CONNECTING ON THE DANCE FLOOR

CONNECTING ON THE DANCE FLOOR

SDC sits down with Monika Holub, Owner and Founder of Dancevolution, to talk about why and how people connect on the dance floor.

1.  You are one of Edmonton’s most connected Social Dance Teachers with a versatile background in dancing and communication. What is the best part of your job, and what is your vision for the dance community?

There are so many rewarding components to my career with opportunities to work with people as individuals, as couples, in groups and with communities as a whole. One of the most rewarding experiences for me has been witnessing the results of various dancers, from various communities coming together under one roof, and watching these dancers from all of these styles intermingle and connect on the floor.  A salsa dancer whose has never tried blues, asking a blues dancer for a dance and watching them communicate and adapt their language through a song is positively brilliant.  It is like witnessing dance evolve in real time.  THAT is incredibly special & rewarding; I know what that kind of communication feels like from experience and it’s an absolutely amazing experience!

2.  Singles Social Dances are a great way to meet new people and connect with each other. What is it that causes people to have these intense connections while dancing together?

I think that singles social dancing is a very unique method of learning about someone (& yourself) because it removes verbal communication and forces people to have a conversation without words.

Dance is a language in and of its self; the way a person moves, connects and expresses reveals a lot about how they function in their life. Some people are patient by nature, some are guarded, others are curious or adventurous; there are so many qualities that come out of a person through a dance. You can learn a tremendous amount of information about a person through the dance and you never have to say a single word.

More importantly you can learn ALOT about yourself, because dancing exposes us in a way that makes us vulnerable. It's an opportunity to discover how you respond to other people’s communication style and what kind of feelings get brought to the surface. It is all of these elements / variables in play that impact why and how people have connections of varying degrees in the dance. Dance of Love is a great Edmonton Meetup that brings that attraction dynamic to the Singles Community.

3.  Movement and body language have an incredibly extensive vocabulary. What kind of conversation takes place between two bodies on the dance floor?

There are multiple conversations taking place between two dancers and much of it has to do with what each individual brings to the floor in that moment.  Dancing is like Evolved Matchmaking & Speed dating and when you put two people together without words, you can learn so much about a person and what experiences they’ve had in their life.

When you see the aesthetic pleasure of two people connecting on the dance floor at an Edmonton Singles Events, it is a reflection of the joy they feel by simply dancing together.  The same two people can dance to the same song once, and then those two people can do it all over again at a different time to the exact same song and the conversation will be completely different. Just like life, how we react & respond to someone's words or actions impacts the outcome of the conversation, it is the same in dance

The great thing about social dance is you get to really observe at your own communication style, your own adaptability, because you are the common thread in all of your dance experiences.  It's very cool stuff :)

4.  You founded the company Dance Evolution and have worked on a unique method called Dance Fusion. What is Dance Fusion and how did it come into your career?

'Dance Fusion' is an umbrella term that encompasses a dynamic interaction between dance styles, music, psychology, teaching method, and partnering. Fusion has always been a living, breathing, and ever evolving dynamic in the dance world, as it creates new ways to experience dance and music. I discovered the concept of fusion through my years of Ballroom Dancing in the combining of different styles to a given song.

My eyes were opened and I walked away from the conventional school of thinking. At that time I was also exploring other styles of dance and attending various local dance community events for West Coast Swing, Blues, and Argentine Tango.  I was learning and playing with new forms and starting to see how each of these forms had something unique and brilliant to offer partnered dance as a whole. That series of events is where my understanding of fusion evolved to its next stage.

I started running practice dances in a hall setting last summer because typically there are not a lot of dance opportunities for people in the summer. My practices attracted dancers from various ballroom communities, and what I quickly discovered was a lack of connection between dancers from different schools. I was confused by this as a teacher and social dancer, as I always placed high value on lead / follow skills - because it is foundational in partnered dance. 

So I started asking about what they wanted to learn and people requested me to start teaching a variety of group classes.  I wanted them to discover what I had come to realize: that learning new forms will help them process THEIR dance differently. So I made it a goal to help expose all of these beautiful dance communities to my students and their circle of dancers.

This set off a lot of excitement and the idea of community unification took off.  I brought in various teachers to teach my students their style, and through that, a group of us community teachers connected and developed Edmonton Fusion Dance Foundation, and things were starting to align. Historically, the evolution of dance or a dance form changes or develops as a response to the music of the generation. We are living in interesting times as there is so much exchange, globalization, and technology impacting everything - especially music and dance.

Over the last year through learning and training in various styles, it has evolved as a method and approach in my dancing and teaching. Then I met Andrew Sutton and all of the information I had learned and gathered over the years came together in my mind.  Andrew Sutton was the creative director of an event called the Fusion Exchange. He confirmed and broadened my understanding of fusion, and introduced fusion strictly from the perspective of two people fusing together on the floor. Today I am learning through Andrew and applying that knowledge in my dance experiences, and I will definitely be attending the Denver Fusion Exchange to continue my research in that area.

5.  If you could dance with any person in any time period, who would you dance with? I imagine most people would choose Fred Astaire or George Clooney, but I have 3 and they are weird:

Past:  Einstein - because he's a physicist, so he understands the laws of motion, and also because he was a little crazy.  I think he'd be an interesting person to dance with.

Present:  Dali Lama - because he exists and functions from a place of always helping & never hurting.  He is giving & kind by nature -  I think he would be a most amazing person to connect with in a dance. He would let you express what you want in that moment.

Future:  I would love to dance with my future self.  I would love to connect with the future me to feel what kind of energy I’d be putting out, that would be amazing.

I would highly recommend Sinlges Dance Connection – an Edmonton Online Dating Site, if you are looking for a dance partner or to find your match one step at a time :)