In the company of Sonia Balazovjech; Creating awareness through danceJan 21, 2014 | Leave your thoughts
In the midst of teaching, dancing, teaching dance, planning a huge show and being a mom, we had the opportunity to interview Sonia Balazovjech, director of The Sonia Balazovjech Dance Company. Find out what inspired Sonia and members of the company to use their talent and dance experience to help the Montreal community.
Sociale: Tell us a little about yourself and the Sonia Balazovjech Dance Company (SBDC).
Sonia: In my “real” life, as I like to say, I am a Kindergarten teacher at Sherwood Forest Elementary School and a mom of a teen and 10 year old. In my “other” life, my dance life, I am the director of SBDC (The Sonia Balazovjech Dance Company). At SBDC we are all “real” people who take time out of our busy schedules to pursue our passion for dance and give back to the community at the same time.
Sociale: What inspired you to start SBDC?
Sonia: All the members of SBDC would agree that we are very fortunate. We all grew up with wonderful opportunities. We all danced at various studios. We all did the competitive dance scene, the end of year productions and we all just wanted to use our talent and passion for something more. We decided that our time spent in the studio could be spent helping others, and so SBDC was born.
Sociale: Tell us about your upcoming “Addicted to Love” show.
Sonia: Addicted to LOVE was inspired by a concern. I felt that the news was being bombarded with how our youth are experiencing so much difficulty with friendships, staying in school, dealing with the ever increasing fast pace of our world and technology. But most astonishing to me, was the amount of violence that our younger generations are dealing with. I heard a spot on CJAD about LOVE (Leave out Violence) and its founding story and I knew right away we could contribute to the solution.
Tickets can be purchased here.
Sociale: How do you choose which charitable organizations you work with?
Sonia: Our company has three main directives when selecting an organization. We gravitate towards Montreal founded and based organizations. Charities that aide mainly women and children as well as those that have an educational component to them. When an organization takes time to use education as part of its process in helping others, we feel that it has a longer lasting impact.
Sociale: How is SBDC funded
Sonia: Oh boy. That is the on-going learning curve here at SBDC. At the moment, the SBDC dancers fund rental fees as well as their training, whether it is from me or an invited choreographer. We have yet to find a grant that we are eligible for. As we are not professional artists, we do not fit the criteria for art based grants. We are also not a charity, so we don’t fit into that category either. We are in year three and we have learned and continue to learn as we go.
Sociale: Where can we do the drop in classes?
Sonia: We open up our classes to the public on Tuesday nights at Extravadanza. It is so much fun to share our time with other dancers. I wish so many more people could take time out of their busy lives to come and dance with us. Dance is the ultimate vacation from your crazy day!
Sociale: I’ve never taken a dance class before; will I be able to keep up
Sonia: I’ll admit that we recommend dance experience for anyone coming to join us. It’s not created for beginners; however, if you are willing to give it a try, there a number of dancers in the class that are willing to help out and brake the steps down for you.
Sociale: What is the key to balancing it all (mother, career woman, entrepreneur)?
Sonia: A wonderful, dedicated and incredibly hard working husband! I know the saying goes behind every great man….but in my case it is a great man that contributes to my ability to take on so many fulfilling projects. I am also surrounded by exceptional and committed people at SBDC. Everyone contributes their talents and efforts in order to achieve the same goal…use dance as a tool to raise awareness and funds for those less fortunate then ourselves.
Sociale: What is your advice to other female entrepreneurs?
Sonia: Set a very clear mission statement and don’t veer away from it. Write down all of your goals big or small. Openly share your passion with your team. Appreciate every little thing that anyone contributes to your dream/company. Trust the people in your company to take on tasks. Breathe and let it happen.
Sociale: Where can we get more info on SBDC?
Photo credit: Judy Paul & Josiane Farand
Tags: Addicted to Love, ballet, charities, charity, choreographer, CJAD, community, dance, dancers, funding, jazz, Leave out Violence, love, montreal, non-profit, SBDC, sociale, socialemontreal, Sonia Balazovjech, Sonia Balazovjech Dance Company