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Byron Shire
August 9, 2022

Dance with Your Soul

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Half Caribbean and half French, Paris-dwelling Anais Million is all dancer.

Starting out as a gymnast, then moving on to ballet, it is in Kizoomba that she has become internationally renowned.

She is one of the featured dancers and instructors at the Byron Latin Fiesta this weekend.

Tell me, what is Kizomba… and how did you find yourself drawn to it?

My sister Noémie, and Leon Rose, international salsa dancers, organised the first Kizomba party in France in 2009, Agua.

I was working in the party, and I discovered Kizomba here. I didn’t dance Kizomba in this period, but I loved to look at the people dancing. I’m originally from a Caribbean island (Martinique), so I grew up with Zouk (music and dance).

I listened to this a lot. When I saw people dancing Kizomba the first time, it was for me a different way to dance Zouk. I couldn’t see the difference between the music; for me it was Zouk singing in Portugese.

I just wanted to learn a little to dance during my work break, but I didn’t have time.

I met my first partner Morenasso at a party. He invited me to dance. It was in November 2009. He showed me how to follow him. Three months later he asked me to participate to the Africadançar contest with him. We represented France in Portugal – and our career started there.

How do you feel when you dance?

The association with the music and the dance speak to me more than any other. When I’m dancing I feel free, somewhere else. I enter into myself to improve my dance. My dance is the reflection of my soul, expression of my secret, my modesty and my feelings.

What attributes does a dancer need to be a great Kisomba dancer?

Four things are important, for leader and follower:

1.
Technique: It’s a couple dance; you need to be clear with your technique. All your movement has an impact on the other dancer.

2.
Music: To know how to play with all the music, not only the principal rhythm.

3.
Dance with your soul: Don’t be the copy of the other dancers. Style is something personal, and if you want to share, you have to share with your soul.

4. Dance to share, not only to improve yourself.

How did you family influence your evolution as a dancer?

My mother was a dance teacher when I was younger. My sister was a former international salsa dancer, and she pushed me to enter the Africadançar contest. Afterwards she gave me some help to clean up my dance, and how to work the salsa world. She pushed me to lead, to be better in pedagogy and be more independent in my teaching. So I did it.

Today, they still support me in my project.

What has dance given you – has it been an amazing life?

Dancing gives me a lot professionally and personally. Travelling is very exciting when you start, because you go to a different country every weekend.

But in reality, it’s more moving than travelling. Most of time we stay three days in the place, and the only things that you can see are the airport and the hotel. We run from one airport to another, one dance school to another, one festival to another. The only moment we can see the country is during the tours.

In these seven years of travel, the best for me was to meet different people from different cultures. We speak English, Italian, Spanish, Portuguese, and even if we are not perfect, we can communicate. We share a lot about life, and dance. I meet beautiful people!

What should we expect for your shows and classes at Byron Latin Fiesta?

Students come to my classes because they know that they will learn. I have the reputation of teaching with precision. I take the time to explain movements and steps, for leaders and followers, and to correct my students. And I think I’m funny sometimes (French jokes – a-hah).

To find out more about this very exciting weekend of dance and music, happening in Byron and centred around the Byron Theatre from Friday to Sunday, go to byronlatinfiesta.com.au.


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