A movie that talks about reality, pain and ambition… Sergei Polunin tells his story of how he was dancing on top of his own burning flames
With no limits and sculpted by the Media and the Dance industry, Sergei was made blind by the spotlight as he was became prisoner of his own self. Craving for success and fighting through his own passion he was named “Graceful Beast” and was soon known as the most talented ballet dancer anyone has ever seen.
Oscar nominated and film director Steven Cantor was keen to resolve Sergei’s controversy and public image. Intrigued to know the hidden reasons of why this young dancer was portraying himself as the “Bad boy of Ballet”, Steven decided to capture the moments of pain, sacrifice and desire… No acting or special effects, this is a film that shows the true reality of an artist who lived under a shadow and who was suffering in his own world.
FINDING THE MEANING OF DANCE
The production of the film DANCER took a total of 4 years to complete, and this wasn’t just “the making off” process that took so long, it was more about the process of building trust and confidence between Sergei and the film crew. These 4 years of film making became the prime answer for Sergei to decide that he wanted to stop dancing. But there was one last message Sergei wanted to say before he turned the page… He wanted to create a final dance piece that would be part of the film and would represent his “last dance”.
Creative minds got together and TAKE ME TO CHURCH was soon to become one of the most breathtaking and powerful pieces in the history of dance. Choreographed by his best friend Jade Hale-Christofi, “Take me to Church” was made as the true reflection of Sergei’s hard work and soul.
9 hours of emotions… It was 9 hours of shooting and 9 hours of crying. After the shoot Sergei felt incredibly overwhelmed with the amount of feelings and memories and from that moment he knew that there was somewhere in his heart telling him not to give up. With an unsuspected pre-release of the dance video, the final decision for him to change his mind and return to dance, became very clear…It only took a few days for the video to get thousands of views and to go viral. Sergei’s message had become a light of inspiration and empowerment for hundreds of children and ballet dancers.
MAKING AN IMPACT
It took years of determination, structure and long hours of training for Sergei to become the Artist he is nowadays. The more years he spent dedicating his life into his career, the more he realized how little power his voice had.
After he left the Royal Ballet, he became very aware of how rigid the lifestyle of a Dancer can become and how difficult it can be to find support. This is why he created PROJECT POLUNIN a program that connects with Dancers, Choreographers, Artists and Musicians with the aim to open space and to build more opportunities in the Dance world.
DANCER FILM a documentary that tells the story of a genius, an artist and a rebel that has made a change in the world of BALLET.
Watch at home: http://www.dancermovie.co.uk/watch-at-home
HEALTHY FIT FRAN was created with the aim of becoming a name and an influencer in the blogging and health & fitness scene. “I was keen to jump into this world and to share my passion.” The problem was that I had no clue how to start and I did not know anyone who could help me. I only knew one thing and that was: when you see an opportunity YOU TAKE IT!
Opportunities come and go in our life’s every single day, sometimes they appear as a consequence to a problem or sometimes they come as a result to what we do. We tend to think that this word relates to luck, blessings or that they simply come ̏out of the blue”, but the truth is that most of the time these golden opportunities come because of your own personal merits and hard work.
From working with some top brands in the fitness industry and also meeting some amazing people, I have learnt that there are always a few factors that we need to keep in mind when it comes to finding the right opportunities. That is why I have chosen my top 5 WORDS, which hopefully will give you a better guidance and inspiration when it comes to developing your brand, name or blog.
Being smart doesn’t mean who had the best grades or best knowledge; it means knowing where you stand, knowing your positive and negative qualities and also being able to find solutions.
In other words: using your brain and thinking out of the box. We will not get any opportunities if we stick to the same things that everyone is doing, spend some time in thinking a bit more on what you want to say as a blogger, be creative, suggest new ideas and use the media to find inspiration and help.
We all know that whoever seeks will find. When we wish for something, we normally feel the call to make it happen and that is when our inner thoughts will come and work as a team (desire and the inner you). We need to constantly tell ourselves that ̏we will” or that ̏we can” and be proactive and patient.
When it comes to the blogging world one of the best things you can do is getting in touch with people or brands. (Write a friendly email, explaining who you are and that you are keen to work and share their brand values or use social media as a way of staying in touch and finding out more about the brand and the person).
A happy face will always get you to the other side. By smiling people will find it easier to connect with you and establish better relationships, as this is probably the most welcoming gesture. A grin on your face will always be remembered, and by giving a one big smile you could have the power to start a conversation, attract someone or release calm.
So if you are ever stuck in an awkward environment, simply smile and you will probably get a smile back.
Having good communication skills is probably one of the most important things when it comes to finding the right opportunities. And when I talk about being social I am not referring to social media (who has the most followers, likes, etc.) that is one small piece of the puzzle. Social is about being able to start a conversation, create a discussion with others or simply sharing thoughts and opinions.
Find out about events or social meetings where you can connect with others. But there is no point of going if you are just going to stick your eyes down at your phone. Take a chance and talk to someone you have never spoken before… you never know who you might meet.
I was never very confident when it came to all these kinds of things as I used to be quite shy and I would always go for the option of going to events with someone who I knew. But then I soon realized that the only way of getting out there was by taking small risks and simply being confident with yourself.
