An interview with flamenco and tap dancer Eve Agush:
Q: what do you think it takes to become a professional dancer? What strengths must a person have to become a professional dancer?
A: You need to have perseverance; you must learn your craft; you must work hard; you must have personal dedication, strength and stamina; you must follow directions well and take corrections and criticisms well; you must learn from the corrections/criticism that you receive; you must take care of your body and your soul (prevent injuries, eat well, meditate, stretch, yoga); you must take as many dance classes as you can and practice;you must shine on stage! You must audition and I guess you would need to have a flexible job. Understand that dancers do not make a lot of money, do not have much artistic freedom, and must love what they do to survive.
Q: what was your motivation to become a dancer?
A: I have never thought of myself as a professional dancer, although I am a professional. I have always thought of ,myself as a professional artist who uses dance as her medium. I love being an artist and was raised by an artist. I did try to become something else but art was just in my soul and I realized I had to recognize it.
Q: When and how did you know that you wanted to dance as a career?
A: The career just came upon me. As i learned more and more dance technique and more about choreography and movement, it led to my desire to show people what I could do. I have always been a natural performer and a natural teacher. Along with being a professional dancer, I am a dance teacher. My career has taken many shapes and forms: being in a company, creating my own choreography, teaching dance, choreographing student companies, working at studios and teaching and choreographing for them. I have now added creating an in-school yoga program, finding grant funding to get the program off the ground and being hired through another grant program to teach dance in the Boston Public School system.
Q: What advice would you give to people who have the same dream of pursuing dance as a career?
A: Follow your dreams and be ready for a wonderful ride. Stay open to all the paths that are presented to you. Find your gurus and learn all that you can. Make sure you are following your dream and not someone elses. Be ready to work hard and love it.
Q: Why do you love dance and what is your inspiration?
A: Dancing allows me to express my creativity. I love the structure of technique and the freedom of artistry. I am inspired by my mother, my teachers, my inner spirit, my students, the natural world, knowledge, life, the freedom art gives me. I think allowing myself to always learn new things is one of my greatest inspirations...that is something I get from my mom. She was never afraid to learn something new. I love to learn.
* I began learning Flamenco with Eve Agush at the age of eight and have continued dancing ever since. She is an amazing teacher who has the ability to make one dance well, but more importantly fall in love with dancing. Over the years that I have known Eve I have learned a lot of unforgettable life lessons along with the techniques necessary to dance Flamenco. Below is a photo of Eve in a red and black polka dotted dress as she dances along the street with students.