On Feb. 17th 2015, The Dancers Of Toronto (T.D.O.T.) Blog featured me as their #119 DANCER/CHOREOGRAPHER. The T.D.O.T. Blog mission: to RECOGNIZE SHOWCASE AND NURTURE the incredible talent we have. Full interview below and on The T.D.O.T. Blog: http://thetdotblog.com/2015/02/17/sagine-gg-semajuste/
Find out what Sagine had to say in this week’s feature…
Nikki: Do you remember the first time you started dancing?
Sagine: Ever since I could walk, I was dancing to Kompa (Haiti’s national music) with my Daddy, two stepping to Lionel Richie and grooving to MJ:)
Nikki: Do you remember the first song you choreographed to? (Or your earliest memory)
Sagine: You Bring Me Joy by Mary J. Blige :)
Nikki: Your personal advice for dancers when it comes to free styling?
Sagine: I’ve struggled with this myself a lot, still do at times. I would always say “I hate freestyling”. Anytime I knew I had to do it for an audition or in front of a class, I would tense up and try to avoid it at all cost. It’s a mental game and you have to rid yourself of all negative thoughts and just dance. It’s definitely a challenge but when you’re truly in the moment and feel connected, it’s an indescribable feeling.
Nikki: Getting in the zone to choreograph, what does it take for you?
Sagine: When I do choreograph, I need to be connected to the music 100%. My background is in Musical Theatre, so I also always need my pieces to have a message or tell a specific story.
Nikki: Who are some of your biggest influences in the Dance industry?
Sagine: My biggest influences are individuals that personified the word ‘Entertainer’. Such as Josephine Baker, Eartha Kitt, Bob Fosse, Gene Kelly, Gregory Hines, Debbie Allen, Tina Turner, Michael and Janet Jackson.
Nikki: Name a Toronto Choreographer you enjoy working with and why?
Sagine: I could never name just one. I’ve been very fortunate to have worked with many gifted Toronto choreographers. I thank them all for allowing me to be a part of their artistry and visions :)
Nikki: Name one of your favorite artists to work with and why? (It does not have to be a pop star. Any type of artist that a Dancer would work with i.e.; another Dancer, Choreographer, Musician etc.)
Sagine: I recently work with Rhapsody James in Montreal for her Motivating Excellence program and it was honestly life changing. I was also blessed with this opportunity during a very difficult and confusing time in my life. I was left exposed and forced to deal with things right there in the room. She reminded me of the reasons why I started to dance, why I loved to dance and what was holding me back. Her passion and drive was/is infectious. The type of energy you want around you daily. I truly thank God for that experience and can’t wait for us to cross paths again.
Nikki: Qualities you believe Toronto Dancers possess?
Sagine: Toronto Dancers are always ready and willing to dedicate all of their time and efforts to any new project, show or company. They’re also very encouraging towards each other.
Nikki: Any advice for emerging dancers and choreographers working/training in Toronto?
Sagine: I think it’s really important for Toronto dancers/artists to remember to be versatile, business oriented and to do the research. Plan out your career of choice. You can’t just dance. Discover your other skill sets and remember they are what sets you apart. You have to understand that you’re a brand and that you’re responsible for marketing yourself. It’s not always easy but it’s the way of today’s world. Lastly, but most importantly…be willing to take risks. The industry will demand a lot from you, you can’t allow fear to hinder your growth.
THANK YOU SAGINE FOR SHARING YOUR LOVE AND PASSION WITH T.D.O.T. XOXO