Dance is a poetry of movements. It unites souls infinite. It’s an expression of passion. It has stories untold of artistes galore. There’s an unspoken image of every dancer one is forced to uphold.
Meet the creator of Gawz, Tarek Khwiss – a dancer with a vision to establish a company and movement that bonds everyone through the medium of creative arts and self-empowerment. He was 15 when he started his foray in dancing, having discovered hip hop artist Missy Elliott through MTV.
Energetic…Fierce…Bold…and most importantly – an inimitable persona that promotes dance to elevate. His mantra? Never Stop Dancing!
What inspires you to dance? What do you want the audience to take away, interpretation, or a message you wish to convey?
Tarek: Inspiration to dance comes from music and seeing how a story can come alive with movement without speaking a word. For me I want the audience to feel inspired, a sense of nostalgia and feeling that anything is possible. I also try to encourage all of you, free & fabulous.
What accomplishment are you most proud of as a dancer?
Tarek: There are so many accomplishments that I’m proud of as every one of them is close to me. However, being able to work with Alicia Keys for her soul care brand and running a dance intensive in NYC would be the top 2.
Can you describe to us the skills you’ve incorporated as a dancer that have made you into a terrific choreographer?
Tarek: Being a dancer helped me gain skills in performance and spatial awareness. This relates to choreography and has helped me be aware of what works best for showcases, TV performances and what’s best to highlight the brand/artist I’m working with.
How would you describe your style of dancing or choreography?
Tarek: My style of dance/choreography is energetic, sassy & bold. It’s fierce, free and fabulous, bringing out your inner diva, making you feel like you can do anything you want.
What were some of the struggles you faced before venturing into the world of dance? What have they taught you?
Tarek: Before venturing into dance, I struggled to take dance to the next level and make it into a career as it’s looked as a career where there is no money. This has taught me to fight for what I want and work harder to gain the support and appreciation, showing that I can do it. During my journey I’ve fought through Cancer and rejections for being too unique, however this has taught me that I am strong, I can create my own avenue in dance and be the best that I can be.
Before developing a dance routine, what elements do you feel that need to be determined?
Tarek: For me I need to listen to music that inspires me, tells me a story which then leads to what choreography and energy I want to create. This is vital as for me choreography is more than just steps, it’s a vision, vibe, persona and story.
According to you, what is the best dance routine that you not only like, but a routine that has personally inspired you? How would you make it better?
Tarek: Recently I did a visual for Bruno Mars – ‘Leave the door open’ and that for me was the best, simply because it showcases my true self and the type of representation I want to see more of. I would make it better by continuing the story and making it into a production where it was like a short film.
Who are some of the well-known choreographers or dancers you would love to collaborate with? and why?
Tarek: I would love to collaborate with choreographers like Brian Friedman and Cisco, as they both share such powerful talents which I’ve inspired to be like but also, they both have different ways of moving but they both are true to themselves with such elegance, energy and uniqueness to them.
Are there any personal quotes that you live by?
Tarek: The personal quotes that I live by and share with others are:
“Be you, be free, be fabulous
For every problem there’s a solution
Push for Pluto
Believe in the process.”
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