Dekatra Lapaeva – Elements Of a Remarkable Dance Couple
When two humans are connected through art, they end up making one magical dance. A wildfire, or a summer breeze, in whichever spectrum their energies lie, a perfect harmony emerges and a complete mixture of feelings erupts in the viewer: happiness, serenity, comfort or heart-racing excitement, wonder, admiration. All these mixed feelings can then be interpreted as passion for their art.
Work On Yourself First
Connection with oneself ultimately means connection with everything else
Many individuals have journeys that imply the harrowing yet ultimately uplifting quest of finding oneself or creating oneself. For me personally, it should be more about getting in tune with yourself. You need to open your sense and see the intensity of the moments that soon fill with your unique perceptions.
See, not just look. Hear, not just listen. Be present in your life. Let the senses take over and discover their truth. In this way, as a dance couple, you will feel empowered and in control like a dove let loose. It’s a huge force of energy.
The dancer has to be in love with the world
As a dancer, you need to be in love. No, I don’t mean to have a romantic interest. You need to find love inside of yourself. Fall in love with an idea, a process or with a leaf…
In order to have a different way of moving, which is dance, you need to have emotion, to make a fusion and an exchange with the universe.
Find Each Other In The Middle
Dance couple bodies are drawn to each other
The energy of the physical body is so much more powerful when you’re in the presence of another being. That’s why it’s a whole other intimacy that you have with your dance partner. Even when we go away, the spines will still work towards each other. On a psychological level, the more true people can really be in together, really see each other, be on the same waves, the connection improves.
Selfishness is the number one enemy
I associate selfishness with lack of empathy, lack of respect for your partner, carelessness. I find many dancers very selfish. What’s the main issue? The opposite forces of lead and follow.
This can create points of divergence within the dance couple. I often hear: ‘You’re pulling me!’, ‘You’re pushing me’. And that’s where I teach them and I advise everyone to be more giving and have this train of thought: ‘If I want my partner to be more gentle, what can I do to contribute?’ rather than being focused on ‘you’.
All Set For The Competition
Performance vs. technique
Both as a dancer and as couple couple, you have to find balance. You can be the one that is very intuitive, connected deeply with the movement, floating effortlessly. But you don’t have the technique, you don’t have the precision, the mechanical skills. Without those, you are an unfinished painting. And that’s the teacher’s role, to help you find the missing pieces and have you work on them.
It’s an individual journey. Don’t only train one aspect, as you can lose the ones you already have, refresh them again and again.
Be 100% ready
Don’t come empty-handed. Be ready for the challenge. Train every aspect of yourself before a competition. Nothing should surprise you as you get there. Do your homework!
Let me tell you a short story:
I always trained a lot, sometimes 5-6 hours, sometimes even 8 hours a day. But one I had a breakdown before the competition. So I decided to take a break and not practice the week before the competition. That whole week I painted. Guess what? It was one of my best competitions.
Have a support system
Have support. Having that one person that believes in you is important. Sometimes it’s a friend, sometimes it’s a whole family. We are vulnerable in times of stress and the loved ones give us energies that help us get through the day. You feel different when you know someone is in the same space as you, keeping their fingers crossed for you.
Be there with your mind and body!
The moment you step onto the floor and get into your drop by performing and connecting with your music and with your partner you stop questioning if you are afraid or not. That’s simply because you are there, you experience fully everything because you’re so into it. Be present!
Keep in mind your role as dancers is not to offer the audience the keys to understand the performing act, to educate the viewer but to make them look and interpret in their own way the dance. That’s why you need to focus on watering all the elements that help the relationship between you and your partner in a healthy and strong way.
You can hear more about what Dekatra Lapaeva has to say on the Dancesport Life Show podcast.
At the age of 9 years old, dance found its way into her life. She started taking classes in classical ballet and the 10 dance format. At 15 Dekatra chose Moscow to pursue her dance career. That was the moment her Latin career took off internationally. At 22 she moved to London and turned Pro. She had amazing results from that point on. At the present, she lives an authentic life, a life full of spirit and art in London. She is a complete artist all around and goes from dancing, doing choreography to teaching, writing poetry and painting. Find her at https://www.instagram.com/dekatra_lapaeva/