Interview with Alessandro Romano and Natalia Arci

Interview with Alessandro Romano and Natalia Arci

Публикувана в неделя, 22 сеп 2019, 12:27 от admin
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We interviewed the young winners of the Under 21 Latin at Blackpool 2019, Alessandro Romano and Natalia Arci from Italy. It was a huge success for them as last year they were in the top 36.

Dancing is not just me performing an art, but it involves giving and getting back from my partner.

Let's start from congratulations. I guess you are happy, aren't you. Or more than happy (laughing)

[Natalia] Yes, of course (laughing). Obviously, more than happy!

OK, tell me more about yourself. How did you start dancing?

[Natalia] I started dancing at the very young age. I was four years old...


[Natalia] I did only ballet and modern. I started Latin American at ten years old but it was just for fun, we did not compete for the first year. After about a year with my first partner, we started competing. We were quite good in Italy. After a while we split up, I moved to another dance school and found a new partner.

Where was it?

[Natalia] I was still in Rome. I just heard of this other dance school, and have seen they had very good couples at the competitions. so I decided to move there. In that new school I found my second partner. We danced for three or four years... Just few days after we split up, I found this boy (laughing)!

[Alessandro] I was in the same school, and happened to be without a partner.

[Natalia] Our teacher suggested we try together.

Were you still Juniors then?

[Natalia] Yes, I was

[Alessandro] It was my last year in Juniors. I am a year and a half older than Natalia.

OK, so how did you start dancing?

[Alessandro] I started dancing when I was five. It was just kids classes, a bit of social dancing.

How did you get into dancing at such a young age, it is not a typical boys' activity?

[Alessandro] I don't know really, probably it was my Mum who made this decision (laughing). I always was one of those kids who like to move to music, who like to sing and I was good at it. One of my first teachers talked to my Mum and suggested to her she should find some proper dance school for me, where I can do it seriously. I tried many dance styles, Ballroom, Salsa, Latin. My mother says that when I came back from my first Latin class I was crying, and she told me that I can stop anytime if I don't like it. But I said that I am crying because I love it so much (laughing). Since then I danced only Latin and I remained in that same dance school. And I am still there.

So how did you get dancing together?

[Alessandro] We were in the same studio, had the same teachers.

[Natalia] He was looking for a partner for a while

[Alessandro] Yes, for nearly a year.

[Natalia] When I split up with my previous partner, three days later we were already trying together.

[Alessandro] She danced with my friends, and our teacher asked if we could have a try-out...

[Natalia] For me it felt good from the first moment. So I never had any more try-outs in my life (laughing)

[Alessandro] I had many (laughing) before.

So how did it feel when got together? I know you were young, but do you remember?

[Alessandro] For me it felt I am dancing with a partner of somebody else, of my friend. I did not feel she could my partner and did not really imagine we will end up dancing together but dance-wise it felt great.

[Natalia] I remember our teacher said that we were very different from other kids. She said to me that we looked mature, like a grown man and a woman together, not like two children.

What do you like about dancing?

[Alessandro] I like that you can express your feelings and it can reflect in the audience. I love to feel connected with the audience. I love to watch people on the floor and be able to feel their passion. I want to be able to dance and make people feel my emotions because this is what I feel when I see other couples dancing and it is wonderful.

Normally I am not really an expressive person, and I am quite introvert but I feel that one way I can express myself is through dancing.

Yes, I know of other dancers who are privately very shy people, but on the floor they change completely and deliver an amazing performance.

[Natalia] I am very artistic person, I love any form of art. But dancing is really special for me, because it involves a special connection with another person. It is not just me performing an art, but it involves giving and getting back from the other person, from my partner.

For me, dancing is about communicating your emotion at that time, at that moment. And that's why it is important to be honest and true to yourself, to be authentic and show the true you. I don't like the artificial moves...

So if you were the actress you would get into character rather than just play the character?

[Natalia] Yes

If the public as well as the judges were able to vote for a winner, whose vote would you prefer to get?

