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Ioanna Anousaki: “Dance is my life”

Conversation with Sofia Iliana Georgiadi

She went to New York, danced at the Manhattan Movement and Arts Center, choreographed for the Eurovision Gala Night in Luxembourg for two consecutive years, participated in clips of famous singers, in the movie “Angelo” produced by Markus Schleinzer and many more. She is a person who has fought to succeed and was not given anything.

I was happy to talk to her and I present to you our conversation.

-Joanna, tell us about your start in dance?

-Since I remember myself, I remember dancing in a dance school. I started dancing when I was 4, when my mother enrolled me in an amateur school. I started with Russian ballet and then with the English system. Every year examiners from England came to give us distinctions and dance diplomas.

Around the age of 15 I realized that I want to do dance professionally. I had great support from my amateur school as well as from my family and especially my mother. Then, I passed the exams of the Ministry of Culture and graduated after 3 years of professional studies in dance from the Vocational Dance School of Niki Kontaxakis.

These 3 years were one of the most difficult of my life since I also studied at Panteion Social and Political Sciences and worked part time to cover the costs of dance studies.

I completed my dance studies in New York where I was selected for the Professional Semester of Broadway Dance Center. I was honored to be among the most talented dancers as well as the only one from Europe.

I danced and choreographed for the Eurovision Gala Night in Luxembourg for two consecutive years.

-How was your course after your studies?

-After finishing my studies in New York and dancing at the Manhattan Movement and Arts Center, I went back to Luxembourg where many creative moments followed. I danced and choreographed for the Eurovision Gala Night in Luxembourg for two consecutive years.

I danced in various dance performances. I participated in video clips, including the song “Fire” by Tamta.

I also had the opportunity to participate in an Austrian and Luxembourg film with the role of a dancer.

The film is called “Angelo” produced by Markus Schleinzer and is nominated for many awards.

-Despite your young age, you believe in volunteering and charitable activities. What is the role of charity in your life.

-These actions are a very big part of my life. A very moving moment for me was when I danced as “Rapunzel” for the organization of children with cancer “Make a Wish” as well as for the organization “APEMH” for people with disabilities and mobility difficulties. The joy in the eyes of these children gives me every day the strength to still follow my dream.

-What is dance for you?

-Dance for me is expression, externalization of emotions, translation of the senses through movement, creation, grace, discipline, elegance, and much much more.

-Χορός για μένα είναι έκφραση, εξωτερίκευση τον συναισθημάτων, μετάφραση των αισθήσεων μέσω της κίνησης, δημιουργία, χάρη, πειθαρχία, κομψότητα, και πολλά πολλά άλλα.

-How much did the school push you in this choice?

-The school gave me the opportunity to express this love for dance and to create through the various Talent Shows that are organized.

-Special moments from the school years in Pierce?

There were many beautiful moments in Pierce such as excursions, concerts, the Open House, the Talent Show. Pierce gave me many experiences but mostly real friendships that will last forever.

-Although you succeeded in a Greek university, you decided to go to New York to follow your dream. Tell us about it.

I studied at the Hellenic University and at the same time at the Vocational School of Dance. I was convinced that I could do both, as it turned out. The Power of My Love for dance. America followed.

-What supplies did New York give you?

-I had the honor to be among the most talented dancers as well as the only one from Europe as well as to collaborate with distinguished Teachers and Choreographers, including well-known Broadway Musicals. She gave me all the supplies to follow my dream and develop into a professional dancer.

-Tell us about moments that determined your course.

-One of the most decisive moments in my course and that I will never forget is when I took an exam in modern with an examiner from London of the ISTD system for the last Advance 2 degree where at the end of the exam I presented a choreography of my then teacher.

What I never expected was that the examiner burst into tears of emotion and told me that I should never stop dancing.

-What are you doing at the moment?

-Recently I am also an active member of a group of dancers / artists called “LUCODA”, where we have the honor to represent and help the development of dance in 2022 in Esch (Luxembourg City) where it was selected as the European Cultural Center.

My group and I will help develop dance in 2022 in Esch (Luxembourg City) where it was selected as the European Cultural Center

-Future plans

-I am also in a creative period as I prepare my own work that refers to the muse of dance Terpsichore. One of my dreams that has not yet come true is to join a renowned contemporary dance group.

-Is it easy for someone today to work and survive as a dancer? What advice would you give to young dancers?

-The field of Dance and arts in general is one of the most difficult and this is due to the fact that jobs for dancers are very limited. Dancers give much more than they get.

But this gives him even more value since even the smallest opportunity given to someone is a great success for the dancer. Appreciates everything small. Even if it is a very difficult place, if someone really loves what he does, he will find a way to get involved and make it his own.

That’s why my advice to young dancers is that the harder it is for them to succeed, the more they have to be stubborn and keep fighting.

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