THE ART OF DANCE: AN INTERVIEW WITH TAMINA POLLACK-PARIS by D’Anise Marie

Powerful and present in the moment, she stands tall…awaiting the music to play. As the music enters her fingertips and reaches into her soul, she begins to share her life stories through each movement…life water flowing. Dedicated, determined & driven…her performance will leave you inspired. She is one with the music, passionate, original…. she IS a Dancer! Ms. Tamina Pollack-Paris has been dancing since the young age of 2. Join me now as I talk touring, life and inspirational empowerment with a woman who truly understands the art of dance.

Tamina, wonderful to be chatting with you!  Your experiences in dance have led you on a tremendous path of success.  You started on this path as just a toddler. What style of dance was calling your name at such a young age?

At that time, I was doing what I now know as hip hop. Although at the time, I was really just moving and letting the music lead the way. My mother would always tape my sister and I dancing to popular music at the time. Even at such an early age, my mother could see that I loved performing for the camera and would take any opportunity I could get to put on a show.

It takes extreme dedication, hard work and practice to become a really great dancer.  What type of drive and determination would you say is needed, to be the best you can be in the business?

 To be the best in the business it is definitely important to have your source of determination, and reason for success to come from a pure and honest place. Only passion will be strong enough to lead you through the all the ups and downs until you ultimately reach your goal. It’s also important to have a great work ethic. Holding yourself to a standard of excellence is a great way to ensure continuous growth and avoid plateauing. Art is ever changing and no masterpiece is ever complete, therefore there is always room to grow and evolve as an artist.

You have worked with some of the biggest names in the Entertainment industry.   Who would you say was one of the hardest working individuals, who really stands out in your mind, that you have worked with?

It’s so difficult to pinpoint a particular artist, but I would have to say that I have learned valuable lessons from each project I have worked on. The common ground that they all share is the aspect of creating a positive atmosphere to create their best work. As a dancer it is super important to have a great attitude and energy as we are the ingredients that make the final masterpiece.

How did you first connect and start working with some of the bigger name talents in the entertainment industry and are there any exciting acts you are currently working with or are soon to be working with?

 Being from Toronto, I was lucky enough to have a lot of projects from the US come over to audition Canadian Talent so it was a great platform to begin working with International acts. In 2011, I made the big move to LA to pursue more opportunities. I then signed with Bloc Talent Agency who opened a lot of doors for my career. Even with a great agency, it was always up to me to ensure that I did well in auditions in order to book the job. After being on tour for a year, I’m now taking the time to produce a full show for The Girls Club. It promises to be an exhilarating, immersive performance that will showcase a lot of Toronto’s Talent. The show is scheduled to happen in the beginning of summer, so stay tuned for more information!

When you are out there on the stage, performing, what does it feel like for you?   How could you best describe the overall feeling it brings to you, to be on stage doing what you love?

Being on stage is such an exhilarating feeling.  Not only do I feel extremely fortunate to be doing what I love, every experience on stage is a unique occurrence. It’s so great to be able to feed off of the energy the crowd brings, because it fuels me to give them the amazing performance they deserve. Whenever I get nervous before performing, I always  convert that energy into adrenaline.

Dance moves are always evolving.   What new dance moves, if any, have you created that have really taken flight in the entertainment business or that you are currently working on?

A dance move, or rather a technique that I am well known for, is my walk. Although I refer to it as a “pump”. A pump is how you walk in the room, it’s how you carry yourself, it essentially is a dancer’s business card as you can tell the personality of a dancer just by their walk. What’s great about a “pump” is that it is universal, and timeless. No matter what the genre of dance, a pump can always make a great and lasting impression on an audience.

Who are some of your greatest mentors or inspirations?

I have been extremely fortunate to have many great mentors and inspirations in my career. First and foremost, I wouldn’t have been where I am today without the support and love of my family. They have always been my biggest fans and supporters and have always helped me to achieve my aspirations as a dancer. My two main mentors who have inspired my dancing from the beginning are Toronto natives: Luther Brown (Nicki Minaj, Janet Jackson, Brandy, Diddy) and Leon Blackwood (Keshia Chante, Artistic Director at The Underground Dance Centre, So You Think You Can Dance Vietnam). They taught me the foundations of hip hop and the importance of using a true emotion to influence your dancing to create truly captivating performances.

You have created a fabulous new platform titled, “The Girls Club”, which after only a year and a half of being founded has already produced a very diverse and successful demographic of bright, young women who are ready to take the entertainment industry by storm.  Can you tell us more about this please?

The Girls Club is definitely a passion of mine. The focus of the Academy is to teach young performers the ins and outs of the entertainment industry. Not only do we teach and refine their skills as dancers, we also focus on teaching them the business aspect of being a professional entertainer. For example, how to prepare for auditions, how to present yourself in the most professional light, and how find the most confident performer within. Aside from being an Academy, we also double as a full service Venue Entertainment company that provides high-caliber, immersive performances in various settings. I love working with the individuals in this collective because not only do I enjoy helping them on their journey to becoming the best performers they can be, but they also inspire me to continue growing as a creator and as a performer myself.

Tamina, you play the bubbly character role of Tiffany in the popular television show “The Next Step”,  how does it feel to incorporate acting into your love of dance?   Is acting something you have also always had a passion for and how similar are you and your character Tiffany?

The Next Step provided a great opportunity for me to combine my love of dance with acting. My approach to dancing is very character and persona driven, so acting has always been a secret passion of mine that I have been eager to develop and fine tune. I would describe my character on the show as a younger version of myself. Tiffany’s character traits are very similar to my own, just exaggerated to the 1000th degree 🙂

What advice would you like to share with rising, young dancers who are looking to get started into the entertainment business?

The most valuable lesson I have learned along the way is to always be yourself, because everyone else is taken.

What can the world expect next from you Tamina?

Aside from spreading the work and ideology of The Girls Club$ on a National scale, I plan on heading back to Los Angeles to continue growing as a performer by working with as many artists as I can to continue passing along what I have learned to the upcoming generations of entertainers.

by D’Anise Marie, Contributor to “Addicted” and “eBOSS”
D’Anise Marie is one of the leading women in the entertainment industry. Media Personality, Show Creator, Singer, Songwriter & Personal Manager with Carolyn’s Model & Talent. D’Anise has mentored talent of all ages on ‘what it takes’ to make it the biz. Managing her own career with hard work, determination and success have led D’Anise onto the red carpet, where she has conducted interviews with some of the biggest & rising names in the entertainment biz. For representation or interview inquiries, please contact D’Anise directly: [email protected]

Thank you also to Founder & CEO Mark Munroe of Addicted Magazine and Editor in Chief & Author at Addicted Magazine Nadia Elkharadly

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