‘Think to move. Move to think.’

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‘Think to move. Move to think.’

Monica Antezana, Founder and managing director of MOVELAB Dance Centre

By Rohit Nair (senior Features Writer)

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Published: Fri 13 Feb 2015, 2:45 PM

Last updated: Fri 26 Jun 2015, 12:28 AM

What is the number one item on your wish list/to-do list?

To invent. Always. To empower myself, my daughter and dance students to create, discover and develop something new everyday. Ever since I was a toddler — full of energy and curiosity — I realised that by experimenting I could produce anything I could imagine. This is also my #1 priority at MOVELAB Dance Centre — to offer a dance class in which you invent your own dance, instead of simply copying steps. Creative thinking through movement motivates, challenges and enables making dance accessible, useful and enjoyable for everyone. My motto, and hence MOVELAB’s motto is: ‘Think to move. Move to think.’

What good deed are you hoping to do today?

To inspire someone to trust in his/her own ideas. Since my first day at school, I had one permanent and simple, yet, intense wish, that of being positively surprised with a creative idea. When terrific ideas surprised me (either from a teacher, a family member or a friend) they were terribly contagious and addictive! One great idea &generated other fabulous ideas, whether it was a mathematical solution, a poem, making and playing an instrument, cooking or formulating rules of a new movement game… The key was to believe in it and work hard on it. I learned to value my own ideas and was full of joy when I could surprise myself with one, because it was the ‘on’ button for my love for learning something new. This has not changed in my past 38 years of life, and I hope it never does.

If you could have one superpower, what would it be and why?

The ability to delete from the human brain the impulse of mistreatment. With this superpower we would be able to coexist. Education fosters this superpower.

Your fitness mantra?

Brainy-bodywork! As a self-declared ‘nerd’ in the areas of education and dance, I can affirm these facts: 1) Creativity is at the centre of human intelligence, and 2) Life is movement. The glue for connecting creativity and movement is discipline. We can develop creativity and intelligence through mental and physical exercise. It is 100 per cent worth it! And 100 per cent fun!

The first thing you think about when you wake up in the morning?

The only way to get something done today is by starting it now.

The app on your Smartphone that you click on most often…

Whatsapp. I live and work in Dubai. My family, friends and colleagues are spread across different continents. I was born in Bolivia, lived in the USA, and studied in Bolivia, Chile, The Netherlands and Germany. Since I’m also an active professional choreographer, I have to stay connected. I also use it to communicate with my students at MOVELAB.

Your favourite hangout in the UAE is…

Rather than going to one specific hangout place, I enjoy going to performances, concerts and exhibitions in different venues in Dubai and Abu Dhabi. I love the yearly Dubai Art Fair connected to the Abu Dhabi Art Fair and the Sharjah Biennale, as well as the promising Alserkal Avenue and DIFC in Dubai as well as Saadiyat Island in Abu Dhabi. I feel at home in DUCTAC in Dubai, where MOVELAB is based, of course.

What is your greatest fear?

To lose a family member and friend. To have a loved one with untreatable pain.

Your favourite movie character of all time.

Teacher John Keating from Dead Poets Society, who, with unorthodox methods, stimulates his students to look at life from their own perspectives and to put their minds where their hearts are. He encourages his students to make their lives extraordinary — carpe diem. It’s what I aim to do with MOVELAB. By teaching creative movement courses to children and adults, designing educational dance programmes for schools and coaching performers and choreography projects, I can help toddlers, children and adults to seize their day.

What’s one thing you would like to change in your life?

The moments of procrastination I let happen. I would rather make them fully productive or completely leisure. I like to move it! 

As told to Rohit Nair


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