Passion is the first ingredient of success and focus only makes the dream to become a reality in one’s journey of greatness.
Dedication, patience and persistence will always yield results when you trace the journey of the young dancer Alexis Thuthani Kaandry (AT).
From a tender age, she chose dancing as her profession and, at the age of 22, she has already been at an international dancing competition. She has also featured on one of Jah Prayzah’s visuals.
It’s now clear that the sky is the limit for the talented young dancer.
H-Metro Entertainment Reporter Edwin Nhukarume (EN) caught up with the Borrowdale based dancer-cum-model as she opened up on her journey in the dancing profession. Read on…
EN: You are on record saying your passion for dancing is God given, do you feel dancing is just a natural talent or you have to work for it?
AT: Dancing often comes as a natural talent that has to be nurtured in order for one to grow, and in different cases as well, there have been people who learn dance and master the skill, so on my side I would say it requires both a natural talent and to work for it as well.
EN: Did you start dancing during your high school days in 2012 or you were already dancing before that?
AT: Not really, I started dancing when I was still in primary school but this was just by watching musical movies, dance movies and Bollywood films on TV.
I would copy moves from the actors in the movies.
In 2012 that’s when I had my first experience with a dance environment that was now a reality not like the movies and this was when I went to High School.
EN: How did joining a dance crew called Anti-Gravity in 2013 improved your dancing skill?
AT: The Anti-Gravity crew introduced me to stage performances.
Within my former High School they used to host classes every Wednesday and I joined these classes, where I got knowledge on Hip Hop dance genre and this helped me grow my talent as well.
EN: Would you say being the cheerleading captain @ Queen Elizabeth High School gave you confidence and the drive to take dancing seriously in your life?
AT: Yes, indeed it really helped. When I was voted captain in 2014 by almost three quarters of the school, this was a stepping stone for me to share my talent with others and it really boosted my confidence in the sense that I had the support and love from my fellow school mates.
And by voting for me as the Head cheerleader I believe this is when my leadership experience really began.
EN: You have already worked with a big artist like Jah Prayzah, how does it feel as a dancer to work with prominent artists?
AT: It’s always an honor and as well I believe this strengthens the entertainment industry in a huge way.I believe we all need each other all the way in order for the craft to blossom.
EN: On working with artists, do you feel these artists have respect for dancers, especially female dancers?
AT: With the artists I have agreed to work with,they were always on the forefront respecting dancers.
In some cases, we have to really come to an understanding that we both need each in order for quality content.
The problem comes when an artist tries to underpay when they really don’t understand how hard and long it took to become a great dancer.
After working with Break Nation crew for a while I haven’t fallen into any situations where I faced disrespect from artists. In most cases it’s always professional work.
As a female dancer I have felt it’s always great to set your mind in the mission and have your standards at hand as well to avoid any problems.
EN: What are the challenges you can point out that you are facing as a female dancer?
AT: I would say the Lockdown brought in quite a lot of changes to the industry and on my side the closing down of dance studios and theaters really affected me on the dancing side. I could no longer do shows with huge crowds, festivals and gatherings being banned hit really hard on the entertainment industry.
My challenge was with adjusting to the new normal. And there were barely paying jobs within the lockdown period.
The whole situation really hit hard.
EN: Any artists or corporate world leaders who have tried to use their influence to lure you for sexual purposes?
AT: No, I have never encountered anything like that.
EN: How do you deal with unprofessional sponsors that might want to take advantage of you because you are female?
AT: I mostly have contracts at hand before agreeing to work with a sponsor.Terms and conditions always have to make sense and should be up to standard in line with my values. I make sure I leave anything that might be compromising my standards.
EN: You have been in an international dance competition, Global Dance Supreme Intercontinental Dance Battles, what did you learn from there?
AT: It was an international dance competition in Joburg and I learnt that we have very talented dancers in Zimbabwe who are capable of winning international battles.
EN: What are you aiming in your dancing career?
AT: My aim is to uplift the dance industry in Zimbabwe and become one of the best dancers in Zimbabwe, who doesn’t only dance for entertainment but also impacting the younger generation with Knowledge and skills of the culture.
EN: Who is your role model when it comes to dancing?
AT: Bailey Sok is my role model internationally ,her musicality, technique level and personality is just something I look up to and respect.
EN: What is your advice to the girl child that wants to take dancing as a profession?
AT: My advice would be dancing requires passion and dedication, and to go far as well as making money out of it, as a girl child you have to know your worth and respect your craft, not to let anyone take advantage of your talent, be more creative and think out of the box in terms of how you market yourself.
You must not agree to do things that go against your standards and make people question your morals.
Have respect for your image and body .This will definitely take you far in the Dance industry.
EN: Do you feel dancing career in Zimbabwe can make someone earn a living from it?
AT: Yes it can definitely happen . It would require one to have an efficient long term plan ahead, network with brands and companies, teach dance, collaborate with artists and also be willing to give back to the community by doing charity programs and outreach programs giving awareness on social issues using your talents.
There will be a few stumbles ahead but persistency and patience is key if you have passion for dance.
EN: As an experienced dancer, do you think Zimbabwe is taking this profession seriously?
AT: Over the past few years to now I feel there has been a shift and I would testify that giving an example of the new curriculum that was introduced in 2017 in schools.This enabled students in schools not to neglect their extracurricular activities in which it was discovered that there is so much talent in Zimbabwe.
EN: You are also a model, how do you balance modeling and dancing?
AT: I split time for both and the two for me have always had a relationship .In certain situations I’m required to use both
EN: Which international platform do you wish to participate in as a dancer and why?
AT: I wish to participate in the Redbull Dance Your Style Competition, I feel like it’s the home ground for all professional dancers internationally, also where there are legendary as judges who really understand the culture more and reason why is this has always been part of my goals to represent my country and continent there as well.
EN: On your personal life: What are your hobbies?
AT: I enjoy drawing,cooking ,reading books and learning new sports.
EN: Your favourite food?
AT: I am a huge fan of Quesadillas or any food any that has cheese or chili spice in it.
EN: Love life_ how is it?
AT: It’s blessed and fantastic.
EN: Are you taken?
AT: Yes I am.
EN: Thank you for your time Alexis.
AT: You are very much welcome, I truly appreciate the platform.