can give any emotion and tell any story like no other way. This is why I love dancing!

— How to dance to portray a boring office life? :)

Well, it will be quite static, but even office life has its plasticity.

— How to dance Moscow and St. Petersburg?

Oh, for me, Moscow will obviously be in the plasticity of rock and roll, but St. Petersburg will be slow, in the rhythm of the blues ... I love St. Petersburg, he is close to me in mood, but I could not live there ... Probably , it's great to come there for a few days, draw inspiration there, create, but it's difficult to live in a rainy, windy, cold city. Yes, and in Moscow is not easy ...

I am a very sun-dependent person, so it's hard for me in cloudy cities, but there is always a way out - you can try to illuminate everything around you yourself, with creativity, people, music, mood.

— Did you have a desire to move to warmer climes?

You know, on the one hand, there is such a desire, but on the other hand, I used to think that we ourselves create these warm lands. You can complain about the rain, or at this time you can wrap yourself in a blanket and get high with a book at home, you can complain about snowfalls, or you can go and make a snowman :) And it also seems to me that if you live in constant sun, then you won’t be so strong appreciate and love him.

— What inspires you besides short trips to St. Petersburg? Art, books, walks, for example?

I am inspired by travelling, cinema, meeting new people, exhibitions, works of other dancers, artists, including my friends. In general, the successes of loved ones are very inspiring, I am so happy when my relatives and friends achieve something that I myself am charged by their success and this betrays a lot of strength.

— What kind of music do you like? Which one is more pleasant to dance to, and which one to relax under?

I like different kinds of music, I always play jazz or chocolate radio in my car, but in general it all depends on my mood. I love jazz very much, it's great to imagine, invent, I love soul, blues, latin, and of course Jackson! And lately I've been listening to Afro-jazz a lot, and I want to dance in the same style, something wild, bestial, natural...

— In your opinion, what is the reason for the popularity of essentially African music? Hip-hop, rnb and others? By the way, it is believed that in American modern there are connections with African and Indian folklore.

... Jazz-modern generally came from African dances, which had an everyday character, it was only later that it was transformed into what we perform and see now.

Historically and geographically, African music has had a huge impact on the formation of modern styles of music. Therefore, listening to our favorite popular hits, we unwittingly become lovers of African music. And if it's intuitive, then I think it's a matter of a special rhythm, musicality, which make you pass every note through your body. And even if you are not a professional dancer, you still want to dance to the beat of the clockwork drums. .. Besides, it's nice to see how African-Americans move, because this natural plasticity is inaccessible to Europeans. Music, dance - this is their gut, they are born with it. As for history, modern jazz generally came from African dances, which had a domestic character, it was only later that it was transformed into what we perform and see now.

— Are there any national peculiarities in Art Nouveau or is it a single system of movements for all mankind?

There is no unified system as such. In modern there are stylistic trends: afro, jazz, classic and others. And this division was influenced by historical development. That is, it all started with domestic and everyday African dances, ethnic motifs, and then came jazz, broadway, musicals, Duncanism / free dance based on ballet choreography. That is, at different times, under the influence of various historical events, modernity took on a new form. What we have now is a mixture of styles, which is usually dictated by the choice of music.

— At the beginning of the 20th century, the choreographer Laban opposed the dominance of music over dance, he said that an artistically meaningful movement should be an expression of the inner life of its creator, and not the content of the music. Do you think this idea remains modern?

Of course, now the so-called dance performances, which follow the ideas of Laban, are gaining immense popularity. Choreographers emphasize the dance as a performance, sometimes such actions are accompanied only by the sounds that we have in everyday life: the buzzing of a drill, the creak of a door, the sound of heels, the click of a switch... Insanely interesting and experimental, but it's like an art house movie - far from for everyone.

— Did you participate in such performances? Tell us about your performances. Which one do you remember the most?

I did not have to participate in such productions, only as a spectator. But there are ideas, fantasies, so I think everything is ahead. I danced more in theaters and concert venues. There was participation in productions of musical theaters: the Natalia Sats Theater, the Romen Theater. Working with pop artists as backup dancers, there were tours and participation in international dance competitions. And most of all, probably, the city performances were remembered: the day of the city, New Year trees. Because these are holidays of a large scale, it's so cool to be a small part of something big that unites so many people and makes everyone rejoice and smile! In general, I really love people and I like to give them something kind and warm :)

— It turns out that modern jazz is a dance of energy, life, constant movement. Isn't this all too much for an already crazy big city?

You know, modern jazz is about real emotions, about freedom, about looseness. And in a big city we are very often squeezed, closed, obsessed with the material. Modern gives you the opportunity to free yourself, go beyond the boundaries and discover the wonderful world of your emotions, the possibilities of your body, helps you look at yourself from the other side and distract from the crazy pace.

