Indian proverb goes: "Those who tell the stories rule the world".
By now you know how excited we are when we meet new people with unique stories that inspire us. Maybe you also are aware of how much we enjoy sharing that inspiration.
Clara Orlando is a gymnast, turned pole dancer and full-time contemporary circus student at AFUK, Academy for Untamed Creativity, in Copenhagen. There must be something in these mystical northern winds, as we talked about enchanted forests, magic and childhood wishes. We had a lot of fun, and I hope that you will enjoy our charming chat as much until there isn't more coming from this new link-up. Trust and believe that there will be more - magic.
How would you describe yourself and what you do?
REPLY: I would describe myself as a restless and slightly confused, hard worker. Unsure where I’m going, but trusting that I’ll get there. Not afraid to change the direction in which I’m aiming. I’m lucky to be able to work with what I love, not without struggle or doubt, but with a lot of willpower and training hours.
When and where did you fall in love with pole dance?
REPLY: In 2013, as a 16 year old with an overworked and anorexic body and mind. The love for pole dance went hand in hand with finding self love. It was through dancing and training, in an environment which wasn’t toxic like my old gymnastics team, that I recovered from my disorder. I switched focus from what my body looked like to what it can do, went to treatment and therapy - Got strong again!
How would you describe your pole dancing style?
REPLY: As a style that seems far more easy for people around me to define than for me. I am so much in it that it is hard to judge from the outside. I’ve got an understanding of how my body wants to move and which songs or moods my creative side feels most comfortable in, but I don’t want to be too descriptive as this can create imaginary limits.
Is Clara the circus artist different from Clara the pole dancer? If yes, how?
REPLY: I consider pole dance to be one of my main circus disciplines, so I don’t have a clear distinction in between the fields. But when it comes to mindset, there is a difference in how I relate to pole dance and circus. Since pole dance has been closely related to competitions and instructing for me, there is more of a mental challenge to not judge or think of others judgement when creating a pole act than when I practice other circus disciplines. When it comes to circus, I haven’t had the same pressure.
As a child, what did you want to be when you grew up?
REPLY: I remember more clearly what I DIDN’T want to become. A lot of my friends dreamed about working with dolphins or become football players and I just felt like “Hell nah!”.
What was your favourite bedtime story?
REPLY: My Mum read “One Thousand and One Nights” and my Dad read Roald Dahl’s children’s books for me and my sister, so I would say these gave a strong impression.
Did you believe in magic? If yes, do you still believe in magic? What is magic in your opinion?
REPLY: I definitely did and still do believe in magic, though my definition of magic has slightly changed through the years. As a child I was absorbed with the magic creatures found in Swedish folklore (trolls, spirits, fairies and nymphs). I try to hold on to believing in them, but the more cynical and rational adult side of me makes it hard. I still find forests to be magical and believe in ghosts though. Today I also see magic in people, their actions, creations and growth.
If presented with the chance, would you kiss a frog in hopes of him turning into a prince?
REPLY: On the one hand, I am called the Princess of my collective, (Our apartment is called “The Lava Castle” and I live in “The Tower Room”) and some may think that a princess needs a prince. But no, I think I’m better off without one. I’d choose to kiss magical artists (of any gender) over a frog any day of the week.
Dragons or ghosts?
Enchanted forest or haunted house?
REPLY: Enchanted forest