This weekend in Florence, the weather was gloomy and cold. Inside the Danza in Fiera (DIF) festival however, there was no escaping the heat of passionate dancers sweating to make themselves noticed.
This international event at the Fortezza da Basso attracted dancers of all ages from around the globe seeking enjoyment in every kind of dancing. From cheerleading to ballet, pole dancing to interpretative and hip-hop to burlesque – there was something for everyone. Experience, however, was not mandatory in the least. Two young ladies were simply excited to sign up for a free Zumba lesson, having come all the way from Poland to do some dancing. Also at the Fortezza da Basso was a Just Dance 4 stage where all levels of dancers – amateurs and professionals – had fun learning new choreographies.
From bright pink jumpsuits to sparkly tutus, at Danza in Fiera the glamorous part of the dance world was well-showcased: the performance outfits. In a whirlwind of colors and fabric, models came dancing down the DIF runway in Wear Moi, Capezio, Majoca, Errea Republic, and Sweet Years among others. There were delicate ballerina outfits, bold hip-hop wear and comfortable rehearsal attires. As the models went down the runway, the eyes of the young dancers present sparkled with joy. The little girls visibly desired to look as dazzling as the on-stage female models, their jaws dropping as the outfits became increasingly splendorous.
Dancing starts early if you are serious about it. Toddlers in this world learn to tie their ballerina slipper straps before their sneaker shoelaces. Little babies danced at the festival as well, bouncing in their parents’ arms or swiveling round in their carriages to the music.
Whether it was boys dancing ballet or girls breakdancing, there was no shortage of talent at the DIF 2013 that could not wait to show itself in auditions and free lessons. The truth is that dancing is a way for children to put themselves out there and shamelessly say “Look at me. This is what I can do.”
Ashley Tirado has been dancing for two years and attended a hip-hop lesson with Domenico Pignone, known as Domingo in the dance world. While wiping the sweat from her brow she commented:
“It was intense. It was harder than I thought it would be but it was a great experience and it made me want to keep dancing.”
Although Tirado admits to being rather new to this type of environment, there are those who have been dancing their whole lives, waiting for their big break into the professional world.
“My son dances since he was little. He is 20 years old now”, says the mother of one aspiring dancer.
When asked why he wants to dance she simply responds “It is his passion, what he loves”.
And there is no better place to pursue your passions than Florence, Italy