Sofia Rosa Bianchi

I’ve been a dancer my whole life.  Often when I tell people that I’m a ballerina, their eyes will widen wondrously and they will proceed to say something along the lines of, ‘I've never met a real ballet dancer before.’  Next, they usually ask me questions about strict diets and intense training routines-losing sight of what it is that inspires me to dance in the first place.

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Ailey/Fordham BFA student Djouliet Amara. Photo by Jaqlin Medlock

To many people, the abstract ‘dance world’ is quite fascinating, but also quite ‘out of touch.’  The dancing population is quite intrinsic, essentially meaning that it is very much in and of itself.  It is a profoundly intense physical, mental, and emotional atmosphere.  Yet through the mainstreamed population, the dance world is still plagued by stigmas of body scrutiny, and music that puts people to sleep.

I discussed this in-depth in a recent discussion with dance superwoman, Djouliet Amara.  Poised at the forthrunning of this revolutionary approach to choreography and studio-dynamics stands this brilliant artist, who wants her dancers to embrace their bodies and their love for what they do.  This revolutionary NYC-based dancer and choreographer is changing dance culture from the inside out:

“I want [my dancers/students] to feel natural,” Amara explained.  “I don’t want them to feel like they have to be dance-robots for me, I want them to dance for themselves.  To dance like they’re human beings.”

When asked what had initially inspired her to pursue a career in dance and choreography, Amara smiled and recalled upon a trip to Paris she had taken at the age of 17 for a merit-based scholarship in dance.  

“I may never have pursued this career if it weren’t for that trip,” she recalled.  While spending time away from home to study in France, Amara felt inspired by this newfound freedom to explore her passion; to harness this inner potential that she was discovering.  “I remember witnessing a group shooting a music video in Paris,” she explained, “I was studying that main dancer and I was thinking... I could do that. I could do that, and I could do that better.”  Amara’s confidence is inspiring, making her a great role model for the forthcoming generation in dance.

Interestingly, Amara had explained that for most of her life she had a different path in mind.

“My mother is a nurse and my father is an engineer.  I always had it in my head that I was going to become a doctor.  That was the plan,” she recalled, nodding at the thought.  Evidently things changed for Amara after that life-changing trip.  “I came home and I told my parents: This is what I want to do….I rocked their world,” she added, flashing a wide grin.

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Thanks to pioneering female choreographers, the dance world will foster a healthier atmosphere for women in the industry. 

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That same year, Amara had auditioned for the Fordham-Ailey BFA program, a dream she was inspired to chase after having seen Ailey perform, falling in love with the company instantaneously.  She breezed through the audition and quickly became the poster-child for the program, appearing in Fordham-Ailey advertisements and in Dance Magazine.  In her second year at the school, Amara landed an apprenticeship with the second company.  New York became her home, where she soon began modeling for dance brands, and was quickly signed by a leading talent agency to be commissioned for commercial work in dance.  She’s since worked with Ailey II, Kachal Dance, and Zest Collective and has been featured for Danskin Apparel, Kodak, Snapchat Horoscopes, Forever 21, as well as a feature in Refinery29 called “Redefining Body Types.”

This spring, Amara’s original piece titled “The Number Man” will tour and be performed at the Manitoba Provincial Dance Festival and The Canadian National Dance Championships.  The piece was created for Team Canada, who will perform in the 2018/19 International Dance Championships in Poland.  Amara’s dancers for the piece have already been touched by her contagious spirit and role-model work ethic, and soon audiences will be as well.  Amara gives me a perfect reason to look forward to the changes which are taking place in the dance world.  In the future, thanks to pioneering female choreographers like Amara, the dance world will foster a healthier and more effective atmosphere of growth for young women in the industry. 

 

Sofia Bianchi is currently serving as Managing Editor at bSmartguide as well as pursuing a bachelor’s degree at Fordham University.  She is a current member of the Female Founders Fund Fellowship program as well as dancing in NYC for the Elizabeth White Creative.  In the future, Sofia hopes to find success by pursuing the many facets of creativity.  Her many interests include writing novels, poetry, the fine and performing arts, choreography, and app-development.  

 

 

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