PRISCA ATITE; Dancing her way to fitness

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Kindly introduce yourself to us.

I am Atite Prisca, a dancer, choreographer, educator, yoga instructor and speaker who has a huge passion for community arts and activism.

So Atite, what does choreography entail?

Choreography is the art of combining and designing dance movements.

Is dancing for everyone? Can everyone dance?

Yes its true. Everyone can dance because we can all move our bodies or body parts. The tricky question is, what style/ genre/ type of dance and maybe for what purpose/ intentions? This is where irony is found!

Kindly expound more on the style/genre and type of dance.

We have basically;

  • Ethnic / Folk / Traditional – depends on your background
  • Ballet / modern / Jazz ( these are categoried as technical genres)

  • Street Hip hop/ krump/ popping/ breaking

  • Social dances like Latin/ Ballroom/ Lind hop and a lot more

  • Then we have contemporary dance / Theater – depends on the mindset of the community and it’s interpretation of dance at present state.

Some styles integrate as time goes on.

Does dancing improve our fitness? How is it beneficial to our bodies?

Yes, it does improve your fitness. Your core is continuously engaged in dancing as you keep balanced. The core is the center to our bodily activities

mwangaza | Mwangaza

Kindly expound more on contemporary dance.

In my experience Contemporary dance has two settings;

  • How dance is presented in the current state, that is the “identity” and uniqueness using the “original” or technically taught movements. That’s why some people now say contemporary ballet or African contemporary or contemporary hip hop. It is all about the niche you add to it

  • The idea of storytelling. That’s why most contemporary dancers are identified to be theater performers.

What does yoga entail? Are there types of yoga?

Yoga means Unity. Body, soul and mind. The types of yoga include;

  • Vinyasa/ flow yoga

  • Power yoga

  • Hatha yoga

  • Astanga

  • Yin Yoga

  • Bikra/ Hot yoga

  • Restorative yoga

  • Iyengar Yoga

  • Arco Yoga

  • Kundalini yoga and many more that are in the Indian culture or other parts of the world and haven’t reached East Africa.

What about the meditation aspect and spiritual implications of yoga?

The meditation is connected to concentration and the spiritual is connected to your breath.

So how is yoga beneficial to our bodies? Can we do it anywhere?

Yoga especially if it is vinyasa, power, astanga or yin helps in flexibility and strength. Breathing keeps us connected and able to feel our own extensions or limits. Yoga cannot be done everywhere, you need to move away from distraction in order to focus on it.

mwangaza | Mwangaza

How do you sell it to the community? In terms of how does the community receive yoga?

Yoga is still developing as new teachers get more training. Most of the classes are free or donation based. The people that find value, request for private classes.

So does the art of dancing and yoga offer an entreprenuership opportunity? And how do you exploit this? Considering most people consider it as leisure and not serious business.

Dance Entrepreneurship is still on the low as we have few arts managers in Uganda to encourage the process. However, with the commercialisation of dance from a traditional social setting to ticket sales and paid edutainment on functions both cooperate and social gatherings, there is steady progress. We exploit this by raising awareness about the values of dance and yoga.

So where do you see yourself in the coming years?

I see myself advocating more about the value of dance, building a theater and partnering with the organizations which engage in Arts education, nurturing talents and artistic performances.

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