Interview with an experienced dancer. He comes from Russia, lives in Austria and studies Economy. The Austrian vice Champion in Ballroom. Finalist of numerous IDSF competitions, amateur dancesport competitor Vladimir Slon – read his educated view on the dance scene:
Danceway: Let’s just get to know some basic information about yourself. How long have you been dancing, and where have you started? Vladimir: I’ve been dancing for all my conscious life, began with 9 and dance until now. I started in a studio of a modern dance in Kaliningrad (Russia) run by one of the best coaches I’ve ever met Marina and Vasilij Vlasovi. They moved lately to US and me and my Russian partner to Austria.
Danceway: How does the dancing in Russia differ from the dancing in Austria? After all these are the two countries you’ve been living in during your life. Vladimir: In general at the moment (I don’t want to write about the past) I believe all high level couples have pretty much the same way of practicing and similar information, so there’s no such a big difference in which country to practice. On the other hand it’s a very big difference between these two countries in the way dancers deal with information how they use it and how they use their practicing time. There are also some differences in dancing systems, in the way things and minds of people work, but as I said before if we are talking only about the dancing, than there will be almost no difference where to practice for a high class dancer.
Danceway: What is the biggest problem you’ve encountered during your whole career and how are you planning to solve it? Vladimir: As because dancing is my life and I like to dance and to live as well, I really have no problems with having some problems in my dancing life. I prefer to see it as a long process of living and dancing and there for sure will be some complexities, but also new challenges for me. So as long as I have my energy and a motivated partner I will be able to manage all the difficulties.
DW: What are the things apart from actual dancing you have to deal with to become successful in this business? Vladimir: You have to go to business school to succeed in dancing! ? I believe each and everyone has it’s own way to reach the top, but I think it’s impossible to do so if you don’t like what you’re doing. I would say more, you have to be crazy about it, crazy enough not to live a proper live and to spend most of your time on the competitions, airports and in dancing holes all over the world and to spend all your money on it as well! If you and your partner forgot how to communicate and enjoy dancing you will never achieve anything. Apart dancing everything should be just perfect not to disturb the actual dancing! ? Which is already a utopia. Well being the best doesn’t always mean to be faster, more flexible or to have the most endurance than the other. The best dancer is mostly a smart and intelligent person and a strong personality, so it’s not only a business school you have to do, but also the school of life!
Danceway: What are your experiences in terms of searching for a partner? Vladimir: With my first partner I was dancing for 12 years and we were put together because we fit very well. After we split I was helped by my coaches and didn’t really search. My new partnership now has started in the net where we had our first virtual dance! So each and every method works!
Danceway: How to find the best partner? Resources, knowledge… Vladimir: Internet, connections, but in the end everyone will find the perfect partner!
Danceway: What to your mind is the best way to make a partnership strong? Vladimir: The best method is to buy some strong handcuffs! Well, that’s a hard question. I believe if two people are accepting each other, are ready to listen, are open to change then the partnership will be very strong through some clear and strong relationship.
Danceway: How long does it usually take to find a partner? Vladimir: With some luck you can find someone in less then hour. But to find a partner when you already found a partner that’s a different story. It may take very long to really find and accept your partner and some people are dancing together but never with each other.
Danceway: What is the biggest problem in the dancing world today? Vladimir: There are many different problems in the dancing world today like: not precise subjective judging system, negotiations between dancing organisations, corruption in different spheres of dancing etc. and there will always be something what should be changed or done better by the officials and active dancers. But the very important thing is that we shouldn’t lose or may be we should create the connection between the officials and the dancers to make things clearer and better for dancing and dancers as well as for the ballroom business. Danceway: What future do you see in your dancing and what meaning does it have for you? Vladimir: I will go as far as it will take me! I am a dancer and I’m pretty sure that my life will always be more or less connected with professional dancing. Danceway: What is the happiest moment of your dance career? Vladimir: I still haven’t got it as because I’m still active! I be able to answer this question when I’m 87.
Danceway: As a conclusion what is your advice to beginners? Vladimir: Well, beginners, if you have began, than go till the end and enjoy this bumpy but fun trip!
(Exclusive Interview for danceway.com, October 2006) Back to the Interviews