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Get to know Vanda

I was telling you in my last article that Calmness Hotline will host two wonderful workshops with guest coach Vanda Seetoh. Her contemporary pole dance practice is absolutely amazing, but maybe too little known in Montreal. I had the pleasure of talking with her and used this opportunity to ask her a few questions about her practice and her vision of pole dance. I'm sharing with you what she had to say, so you too can get to know her better.

How or why did you decide to mix contemporary dance and pole?

I am trained as a dancer in ballet and modern/contemporary dance techniques. However, my interest in pole dancing led me to explore ways to merge both disciplines into one, with similar principles to contemporary dance. This involves constantly exploring and experimenting to slowly discover a more distinctive language for self-expression.

To me, pole dancing is an extension of contemporary dance, where the pole becomes my dance partner, creating a duet together.

As pole dance becomes more mainstream, do you feel like the contemporary aspect is seen differently than other styles?

Pole dancing is a form of dance that has always fascinated me due to its endless possibilities. Its diversity and constant evolution make it a unique art form that encompasses different styles and expressions. Although these styles may be in different forms, they all serve the same purpose, which is to dance, to move, and to search for a feeling that can be expressed with a non verbal language.

Do you feel like the way you perform is different with the pole compared to “solo” dancing?

Performing with or without the pole holds equal significance to me, as it is the narrative and imagination that intertwine the story with the performer and the performance.

How do you push your own limits on a regular basis?

I am constantly searching and discovering my limits as I move along. It is crucial for me to be sure of my intentions while constantly questioning them on a day-to-day basis, especially when creating a new choreography. I fear stagnation and allow circumstances to drive me, so I try to be mindful and not limit myself to stay in such a mental or physical state.

What would your 12 years old self say if she could see you today?

Always keep the child in you.

What is your main goal when teaching?

Bringing students to a space of possibilities and discoveries.

Do you think musicality is innate in everyone or is it something that you learn and work on with time?

I believe that our inner body has a natural sense of rhythm, which is innate in us. In the way our hearts beat, how we breathe, the pace of our footsteps, and how intuitively our body moves when a good beat comes on. Our sensitivity to musicality can be nurtured and developed over time.

What’s your biggest dream?

Probably, it is always true and authentic to myself, to be surrounded by like-minded people. This is where I believe magic and beautiful things, situations, and places will organically happen, and to me, that is bliss.

I find those answers to be so genuine and touching. I can't wait for you to meet Vanda and get to pick on pieces of her mind. Her way of seeing life and art is very organic and I find it to be beautiful. Make sure you secure your spot at one (or both) of her workshop on August 26th.

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