— When you dance, does a state close to trance occur? You know how Sufi dervishes spin around and are in a different space. Was it like that with you?

Of course! It seems to me that any creativity is a kind of trance, meditation. When I dance alone (this also happens), I forget about everything and give myself only to the dance. This is improvisation: my brain is free, and only the body on the physical level knows what to do next. This is a thrill! When it's sad, when it's fun, I dance, and it works like a medicine, too. I highly recommend.

— How to improvise correctly?

Basic rule - no rules! It is important to free your brain and give free rein to emotions. Of course, improvisation is difficult for beginner dancers, since their body is not yet relaxed and the mind will prevail and repeat: “I don’t know how to move, but what exactly should I do?” Therefore, improvisation is more accessible when your body has already learned to create on its own.

Sophie Hunger improvisation - Let me go
Specially for Contralto People

— What emotion do you most often express in dance?

Personally, melancholy is closer to me in dance. Throughout my life I am always in some kind of active-joyfully-crazy mode, so in the dance I often want to feel a little sad, “whining”. But in the group I just try to feel the need of the audience and give everyone the missing emotion.

— How did you come up with the idea to open your own studio and start teaching in general?

The first teaching experience was at the school where I studied, then I was simply offered to teach children. I really liked it: this is a magical effect when you give, and then you see how a person grows and gives you an amazing result. Then they called me to teach in fitness, then to another school. And so, after some time, I realized that I like it, people like it, so why not start something of my own. I found the hall, announced on the social. networks about recruiting into a group, came up with a name and started teaching. Then a childhood friend joined me, with whom we graduated from the school of modern plastic arts together. So far, of course, we are at the very beginning of our journey, but we know where to move, and we are moving forward step by step.

— Well done! How do you choose music for classes? And the most interesting - how is the process of creating a dance that you will teach?

I choose music according to the mood of the group: sometimes they want something more active, sometimes slower, sometimes the students themselves say what style they would like. And the dance - I just turn on the music, close my eyes and roughly imagine what and how. Then I technically think over the movements and bring the finished combination to the hall.

— Do you think everyone can be taught to dance?

I'm sure yes! It does not depend on nature, sense of rhythm, physical data. But! You need to understand that if you really want to learn, you need to have a lot of patience and perseverance, however, so with any occupation. At the beginning of the journey it is always very difficult, but if you don’t quit, but work and try, then finally you start to get unreal pleasure!

— How to find an approach to everyone? Yet so different, with different goals.

Jazz-modern fits perfectly in this sense, this is just the kind of dance direction in which you can realize different desires. When a newcomer comes to the gym, I always talk to him and clarify what his goals are, what he wants to get from our classes. I form my class taking into account different needs: someone needs physical training, someone just wants to rock out to great music, someone wants to understand the technique, someone comes for communication, someone wants to show their loved ones a video of how he is engaged, someone wants to be liberated. My main goal is for everyone to have a great time in the dance hall and come back next time. I give a lot, but I get even more when I see the result and the joy of the students.

— No desire to turn the studio into a big school? How do you see yourself in the future, what do you want to achieve?

I would like to make a creative center where people can try their hand at different kinds of art, including dance. I want people to perceive dance not just as a set of movements, but as a therapy for the soul and body. I also want to delve into dance as a science in the future. After all, there is the so-called dance-movement therapy, which helps sick adults and children develop properly and get rid of various health problems. I also want to do charity work and help those who need warmth and help so much. We still teach at the orphanage, and the emotions that children experience after classes are incredibly magical! Such happiness to realize that you gave warmth to someone who needed it so much!

— Wow! How did you choose the orphanage?

Just invited friends, they said that the kids had seen enough of the show "Dancing" and want to dance the same :)

— How was the Art Corner project created?

Thanks to an amazing acquaintance with a bright creative person named Natalya Chobanyan, the list of my creative hobbies was replenished with painting. Actually, this was the starting point for the creation of the Art Corner creative living room. We organize various creative workshops (painting, ceramics, mosaics, curves, etc.) at venues in different spaces: cafes, workshops, studios... fuss and touch different types of creativity. In the process, our guests get to know different artists, craftsmen, discover new talents in themselves, become infected with this incredible love for creating something with their own hands and, in the end, fill their lives with new emotions and hobbies.

— Why do you think communities of interest are so popular now?

Everything is simple here: it's always nice to talk to a person who is on the same wavelength with you. This is how you and I agreed on the topic of Pilates and enjoy the fact that we speak the same language and can share experiences with each other. It is the same with others, as if meeting a like-minded person, you feel some kind of kinship in him.