[Natalia] I think the judges are also the audience. They are looking for all the elements, not just the technical side of your performance, but also of how well you convey your emotions. They can also get touched by your performance.

You are avoiding the question (laughing)

[Natalia] Equally important for me.

[Alessandro] Sometimes what you get back from audience is more important than the place... but after all, you are at the competition and competition is about winning. But I agree that many times the feedback from audience makes me happier than the place I get. When people say to me that they loved what we brought to the floor, it feels like winning.

Both of you said you want to show your emotion on the floor. Can you describe what you feel during each of the dances?

[Alessandro] Cha Cha is like flirting and very playful. To me, it should be a bit of a provocation, a game between a girl and a boy

[Natalia] Yes, I agree. It is also very rhythmical and fits the music very well.

Cha Cha is sexy but Rumba is also very sexy. What is the difference in character?

[Natalia] Yes, of course they are different. Cha Cha is mostly playful, flirty, but Rumba is much deeper, more sensual.

[Alessandro] Rumba is more intense, more dramatic. I feel like this, the music has a continuous flow and it carries that drama through.

[Natalia] Cha Cha is more like a beginning of the relationship, a game, and Rumba portrays a deeper relationship between the woman and a man.

How important is music?

[Alessandro] Extremely important

Favourite music?

[Alessandro] The Empress Orchestra here in Blackpool. Especially live music

[Natalia] You can appreciate every little detail, hear every instrument

[Alessandro] Live music touches your inside... you feel it with every bone of your body.

Some people told me that at the beginning they felt that Blackpool music was too old fashioned for dancing...

[Natalia] Oh, no, not at all!

... but when they arrived to Blackpool they fell in love with it!

[Natalia] We always liked it

What about the modern music?

[Alessandro] Not our favourite

[Natalia] I feel that modern music lacks variation of rhythm, tempo. It is a bit boring, a bit repetitive . Blackpool music is always challenging us.

[Alessandro] I like orchestra or band playing music, I like to hear the trumpet, piano, all that...

[Natalia] When the music slightly changes during the dance, we feel we can also adjust a little and share that with music. It is very important, we wait for that moment.

How important is the look, clothes you are wearing, during your performance?

[Natalia] We are artists, and we work with our body. I think it is important that we feel beautiful and we look the part. I don't think it is the most important element but the look plays a role during our performance.

Who designs your dresses?

[Natalia] We do it in collaboration with our teachers.

[Alessandro] We have suggestions and ideas of what we think will feel right for our look

[Natalia] Yes, it is a collective work.

Tell me about your private lives, outside of dancing

[Natalia] We do not have any private life (laughing). I don't know what it is (laughing). OK, I am a student in Classical High School.

So how old are you?

[Natalia] I am eighteen. I am still in school. I like to study classical literature, history, history of art...

Do you like to read?

[Natalia] Oh yes, I read a lot. I read everything. I am passionate about literature, about poetry.

Italian only?

[Natalia] Not only, but translated to Italian (laughing). I study classical Greek and Latin as well, and I can read in it.

[Alessandro] I finished my high school, now I am, sort of, studying Design as I am interested in Architecture. But recently we have progressed so much in dancing...

[Natalia] ... that he is thinking of leaving the university

[Alessandro] I just cannot find time to be serious in both dancing and study. I have to decide what I want to do really. There are only 24 hrs in a day (laughing). I am not saying I want to stop learning, but perhaps leave this course because the rules are strict and I am not able to concentrate on both activities...

Do you have friends outside dancing?

[Alessandro] We have loads.

How do your friends from school react to your dancing?

[Natalia] They know about my dancing because I was always open about it. Whenever we went out but there was time for my practice I would always say I have to go. They understand, they try to find time which suits me as well. They don't feel offended that I treat dancing very seriously. I am lucky that I am surrounded by people who understand my passion. All my friends really support me.

[Alessandro] My best friends are from my high school. They also understand and support my passion. They understand that I have to train and practise. They are very close, they are proud of me.

Did your parents come with you?

