Fia Grogono is a dancer from Yellowknife and danced with Bella Dance Academy as a teenager. In her adult life, Fia has been outspoken about dance culture and Yellowknife and the influence art and dance have in all cultures.
It’s an extension of culture. It’s an expression of culture, and anywhere you go, the physicality of the people. It exists because of the way their society is run, And that’s the physicality of how people walk down the street, how people interact, how people move through space, how people don’t move through space. And that is concentrated into dance forms. So every culture you find will have their traditions, their lineage of dance history. We have a dance community and Yellowknife that encompasses a lot of different communities, a lot of different histories.
Fia spent time studying dance in Montreal and she says there are stark differences between dance and the North versus the South.
The difference between the culture of dance in Montreal and the culture of dance in yellow knife, the funding is the first thing that comes to mind. Montreal has been funding their dance community for a very long time. The Northwest Territories is doing its best now. To start funding. It’s maybe easier to compare Yellowknife to the Yukon because the Yukon started funding, I believe around the eighties for their arts community. And you see that. You see that when you’re in this space there. You see that in the collectives that exist and the general respect as well. The acknowledgment that dance and art, in general, are viable careers, that they’re contributing, how they show up in public spaces, how they show up in private homes
As a passionate advocate for dance. Fia recently took a trip to Brazil to examine the differences between Western styles and appreciation for dance versus a more culturally influential form of dance expression.
I was so happy to not be an individual. I was so happy to be part of a collective. That’s again, the community that comes out of dance, and that’s in their, dance culture. It was a really big realization, a big lesson for me, that reminder that, oh, I don’t have to be performing and I don’t have to stand out in a certain way. I don’t have to be exceptional.
Fia’s passion for dance has led her to examine the importance of dance as a medicine and how everyone can benefit from busting a move.
When we talk about dance being a medicine, we’re very much addressing a very primal part of human existence. It’s extremely relevant in these times. To be able to feel good in your body, to be able to find safety in your body. It’s about moving how you feel. How does your emotion, does it make you want to curl up in a ball? Does your emotion make you wanna jump up and scream? Does your emotion make you want to expand and take up space? Things like authentic movement and ecstatic dance, I think are very important. Just for people to be reminded that how they are is great.- Fia Grogono
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