Maya Angelou once said that “Everything in the universe has rhythm and everything dances”. This mantra seems to be working for Italian Dancer and Choreographer, Giulio Dilemmi who became even more well-known after Shakira posted his dancing video on her instagram account with the caption “Someone is getting ready to dance along on my “El Dorado” World Tour!”
In an exclusive interview to Anna Krith’s Lifestyle, Giulio, talks about his Italian roots, emphasizing on dancing career and explains what happened when he realized that Shakira posted his dancing performance on her instagram account. He also reflects on the three more pretty scary injuries that almost cost him his career. On the other hand, he expresses his desire to engage in circus style while he comments on the “monkey” misconception situation.
A: Anna Krith – Journalist
G: Giulio Dilemmi – Dancer & Choreographer
A: You are from Italy but what’s your background?
G: Yes, I’m from Italy. I started dancing at the end of 2005, at the age of 14, with hip-hop/video dance, then I tried breakdance ( in the streets). In 2009, I started to take seriously the dance career and I decided to practice other styles such as jazz, contemporary, afro, etc. After a short period, I started to practice martial arts and I reached a point where I stuck and didn’t know how to optimize what I’ve learned. But when I surfed the net, I found some tribal fusion video and then I thought ”hm, maybe I can try this” and so after a while, I started to practice this kind of style in a more serious way.
A: When and where did you learn this kind of dance?
G: Well, After working on so many dancing workshops , I decided to specialize in Tribal Fusion. I took the decision to focus more on the fusion style, because I’m aware about the fact that in order to learn oriental dance, it requires a lot of knowledge regarding the middle oriental culture. I choose this type of dance, due to the fact that I like to feel free without ”style frontiers”.
A: Have you ever been injured during dancing? If yes, when and how did this affect you?
G: Yes, I have been injured so many times. Especially at the beginning, that I took so much effort to “listen” to my body, and I was even frustrated because of my height (when I started I was 1.89, now I’m 1.93, but I was always the tallest of the group), and be tall means to have long lever, and, in body mechanic I can’t extend elbows and (especially) legs at all, it’s hypo-extention (I know that looks impossible for some people, but that’s it), and thought my eyes, It was a big issue, because I had to do so many steps in different ways.
I had many injuries; the first one is when I sub-dislocation my left shoulder at the age of 16; I was practicing the ”hollowback” (that is a diagonal/horizontal handstand with the chest upward, the back is inclined and the feet are few cm from the ground), my left hand slept and I hit my head on the (marble mosaic) floor. As far as I remember my shoulder was in a lot of pain. It took some months to re-stabilize my shoulder. Sometimes I still feel pain.
The second serious injury was, in 2009, when I hit my right wrist and I had to go through surgery; I remember I was awake, it was supposed to be calibrated for 20 minutes, but I honestly, it was more than one hour. After a while, I started to feel the “real” pain. Indeed, that was one of the most shocking experience of my life. The doctors guaranteed me that after maximum 6 months everything was gotta be fine but it took more than 5 years to recover from it.
And the third one was in 2013. I had a very intense period of martial arts; I practiced about five times a day, with a lot of running and any type of physical preparation. I did also some capoeira and tae kwon do fights on the grass, which was full of holes, so I compressed my ankle so many times ’till I had an articular block. From that terrible injury, I have about 20% less mobility on my right ankle and ’till today, I didn’t reach to unblock it.
A: Have you ever participated in a competition?
G: Yes, of course. I won two “belly dance fusion” category in Italy. I also participated to Italia’s Got Talent and France’s Got Talent.
A: Speaking about it, how did you feel when you saw your video in which you’ve dance a song of Shakira, uploaded in her instagram profile?
G: It was 15th August. I was back home, from the “Capoeira” training and I started to do some stretching. Then it was when, I heard the notification sound on my cellphone. Then, I checked Facebook and Instagram; it was that magical time when I saw ”Shakira tagged you in a post”. Oh my God! I had like a heart attack and I was so happy that she liked my work.
A: Would you try other type of dance?
G: Actually, I do that on a daily basis. I really like trying new things and experiment different types of dances. I truly consider dance as a thing that I want to evolve myself. But, now, I would like to focus on circus styles, like aerial, hand balancing and pole dancing. I just hope to have more time to train, because I’m aware about the fact that these types of dancing require a lot of effort and dedication. In general, my future project is to act and I’ll do my best to accomplish it.
A: What’s the most common misconception about dancers?
G: Well, my answer is based on my own experience; In Italy, dancers do not function as a regular profession. For instance, when I say that I’m a dancer, people usually responds ”oh, ok, but what is your real profession?” or they say ”Ok, in which disco club you work?” (Some people think that dancer means GoGo dancer! In the past I worked as a GoGo Dancer and I can assure that is not the same thing. Some others, resembled me to a monkey that only moves in a frenetic way). All in all, I just want to say that I love my job and I believe in what I do. That’s the most important thing.