Say Hello to our Spotlight Partner Auti Kamal. She runs a wonderful Youtube Channel where she has new dance vlogs every Wednesday, a Dancer’s Corner every other Monday, and a choreography videos featuring her company Bodyspeaks, but we wanted to get to know her a bit better.
Tell us a bit about Bodyspeaks Dance Collective of which you are the Founder and Director of.
Bodyspeaks is my contemporary dance company! We produce choreography videos that you can find on my Youtube channel (YouTube.com/MissAuti) and perform live at different shows. We’ve been so lucky to hit the stage at some awesome events like World of Dance Live and Club Jeté.
What is the best thing about choreographing?
I love this question! My favorite part about choreographing is that the dance you create becomes a living, breathing bookmark in that chapter of your life. Those emotions and memories come to life forever through the movement, each time the routine is performed. It’s cool to look back and see who you were at that moment.
Which do you enjoy more, choreographing or teaching? Tell us why.
I love teaching and choreographing! They are rewarding in different ways… Teaching allows for slow progress and seeing a student learn and grow over time. But, setting movement on dancers and seeing your ideas come to life right in front of you is indescribable!
If you didn’t have to sleep, what would you do with the extra time?
If I didn’t have to sleep, I don’t even know what I would do! I LOVE naps… Ha! I think I may have been a cat or dog in my past life because snoozin’ in the sun is one of my favorite things in this world. I guess I would travel through. How fun to get work and responsibilities done during the day and then adventure all throughout the night.
Who’s your go-to band or artist when you can’t decide on something to listen to?
My go-to bands and artists are: The Head and The Heart, Gregory Alan Isakov, Roo Panes, Paul Simon, and lately. Leon Bridges.
If you can perform a duet with any dancer who would it be and why?
I’d love to perform with Misty Copeland, just to say I have.. Ha! In all seriousness, we had the same ballet teacher at different points in our lives, so it would be cool to share the stage with someone of such beautiful strength and discipline.
You can pick up a phone and talk to your number one dance idol -living or dead- but you can only ask them three questions. What are the three questions you would ask them? Why?
I would talk to Mia Michaels! Her choreography is always so striking and I know she’s battled with her fair share of self-love and self-acceptance. I would pick her brain and ask her.
1) What’s the biggest lesson you’ve learned as an artist in the industry?
2) Do you like to choreograph beforehand or on the spot?
3) How do you let go of comparison and the pressure of competition?
What do you like to do in your free time?
My free time is filled up with my cute pup, Milo! We go on walks or to the dog beach a lot. I also love farmers’ markets, relaxing at coffee shops (I am addicted to tea!), and spending time with my best friends and boyfriend.
If you could go back in time, what advice and lessons learned would you had given your “younger self”?
I would tell my younger self to enjoy the little things more! I have always been a driven busy bee and I think I could have used more downtime and silliness. Don’t get me wrong- I have been blessed with the most wonderful life, but I understand now that sometimes the best things are the quiet in-betweens.
If you could give advice for aspiring younger dancers, what you would want others to know about?
To all my aspiring dancers- GO FOR IT! Be you and be proud. You have so much to offer to the dance world, own yourself and go show ’em what you got. Remember why you started and always, always come back to that. Nobody can ever take away your love for dance.