Dance is a form of art that can express a lot more than words. With no boundaries and minuscule restrictions, dance can be called the hidden language of the soul that not only acts as a translator for our hearts but also helps us get over sorrow and adversity.
Karina is one individual who follows a very similar mantra. Having lived in the UAE for seven years now, Karina has choreographed several shows, music videos, TV commercials, large-scale ceremonies such as the National day of the UAE, and even the Expo 2020 Dubai opening ceremony. She believes dance is more than just a movement of the body. Karina also founded the dance crew ‘Moto Dancers’ six years ago. In a quick interview with the prolific dancer and choreographer, we got to know more about her and her experience in the UAE so far, her motivation, and how she dealt with the COVID-19 pandemic.
Karina: Dance for me is many things: is my happy place, my way of expressing myself through creativity, way of connecting with others through body language without any barriers (age, race, gender etc), changing lives and making others smile and feel better, and of course the most fun way of staying healthy and fit.
Karina: I am truly inspired by the different beautiful cultures and traditions of people around the world. Travelling helps me learn and stay inspired. I am so inspired by regular people just expressing themselves through dance. Especially in Africa, dance is more than just a movement of the body. It’s so connected to the history, to their culture, it’s so spiritual on how the body and soul are connected. And it’s so beautiful how every tribe, every country have hundreds of different dance styles depending on the occasion or how they feel at the moment. And for us professional dancers, it’s so important to learn about the culture, the origins and always try to give back to the community.
Karina: Stay true to yourself, don’t try to please others or just follow the trends. Listen to your heart and whatever u do – do it with love. It’s better to learn and make a mistake, rather than stay at the same level being afraid of mistakes.
Karina: I live in the UAE for the past 7 years and it’s been great so far. I love the country, its culture, and of course having people from around the world in this small but beautiful and ambitious country. Dubai has given me great opportunities to work in my field as a choreographer. So far I have been choreographing many shows, music videos, TV commercials, big ceremonies such as the National day of the UAE, the Special Olympics, and the Expo 2020 opening ceremony. I have also choreographed the African Football Cup opening and closing ceremonies in Egypt and Cameroon.
6 years ago, Majid and I(my crew member) decided to create our own dance crew called Moto Dancers and promote African dance and culture in the region. We were the first in the Middle East and we are well known today in the region. Now it’s me, Majid (Zanzibar), and Thibaut (Ivory Coast).
Karina: I’m trying to be grateful as much as I can and appreciate whatever I have. Which makes me be more open to what is yet to come.
Karina: COVID-19 was a good lesson for all of us to face the reality and appreciate simple things we had such as being able to see our family, friends, go to a restaurant and of course travel. I never thought I could work from home being a dancer. Surprisingly being in a lockdown I learned how to come up with different ideas and be more creative in a limited space, so I created my own dance course online where people around the world could learn African dance.
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