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Interview with Arif | Raised by the beat
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Interview with Arif

How and why did your dance career start? What lit the spark for you when you knew Dance was your career path?

I started dancing at the age of 13. I was introduced to the dance because of my friends. At first, it was challenging but it became fun.


If absolutely nothing could go wrong, what would like to accomplish in your career?

I would like to support myself well through dance.


What is your pet peeve when it comes to teaching dance? What annoys you sometimes?

Some people do not show respect in classes which can be annoying.

If you could go back in time, (any age of your choice) what advice would you give your young dance self and why?

I tell my 13-year-old self. Stop smoking and do something good for your life.


What is the biggest advise you have ever given someone?

I tell people to dance for themselves, not for anyone else.


What was the biggest hurdle you’ve encountered and how did you overcome it?

I had a lot of injuries and I have had to motivate myself to become stronger and better.

Do you have any rituals? In the morning, or before a show,… if yes, which.

Yes, I pray to God whenever I have the time.


What is the most difficult thing to master or that needs the most work? (This could be anything from dance skills to people skills or business.)

It is difficult to explain to people what your vision is and for them to comprehend it correctly.  Definitely, this is an area for growth for many dancers, including myself.

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What are the biggest mistakes and myths you see in the dance (teaching) industry? What are the biggest wastes of time?

The biggest waste of time is when dancers dance for money and not for passion. I do not like it.


If you were to train an absolute beginner for four weeks for a 30-minute performance and had a million dollars on the line, what would the training look like?

I think I would give other teachers the chance of teaching the beginner. I would not like to create a 30-minute show because I would not like it.


First, what are the biggest mistakes novices make when teaching or choreographing?

There are teachers who put themselves in a higher position than others. This is because everyone starts from the bottom to reach the top.


Even at the pro level, what mistakes are most common? What did you waste the most time with?

The inner questioning of oneself of whether a dance feels right or wrong or even worth it.


What is your favourite gadget/software/ tool you use in your career?

My inspiration is my favorite tool.


How important is networking and promotions for you? How do you do it?

Promotion is important for events to spread the news. Networking is also important to stay connected with other dancers as well.


On the top or your head.. What are your 5 favourite songs of all time?

Big Poppa – biggie

Dumpin – 2pac

Maria Maria – Santana

Fallin – Alicia Keys

Photograph – Ed Sheeran

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