“Dancing makes me happy and keeps me active.”

16-year old Anabel is training hard to become a professional dancer. What once started with a tombola prize quickly developed into her passion and career choice. Why Latin dance? Because it chose her, Anabel believes. (Picture above: Alexandra Hartner)

How does your training routine for Latin dance look like?

I train 6-7 times a week in different constellations. A group training 3 times a week where my partner and I train together with other pairs and individual training 2 times a week. This is mixed with some exercises for balance and strengthening of the foot musculature. I also go to the gym on a regular basis. On top I train with my dance partner daily for about 1.5 hours working on the choreography or on specific dance figures.

At the moment we work with three coaches. One is responsible for the group trainings. Plus, my dancing partner and I each have a personal coach, as we both speak different languages. He’s Russian which sometimes makes communication a bit difficult. But luckily it all gets easier with time.

Favourite training place?

My daily training takes place at the dancing school TSK Modena in the 7th district in Vienna. I really go there every day except Wednesday. That’s when I’m at the Holmes Place gym in the 20th district. Another training location is the sports hall “Eisring Süd” in the 10th district.

Danil, 20 years old form Magnitogorsk/South Ural and Anabel 16 years old, represent Austria nationally and internationally.

How did you get into sport?

Years ago I won two dance courses as tombola prize at a school party and just couldn’t stop dancing ever since.

For how long have you been doing sports and how regular are you doing sports?

I started dancing at the age of six, but it was only at the age of 10 and a half that I started at a competitive level. Over the years, I’ve been dancing in different dance schools. Since the age of 14 I’m enrolled in a performance sport class and that’s when I started dancing at “TSK Modena”. I’m glad my sport is part of my school schedule, allowing me to train every Tuesday and Thursday morning.

At the moment I compete in the ‘general class S’ because my partner is older than 20 years. The performance category depends on your age and qualification level ranging from beginner to professional (S-category).

Why are you doing sports?

Dancing makes me happy and keeps me active. I love competing in a tournament and winning of course 😉

(c) Alexandra Hartner

How do you stay motivated to keep going with you training?

I’m always focusing on my goal: finish in first place.

Are there days when you’re not in the mood for dancing?

There are days where my motivation might be low, but I’m always up for some dancing.

How do you come up with the choreography?

The choreography is always created together with the coach and specifically tailored towards each dancer’s strength and personal style. The music forms the framework for the choreography. But you have to keep a certain flexibility because you never know what specific song is played at a competition.

An essential step is to specify the rhythm and the interaction between both partners throughout the choreography. It’s also important to specifically work out the key points. This revision process allows for an adaptation and development of the choreography.

Do you have any favourite dance figures?

My favourite one is the “Batucada” in Samba, where you dance side by side to your partner. It’s all about fast movement of your hips and feet.

Thoughts before, during and after training?

Keep on going and never give up.

Would you say you are competitive: when it comes to sport? In general?

In general not so much but in sports definitely.

How often do you take part in competitions? Are you still nervous while dancing at a tournament?

Nearly every second weekend. And yes, I’m definitely nervous despite all the tournaments I participated at in the past. My biggest successes were gold medals at the Austrian and regional championships plus good rankings at international tournaments.

How important is your outfit for the tournaments?

My appearance and dress is part of the performance. Of course you don’t get extra points for a great dress, but I would definitely say it’s important. My mum helps me decide on the design which is often handmade especially for me.

Is there anything positive or negative you would like to share?

Don’t listen to others who try to demotivate you.

So what are your future goals?

I dream of becoming a professional dancer or at least work as a coach. My goal is to reach international standards.

If you weren’t into sports what would you be doing instead?

The answer would always be sport. I just can’t hold still.

In five key words: What are the best things about your training you want to share with the readers?

Fitness, activity, energy, fun and liberty.

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