This week’s Dancer/Choreographer feature goes to Taveeta Szymanowicz. A student at Cardinal Carter Academy for the Arts, Taveeta joins the cast of The Next Step for season 2. She is founder and Artistic Director of Liberum.ts, a movement improvisation company that explores different concepts, sensations, shapes, tempos, patterns and emotions that result in the creation of individual expression. Taveeta is an apprentice faculty member with Fresh Dance Intensives and has danced with Canadian Contemporary Dance Theatre, Toronto Dance Industry and The Dance Zone. She was the Face of Fever at the 2013 Fever International Dance Championships and has performed in the 2013 Toronto Fringe Festival production of Project Dabda as well as her school production of The Nutcracker.
Bio provided by Taveeta
Taveeta’s Instagram: @itstaveets
Taveeta’s Twitter: @itstaveets
Check out what Taveeta had to say in this week’s feature…
Nikki: Do you remember the first time you started dancing?
Taveeta: The first time I started dancing was at the age of six— I took a baby ballet class and did not really like it very much. It wasn’t until later, at the age of nine —and after taking a jazz class— that I truly discovered a love for dance.
Nikki: Do you remember the first song you choreographed to? (Or your earliest memory)
Taveeta: The first song I choreographed to was “Barbie Girl” and I remember choreographing the dance and performing it at a family Christmas party when I was very young.
Nikki: Your personal advice for dancers when it comes to free styling?
Taveeta: My advice to dancers when it comes to free styling is just to live within your own fantasy world. Do not think much about what you intend to do, but rather just let the movement happen. This will take you on a “free style roller coaster” and ultimately will make the experience more fun, exhilarating, and personal.
Nikki: Getting in the zone to choreograph, what does it take for you?
Taveeta: In order to get into my zone of choreography, I need to be able to draw inspiration from whatever is surrounding me, or even whatever type of emotions I may be experiencing at that time. This will really help me become in tune with my body, and ultimately makes the choreographic process more natural.
Nikki: Who are some of your biggest influences in the Dance industry?
Taveeta: Some of my biggest influences in the dance industry include: Natasha Joy Louis, Alvin Collantes, Debby Favot, Paula Burnett, Leon Blackwood, Eryn Waltman, Shavar Blackwood, Julia Cratchley, Kristen Carcone, Kelly Shaw, David Norsworthy, and last but certainly not least — fellow dancers in the industry. It is so inspiring to be able to engage in the art of dance with fellow dancers who love it just as much as you do. Every single dancer influences me for I believe there is always something you can learn from another dancers movement, and I am so grateful to be able to draw inspiration from them.
Nikki: Name a Toronto Choreographer you enjoy working with and why?
Taveeta: I like working with many Toronto based choreographers, but if I had to pick one in particular it would be Alvin Collantes because his process is driven and based off of improvisation and exploration— making his choreography very raw and natural to the dancer he is working with.
Nikki: Name one of your favorite artists to work with and why? (It does not have to be a pop star. Any type of artist that a Dancer would work with i.e.; another Dancer, Choreographer, Musician etc.)
Taveeta: One of my favourite artists to work with is Natasha Joy Louis. I enjoy working with her because her style of dancing and choreography is versatile. Each and every piece she choreographs showcases a different type of movement qualities, that always generate unique and beautiful pictures.
Nikki: Qualities you believe Toronto Dancers possess?
Taveeta: Toronto dancers possess many amazing qualities, but overall I would say they are very supportive, creative, risk-taking, and humble.
Nikki: Any advice for emerging dancers and choreographers working/training in Toronto?
Taveeta: My advice for emerging dancers and choreographers working/training in Toronto is to believe in the power of focusing on what you love. Focus on being the best artist you can be, rather than being the best of the best. You will learn more about yourself as an artist that way, and that will help you succeed in reaching any goal you set your mind to.
Nikki: Any upcoming projects, shows or classes you would like to share with T.D.O.T.?
Taveeta: Make sure to catch some amazing dancing on the Season Two premiere of The Next Step Friday, March 7th at 7:30 pm. ET/PT on Family Channel.
THANK YOU TAVEETA FOR SHARING YOUR LOVE & PASSION WITH T.D.O.T XO
WATCH THE NEXT STEP SEASON 2 TRAILER