“This is what it’s all about”

Posted by admin in World Dance

Alia and Ozgen in Istanbul

I had one of those peak experiences in my first class with Ozgen.  Less than 24 hours after landing in Istanbul, I had already danced for 6 hours.  Every minute was exhilarating.  But it was during that first class that I felt pure elation because I realized I was in Turkey learning Turkish Romani dance. I thought: “This is what it’s all about.”  I was smelling, hearing and seeing the land that this music and dance evolved in.We shared a dance floor with students from Italy, Japan, England, Switzerland, France and America.  Ozgen was a perfect teacher to bridge the gap between lands.  He was warm and inviting, and worked kindly with multiple levels of dancers.  Over several years of training and teaching he has developed a beautiful warmup followed by an excellent blend of technique, Roma attitude and fun.  His stage experience brings out a refinement and magnetism that you’re not likely to see amongst street dancers, but is critical to taking Romani style dance to the stage for an International audience.  If you get the opportunity to learn from Ozgen, do not hesitate to sign up.

Enjoy the following interview, where he discusses his dance history and experience of teaching internationally.


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