When it comes to working with brands always try to meet them in person and share about who you are and what you could do with them.
Be practical, make good judgements and do your research. Whether you want to connect with brands or people there are a few things you can do to help the process. Social media can play a huge role when it comes to connecting and creating relationships, and that is why building a profile that is eye catchy, clean and professional, will make you outstand yourself form the crowd and form the millions of other people who use social media.
But as well as having a professional mindset one other important thing is to always be well informed, now a days it is as easy as 1,2,3 .. Simply search on internet!
Last but not least identify the people or brands you want to reach, as well as the people you look up to. Make a list of the top 3 or 5 people who are already achieving what you would like to achieve and follow their steps and their journey.
So there we go! My top 5 most important words, that I am constantly thinking about when I am connecting, blogging or talking about my brand.
Funny enough all these words start with the letter S! Put them to practice, use your skills and experiment! YOU WILL BE SURPRISED.
INTERVIEW WITH NINAS POPCORN
We had the pleasure of meeting professional dancer, dance instructor, and blogger Frances Katz, commonly known @Healthy Fit Fran. Her recent return from Chile to London, encouraged the kick-start of her personal dream HFF Cardio, an energetic mix of cardio dance and a body-sculpting workout. We asked Fran a few questions about her lifestyle as a professional dancer, her dreams and her favourite popcorn flavour.
How did you manage to get into the dance industry?
As a child I would always dance around the house and come up with choreographies in my room, and at that stage I was into gymnastics and swimming. Because I was already committed to these two sports I was not really allowed to take up another one, although my dream was to do synchronized swimming or ballet. As I grew older I realized that I could not let this dream fade away, so when I was in my teen I was lucky to find an amazing ballet teacher in Chile, who I call my second mother. She was the pillar who gave me all the correct foundation to move forwards and become a dancer.
I then got the opportunity to leave my country and move to the UK to train at a professional Performing Arts college: Laine Theatre Arts, where I only recently (July 2016) graduated with a professional Diploma in Dance. I have done a few dance jobs over this period of time, but at the moment I am recovering from a knee injury/surgery. I still have a few more months to go for before I can start working professionally again.
What do you love about being a professional dancer?
That I get to do what I love as my job! I mean, I don’t think many people can wake up everyday feeling excited to be working and ready to start their day. But as fun as it might sound it also has its downside, and this is when injuries come into the picture… Once you are injured, you will be out until you have fully recovered. So there is always that risk, that you could have few weeks or even months, (like in my case) without working.
You’ve been able to work with companies such as Adidas and Women’s Health. What did you do within these roles and how did this impact your career?
I was scouted when I was in Chile to be part of the Adidas Women’s training team in which they had a collaboration with Women’s Health magazine. For several months I was training with a special team and tracking our thoughts and promoting part of the clothing line, by appearing on interviews or articles for the magazine.
You are currently on a break from dancing for a few months; has this allowed you to focus on other opportunities within the health industry?
Yes absolutely. My main focus now is to build myself more in the Health and Fitness Industry (Healthy Fit Fran), do more work in the blogging scene and aim to be an influencer who other people can relate to. As well as getting my dance concept developed as a potential company/franchise (HFF CARDIO DANCE).
What is the driving force behind your personal fit and healthy lifestyle?
I use the term “WE ARE ALL GIFTED” as my force of motivation, to keep my mindset on a healthy platform. Our bodies are incredible gifts that we need to treat like treasure! My goal is to show others my lifestyle as someone who can help young women who want to follow a balanced lifestyle and encourage them to maintain a nourished life. I believe that keeping things real is fundamental.
What is the best thing you could say to encourage someone to adopt a fit and healthy lifestyle?
I would say that the best thing to say to encourage someone to start adopting a healthy lifestyle would be to first of all accept who you are! Accept your body, your strengths and your weaknesses; from there think of realistic and achievable goals you can set yourself. Once all this it all comes down to consistency and telling yourself that YOU CAN! The moment we start doubting of who we are and our capabilities our energy will drop.
My main goal is to recover from this knee injury as best as I can, and be back on the roads again! DANCING MY LIFE AWAY… For 2017 I want to set and register my concept, start growing and expanding hopefully for 2018. The dream goal would be to magnify the method and have special trainers all over the world teaching HFF CARDIO DANCE. At the moment I have a list of some potential trainers who would like to spread the concept over the UK and in CHILE.
Superfood: CHIA SEEDS AND CACAO
Spot to eat in London: NEAL´S YARD and Tibits Restaurant.
To workout: HFF CARDIO DANCE (of course) and a good pumping spin class at TRIBECA STUDIOS with my favourite trainer Susie Millen!
Post-workout snack: I have Many… QUARK, (filled with good protein, quite similar to Greek yoghurt), rye toast and of course when I am feeling peckish a beautiful packet of Nina´s Popcorn.
To shop: Stella McCartney Adidas store (not to mention that I can afford most of it) and Whole Foods store.
To chill: A sauna
Nina’s Popcorn flavour: Sweet coconut, Himalayan pink salt and maca!!!