INSiGHTZ: An Insight into YOUR dance journey with Tina Omotosho
INSiGHTZ: An Inisght into…
An online series and archives with UK dance professionals sharing valuable insights within the dance industry.
Series 1 - ‘An insight into YOUR dance journey’ - Inspiring and motivating youth
Formulated by: Tamar Dixon
“Tina Omotosho is a Nigerian, London-based versatile Dance and Movement Artist, Model and Choreographer. Her dance styles include Hip-hop, popping, waacking, locking, vogue, house, contemporary, Jazz-funk/commercial and African dance styles. Her style can be described as an experimental, exploration form of movement. She is a story teller through her movement”.
The majority of Tina's training took place at Runway House, a professional hub for high quality training from the best artists and choreographers in the UK. Tina has also trained with Boy Blue Entertainment Dance Company since 2016. Tina is currently a cast member of Uchenna Dances’ touring dance theatre production, 'The Headwrap Diaries' and was also a part of Uchenna Dances’ commissioned work 'The Headwrap Diaries: Fierce & Free’ as part of Sampled at the Lowry and Sadlers Wells theatre. Tina is the founder of #Mouvement21, an online social media movement which aims to create a community of artists supporting one another in their training and exploration of movement, allowing them to reach their full potential in their artistry through discipline and consistently developing themselves. Tina’s credits include S.O. The Kid, Demi Lovato, Qtip, Elton Jonn, Chaka Khan and The Graham Norton Show.
1. Tell us about yourself. What do you do and what is your main dance style you work in?
I am a dance artist and choreographer Based in London. I am an artist who enjoys exploring a range of styles particularly styles under the street dance and HipHop umbrella such as waacking, house, popping and locking. I also love incorporating African dance styles, contemporary and Jazz.
2. Why dance? What or who initially inspired you to begin your dance journey?
Dance for me is a way to express myself, to speak without using my voice but still allowing people to understand what I am saying. It is therapy. It is a way of life. It is hope. It is a gift. I’ve always loved dance since I was a young girl. I was that child that danced at the parties whilst the other kids will want to play games or feel too shy to dance. I was inspired by Micheal and Janet Jackson growing up. I would watch them on TV and just wanted to move like them. What inspired my dance journey as a professional was actually my own relunctancy to live a life without dance being a part of it. I could not see myself working a regular 9-5 and not dancing so I decided to get back into training professionally again after some years out at university. I started training again at Runway House in 2012 and started their professional dance programmes in 2014 which took place every 6 weeks. I have consistently trained there until present. For me training never stops. We have to continue aiming to be a better and improved version of ourselves daily.
3. Where was you 5 years ago? (e.g. career, dance lifestyle, journey)
As above I started professional dance training at Runway House training in a variety of dance styles to remain a versatile artist. I was working a full time job in the charity and international development section and would train on three evenings or more a week at Runway House mainly. It was tiring but it was worth it as I saw rapid growth within my art form and I was disciplined and began to know who I was as an artist.
4. Where do you see yourself in 5 years time?
Creating, choreographing for artists, shows, musicals , international development through arts, touring internationally with an artists or musical.
5. What challenges have you faced so far along your dance journey/practice?
When I got back into dance again, the struggle to pick up choreography and the transition into a freelance artist after years of being an employee having to learn how to make a living on solely this.
6. What has been your biggest achievement so far?
Creating #Mouvement21, Being a cast member of The Headwrap Diaries, Uchenna Dance, being in Chaka Khan Like Sugar music Video and also performing with her on the Graham Norton show earlier this year, being one of the artists that was part of Burberry London Fashion Week 2019.
7. If you could go back in time, what would you tell your young 16yr old self?
Dance is a career path not just an hobby. You can do it. Pick performing arts!
8. What advice would you give to the younger (creative) generation?
Stay true to yourself, work hard, set goals and work to realise them. Don’t compare yourself to others, remember you have a light in you so let it shine. Stay consistent in training, stay disciplined, do not get complacent. Always be professional. Who you are is more important, the talent follows.
9. How do you stay focused, positive and motivated throughout your practice/training?
I remind myself that I am my own biggest competition, I do not compare myself, i write down my goals, I stay consistently with my training and disciplined with working on my craft outside the studio, I remind myself that there is greatness in me and not everyone needs to like me, I need to make sure I celebrate I love me and what I have to offer the world.
10. Random… But what do you do in your free time? When you aren’t in dance/work mode.?
I write, i read, i socialise, i trade forex, i travel.
Thank you to Tina for taking part in our INSiGHTZ series.
Learn more about Tina at Tinadansa
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