“I’ve become addicted to dancing. I used to play basketball, but I hurt myself, so now I compete in ballroom dancing. It’s 10 different dances, from standard to Latin: waltz, tango, foxtrot, quickstep, Viennese Waltz, cha-cha, samba, jive, rumba, and paso doble.”
“Which one is your favorite, and which one is the most difficult?”
“My favorite dance is the waltz. I’m normally a high-energy person, but the grace and beauty of the waltz is what inspired me to get into dancing. The most difficult is probably Latin samba. There are a lot of sudden movements: in order to know how your body is flowing, you have to be very aware of who you are as a person and where you are in the world.”
“It’s one of the things I’ve discovered about dancing: it requires you to know yourself at a very deep level. We usually walk through life without paying attention to ourselves, but dancing requires you to have a certain understanding of your own body. Learning how your muscles and joints work and where you’re holding your tension forces you to reflect on where that tension come from.
Sometimes, when I was back home, I would fight with my brother, which caused me to hold tension and anger in my body. When you begin to dance, you can feel all of those tensions going away.”
Portraits of Boston is a project of independent photographer Ivan Velinov. He is regularly sharing some of his favorite portraits with WBUR. Visit his website to see the hundreds of portraits he has taken on the streets of Boston.