With Contemporary dance still in its infancy in the UAE, Krista Degaetano, the founder of Contemporary Dance Dubai, is regarded as one of the pioneers of the dance style in the country. We sat down with her to hear more about her journey in the world of dance.
Q: Tell us a little about yourself – where were you born & raised?
A: I was born in Malta and grew up with my other 6 brothers till I moved to The U.K to study Contemporary Dance and achieve my dream of becoming a professional dancer and choreographer.
Q: How did your interest in dance start?
I loved dance, singing and performing from a very young age. I used to choreograph and direct small shows for my family from the age of 6. At the age of 13 I was already performing semi professionally for the Maltese National Theatre doing 3 shows a year. At 16 I was already in a Contemporary dance company based in Malta, and at 20 I was off to the U.K to do two dance degrees. I knew exactly what I wanted to do straight away. Guess you can say I was born a dancer & a performer.
Q: Why did you choose contemporary as the style of dance to focus on?
A: I fell in love with Contemporary when I was in Cambridge studying Musical Theatre. We had all the styles under the sun to learn and I felt most free, felt like I could express myself and my art through Contemporary dance. I then decided to get a degree in just that. I have never looked back.
Q: When did you move to Dubai and why did you choose to come here?
A: I came to Dubai purely by chance. I believe in destiny, and life brought me here 4 years ago on holiday. I saw how Dubai needed more art and dance, and I saw how frustrated artists and dancers were by not having enough professional dance in Dubai. I saw how there was no Contemporary dance here and decided to pioneer it. I get so much satisfaction from watching people express themselves and learn that I found Dubai to be the perfect home for my art.
Q: How is the contemporary dance scene in Dubai? Do you see progress?
Contemporary dance scene is still very small compared to other parts of the world. I have found that once people take the step to simply try it, they see their work transform as they really do get addicted to this style of dance. The hard part I have found is getting people to try it. This is slowly developing, and I have enjoyed instructing with over 400 passionate dancers over the last 3 years. I know this will develop further, and I am thrilled to be here to witness it.
Q: What do you think someone benefits from learning contemporary dance?
A: Contemporary dance has it all. It uses a strong technical foundation, so dancers become more aligned and therefore able to achieve so many dance steps . Contemporary is one of the most original dance forms as although it has a base technique, there are no limitations therefore it is constantly changing, moving, becoming more innovative. Keeps dance exciting and fresh. Contemporary dance keeps you super fit as you are up in the air one second and rolling on the floor the next. You gain so much strength and core stability for ultimate fitness. Contemporary allows you to release and express yourself almost therapeutic. I guess you just have to try it.And when you do, please choose your class wisely. Please learn from professionals. Those that have an in depth education on the technique and have studied intensely.
Contemporary Dance Dubai’s new term starts in September with booking available on The Curve.