— Have you been fond of painting before? What hobbies do you have besides dancing?

I used to like to draw, sing, even went to vocals a little. I was fond of running, snowboarding, this year I mastered skiing. And, of course, like you, I love traveling! I can’t get out on long trips, but even 3-4 days can inspire and relax me very much.

- Share one of your most memorable travel memories. Or are there several?

From the last trip to Armenia, the most vivid visual impression is probably the amount of snow and winter mountain nature in general, it is amazing and incredibly filling. And for me, trips are always more memorable with new amazing acquaintances. For example, this time we met a wonderful musician named Tamara Pogosova - a person with infectious energy, who truly devotes himself to his beloved work. By the way, we also met Natasha Chobanyan on a trip, again in Armenia :) And this acquaintance really became the brightest event of last summer.

— Your studio's website says you've also done pair dancing. Jane Austen is said to have said that partner dancing is a rehearsal for living together. what do you think about it?

Yes, I did: both ballroom and social, that is, paired street dances, these include salsa, merengue, bachata. On the one hand, interaction with a partner, contact, impulses are extremely interesting. But, on the other hand, it is also, in a sense, a framework, especially from the side of the partner, where your role is exclusively driven: you perform the movement that the partner dictates. This situation can be transferred to family life - you must trust your partner, go where he directs, must be patient and make compromises. Many factors must come together to make the dancing couple feel both comfortable and technically well-coordinated, which did not happen in my case. Finding your partner/partner is very difficult! Pair dancing classes have become a wonderful experience for me and have developed new facets of my plastique, for example, I really love Latin, so I often add Latin American motifs to the choreography.

— Don't like to obey?

Oh, that word "submit"... You know, not thinking about anything at all and just being led is great, but, as I said, you need to trust a person in order to allow yourself to relax and just follow, otherwise case it really looks like "submission", "obedience".

— Are there any directions in the dance that you strongly dislike, irritate?

I can't say that they are annoying, rather they are simply alien and incomprehensible. For example, now a very popular style is "booty dance". For me personally, I don’t want to offend anyone, this is something quite vulgar and without a soul.

— It seems to me that this is something that helps in marketing, in sales... What do you think about it? Where is the line between soul and sale?

Yes, perhaps... Of course, one cannot say that modern jazz is such a commercial and popular style, but there is a lot about the soul, and I personally don’t want to chase mass character, I just want to find my “reader”, to whom I can give what he is interested in and needs. On the other hand, I would like to introduce as many people as possible to the beautiful, because most people who are not connected with dance do not know what kind of style this is. I hope, thanks to this article, many will type in the search engine "jazz-modern" and see what it is. As for sales, marketing - I think that there is nothing wrong with that. The goal is important here. If the goal is to make money, then, of course, you can thoughtlessly give what is fashionable, popular, but fashion changes and it is difficult to keep up with it. The second way is to do what you yourself love, because when you give yourself with love and soul to your work, those around you feel it and somehow reach out for you. Then development is easier, and if you can still correctly and accurately use marketing techniques, then success is guaranteed: there is already complete harmony between the material development of your business and the return of the spiritual component to the client!

- Tell me, how do you relax? How does the body like to recover after exercise?

The body really likes to take a horizontal position and in this state to read or watch some movie :) It's also cool to go for a massage, to the pool and to the bath - it's just a buzz for the body! In general, I like, for example, to go to the cinema, to an exhibition, to meet with relatives, to chat. And lately I get up to the easel and write. The head is cool off, you really have a rest from everything!

— How do you keep fit: diets, gyms?

Well, firstly, I work out almost every day, and secondly, I try not to eat after 18.00. That's all. Sometimes, of course, I don’t want any load, at these moments I don’t force myself, it passes very quickly and the body again asks for the gym.

— What, after all, hinders a bad dancer?

Only lack of diligence, diligence and desire to work can interfere. If there is a true desire and goal to dance, then nothing can prevent this: neither age, nor gender, nor natural data! Everyone can learn! And I really want as many people as possible to dance and get to know their body through dance! As Isadora Duncan said: "The dancer's body is just a luminous manifestation of his soul"!

Contacts and links:

Anastasia on Facebook
Anastasia in contact
AJAZZ dance studio
Creative lounge Art corner

Other interviews that may be of interest to you:

Interview with ballerina Ekaterina | Contralto People: people multiply worlds

Interview with contemporary dancer Anastasia Makarova | Contralto People: people multiply in worlds

Interview with theater director Galina Fedorova | Contralto People: People Breed Worlds

Interview with Anastasia Chumakova, prima ballerina of the Lithuanian Opera and Ballet Theatre.

Learn more