The Fiji Occasions » Benjamin the seafaring dancer

BENJAMIN Matairakula believes mastering the artwork of dance requires having the best perspective.

This was what acquired him again in 2009. Initially from Waisomo, Ono, Kadavu with maternal hyperlinks to Nabukaluka, Naitasiri, the 27-year-old was born and bred in Lami, the backyard city of Fiji.

Benji as he’s fondly identified amongst shut family and friends, first discovered dance varieties throughout occasions comparable to faculty concert events and prize giving ceremonies. However what actually ignited his ardour was the dying of the legendary King of Pop, Michael Jackson.

“I used to be in Yr 8 when he had handed away in 2009,” he stated. “Sure it was a tragic time for a lot of, however it was by means of him that my ardour for dancing started.”

Like many followers worldwide, it took no time earlier than Benji may skillfully emulated Jackson’s complicated dance strikes and sing his songs. Every thing Michael Jackson grew to become viral on social media.

That’s when Benji discovered himself studying the best way to do the Thriller star’s well-known moonwalk.

“From then I grew to like dancing and by the point I acquired to highschool I knew I had a fireplace for dance, and I used to be so grateful that they had Tadra Kahani then.”

Benji formally began with VOU Dance in 2012 and had the chance to journey to China the place he grew to become the VOU supervisor for his or her staff based mostly in China.

“In 2015 I went to Shanghai, China for 2 months after which I got here again to Fiji. In 2017 I went again to China however this time I went to Shenzhen for 2 years.

“Whereas in China I used to be dancing with different artists from completely different nations like Ukraine, Russia, Argentina, Columbia, South Africa, Kenya and lots of extra.”

When he returned in 2019 Benji determined it was time to depart VOU.

“I used to be instructing at MATA Dance for just a few weeks after which I started instructing at Saint Agnes for some time.”

“I began doing my very own factor, serving to a few of my buddies in Thailand as a result of they might ask me for choreography or some recommendations on the best way to educate youngsters, so I might assist them out by means of video calls.”

Aside from dancing, the Kadavu native is a graduate of the Fiji Maritime Academy. ”

I did ship constructing earlier than I went on my second journey to China and after I got here again, I jumped on to marine engineering and for some time. I believed that was it and I wasn’t going to bounce once more.

“I had utilized for a job at Goundar Delivery as a marine engineer so I went out to sea for like six months, stayed out and after I got here again, I took a while off, so I simply stayed residence.”

Throughout his break day, Moana Loa Performing Arts Centre opened in Lami.

“A buddy of mine needed to bounce so I made a decision to drop him off because it was in my hometown. “Then I made a decision to return out to sea for one more six months however each time I might come again to Suva, I might pop in to say his to this buddy of mine.”

Benji stated being throughout the dance area made him really feel refreshing.

“Once I was out at sea I might nonetheless take heed to music and unintentionally undergo choreographies that I’ve taught earlier than and a few of the repertoires that I had carried out. I believed that the entire ardour had died out, however it was nonetheless there, and I simply wanted to problem myself. “Once I acquired again from the ocean once more, I made a decision to bounce for possibly a month or two.

I joined Moana Loa throughout that interval. I grew to like dance much more and I can confidently say that it’s my life now”. Benji who’s now a choreographer of Moana Loa stated individuals typically suppose that dance was nearly actions.

“Dance is a lot extra as a result of there are a number of issues that dance may also help you with.

Dance lets you change into impartial, overcome insecurities, work as a staff and means that you can assist others.

“Dance may also help you like your self and your variations and it helps you like others as effectively. It lets you be loyal, disciplined, accepted and to be dedicated.”

He stated dance taught him to see life from a unique perspective. “Dance taught me to by no means restrict myself, by way of creativity as a result of unintentionally you’ll encourage individuals to be higher.”

His message to dancers, each aspiring and completed, is “if you wish to dance you will need to have a an excellent perspective”.
“You have to be dedicated, loyal, be good listener and might take directions, that’s all that’s wanted. In case you suppose you don’t know the best way to dance it’s okay as a result of that’s our job to show you. “We simply want you to be dedicated and every little thing else will fall into place.”

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