[Natalia] No, they could not come. But this win was very important to me because we are not very rich and my parents have to work hard to enable me to continue dancing. They do everything they could so I can dance. When we won my Mum sent me a message they they could not sleep because they were so happy and so proud of me.

Fantastic, really touching!

[Natalia] And that all the sacrifices they made now are paying back...

Competitive dancing is expensive, how do you manage? I understand that your parents support you...

[Natalia] Yes, and also we are very lucky that we have fantastic teachers who always do everything they can to make things happen. We are very grateful.

Do you have any sponsors?

[Natalia] Yes, my dresses are now sponsored by Michelini Atelier

[Alessandro] We are very lucky, it is a new sponsorship, started just before Blackpool.

Where was your most interesting competition?

[Natalia] I think it was in Germany, just before Blackpool. It was quite original competition because there were two prizes there, the judges prize and the audience prize. It was something unusual.

[Alessandro] Felt good.

[Natalia] When we danced the final, it was like a evening spectacular show. The audience was around the floor, like a lively show.

What food do you like to eat?

[Alessandro] I am Italian and I like the pasta (laughing). I also like Japanese food like sushi.

[Natalia] I like Italian food, of course it is the best. But I like to try different foods like Chinese or Japanese or Mexican.

Do you like chocolate?

[Natalia] Yes, dark chocolate

Can you eat what you want?

[Natalia] Actually I am very lucky, I eat a lot, more than him (laughing), and I am able to stay slim.

[Alessandro] Yes, she sometimes eat more than me!

[Natalia] My metabolism is very fast I think

When you go abroad to the competition, do you try to use that time to see places?

[Alessandro] Yes, sometimes, when we can, we try to go into the town

[Natalia] We try to see the places, visit the museums...

[Alessandro] But because of our schools, and that we need to study, or we have an exam, it is hard to find time. But if we can we like to see and visit new places.

Do you watch films, TV?

[Alessandro] Not so much really. I tell you this, I like to watch TV series, but once I start I have to finish so I have to be careful. I don't have that much time.

Do you use your phones all the time?

[Natalia] No, we are not glued to the phones (laughing)

[Alessandro] I am now without a phone (laughing). When I was on my way to Blackpool my phone just died, so I live now without it (laughing). Actually, when I am at the competition I don't like to use my phone, I need to fully concentrate on my dancing. My Mum know that.

[Natalia] I told my parents as well that during the competition my phone is turned off. Call my teachers, or my friends, but don't call me.

[Alessandro] While here in Blackpool, I call my Mum just once a day to tell her all is OK

How do you use internet? Do you use social sites?

[Natalia] We use it but we don't spend all day on it.

[Alessandro] I have a Facebook account but I don't really use it. I use the messenger or WhatsApp for messaging people.

[Natalia] We have an Instagram profile but we do not publish there.

[Alessandro] I like to post something when I feel it is special but not all the time.

Do you visit any dancing websites?

[Natalia] Only

Thank you! But any other websites related to dancing?

[Natalia] Sometimes we use easycomp to check the detailed results or check the festival sites...

What don't you like about your partner?

[Natalia] Not that I don't like it, but there is something I need to be aware of all the time. Alessandro is very introvert, very quiet, not expressing all his feelings openly. So he may be saying something is OK but he doesn't give me any feedback. It was difficult for me, especially at the beginning. But now it is better because we worked on it a bit. It may be a problem because I am a very intense, pressing... We are like opposites.

[Alessandro] She can be too anxious and that stresses me because I need things to be calm. It is difficult for me when she is like that. I have to control myself not to get stressed out.

Now the easy part, what do you like about your partner?

[Natalia] He is very calm, very rational person so he always tries to sort out things. This is really nice. Because I am the opposite. He is also very serious person, very motivated and he doesn't get distracted when he sets his goal.

[Alessandro] She is very good in helping me to open up, to express my feelings. She is very good in encouraging me perform my best, especially in practice when I am not feeling my best. She has the talent to do that which makes the difference.

I am glad we finished on a positive note (laughing). Thank you!