In Conversation with a Hip Hop Dancer
It’s 20 Degrees.
We are in Dublin.
My girl came to visit from Lisbon.
We grabbed some healthy food and went to chill in the park.
Catarina is all about dance, street art, and eating chocolate daily. I love spending time with her because her passion is just so mesmerising: She is filled with dreams about the next time she is going to dance.
We spoke about solo travel, breakups, health, the economic situations around dancers in Lisbon and the beauty of Dublin parks.
What do you like about solo travel?
It’s a chance to really just do what I love. Sometimes it’s hard to coordinate my friend’s schedules just to book a holiday together, so this year I simply went traveling on my own. I went to New York, Berlin, Hamburg, Salzburg and a few other cool spots.
What I loved about each trip is that during the day I would take dance classes to really engage and learn. New York was the best spot for that. I was there for 10 days. I took dance classes with xxx at xxxx and it was so cool. The atmosphere and the energy was really my thing.
How do you embrace solo traveling?
I go on street art tours. It’s my passion so it’s very cool to be able to meet others with similar interest.
I also try to take dance classes wherever I go. It’s what helps me breathe and it’s really something that is a constant in my life.
Eating healthy is also very important when travelling. Small snacks and breaks across the day help me to stay active and filled with energy. No matter how stressful life can be, having those routines provide me with stability in turmoil.
If you could choose where you could live, where would it be?
New York! Simply because I could dance there more often.
What’s the dance scene like in Lisbon?
I try to organise dance events in Lisbon, but everything is pretty minimal. Not many people take dancing, especially hip hop dancing, as a profession, so for this reason I’m mostly doing it as my true passion and expression.
I’m going to India in August to teach dancing for a group of girls where we want to promote dancing as a form of expression of self. Dancing really helps to break barriers, removes inhibitions and helps embrace insecurities within. I really hope that this programme will help few girls out.
Breakups. What’s a recipe to go through during a breakup?
I don’t understand people who go out drinking all the time after a breakup. I had a tough one when I moved back to Lisbon from London with my boyfriend at the time. He just moved back straight away and it was tough to digest.
I immersed myself into dancing. It was hard to embrace it and push myself to go out, but sometimes it was ok to just sit with myself and feel the sadness. We all go through breakups and it’s different for all of us, but at the end what helped me heal was to find something that I really loved doing and just go for it fully.
Another thing that helped was to really not look at social media for the first 10 days or so. It’s very hard because of our attachments and natural behaviour is to want to be nosey, but if you able to stick though those first 10 days – it’s done and not a habit anymore.
Have you ever experienced a sensation of being copied and a jealous eye following you?
No. What is it like?
It’s something that I have never experienced up until now. You feel that you are watched, stalked, and also copied by a person. It’s one thing to be inspired, but another is to be copied. I can’t imagine what other celebrities and world-known individuals must feel like when they are admired and worshiped by their external achievements and not their true-selves. That must be hard to remain yourself when others are going to the lengths of even doing plastic surgery to embrace the way they look, for example.
What this experience is teaching me is to really go further and deeper into love. To love more. To love deeper. As well as find my own authentic voice that I can share. I rather be an original than a copy.
Gifts received from Catarina:
- Inspiration to go on a street art tour when in New York.
- Explore the Bronx and attend a Yankees Game.
- Try out a dance class in New York.