How did you get into dancing?
Well, that’s a multi-layered question (laughs).
First, as for most families back home (Cameroon by the way); I grew up surrounded by a pretty musical and dancing bunch of siblings. As a matter of fact, until I got to my teenage years I was pretty much the closet dancer, and still am. I believe I am the least dancer (in terms of quality) amongst my siblings, and I still cherish the days dancing ndombolo, coupe-decale, makossa, benskin etc with my brother and sisters growing up.
But its only when I started university in Cameroon that I took my first class (couple dances in particular) and from there started an amazing adventure that brought me love, learning and i competed in ballroom Latin and African dances in Cameroon. By the time I moved to Europe, I was already a dance addict, and this urge for dance drove me to salsa where I spent 4 evenings a week on average during my first year in Hamburg.
As a matter of fact, it’s at one of these salsa/latino parties that I met my ex- dance partner Maria, and so began my journey into the Kizomba scene.
What projects are you currently working on?
Currently finishing a (second) masters in financial mathematics which meant reducing my dance activities considerably throughout the year as I’ve set myself the goal of completing it.
Nevertheless, I am currently working on improving the very young Kizomba, and mainly Semba scene in my current city of residence, Munich, through weekly classes and seasoned workshops, the next of which will follow very soon with some exciting guests. The Munich-dancers are up for a treat!
In addition, with my Partners in crime, the Avengers (Sarah, Maria and Frans), we have upcoming goodies that I unfortunately can’t say more about. I guess readers will have to wait and see!
What’s been the most memorable moment of your journey as a dancer so far?
Hmm… I actually have a couple of them but the first that comes in mind pre-dates my Kizomba years, and runs back to the first time I performed on a big stage.
It was for the national ballroom competition in Cameroon, and I was competing with the team of my dance school of the time called “La Finesse”. I was the rookie of the team ( of 6 couples performing 3 routines: a Lambada, a Salsa and a Rock-n-Roll). It was all held in a ceremony hall with a capacity of thousands of people. Before stepping on the stage, I had my heart in my stomach, and my feet in my mouth! (Laughs)…. I could barely move…
But I still remember the feeling when I stood there and the music went on: everything else disappeared and I felt so light! That was the day I discovered my passion for the stage, and that feeling stayed with me until this day, and is still my to-go place any time I perform, teach, or simply dance etc
What advice would you give to up & coming dancers looking at you for inspiration?
Whether its Kizomba, Semba, or Afro house/Kuduro which are the rhythms I mainly focus on now, I have always the same advice: Practice your basics!!
As they say, they are the first things we learn, and the last we master. And I truly believe that the real recipe for greatness in dance resides in the mastery of those basics.
It is around this main idea that I’ve built my whole dance, my whole teaching vision and my whole self-improvement mind-set.
What can we expect from you for the rest of 2018?
Put aside the above mentioned projects, my next big project for the year is a major rebranding which will start (hopefully) in the following months.
I can also promise the usual crazy me at the many events I will join this year, and the same eagerness and love in sharing my passion with as much people as possible