My dear readers, I know very well how much you enjoy watching Electro Swing Dances! One of the dancers who instantly won your hearts and gained the affection of many fans of Electro Swing music is undoubtedly Em Delacrem. Magdalena, like me, comes from Poland. She founded her dance school ShuffleDance in Wrocław a few years ago and shares her passion with more and more people from all over the world. I am delighted to present to you an interview with Em Delacrem – one of the most smiling, inspiring and positive people I have had the opportunity to talk to. I am sure that reading this interview will make each of you smile at least once! 😊
01. LadyDot: Oh, you don’t even know how happy I am that you found time in your busy schedule to give me an interview. Thank you for that! Please tell us when and why you started dancing electro swing? Did someone inspire or motivate you to do it? Or did you feel on your own that this was the path you should take?
Em Delacrem: This is me thanking you! I’m very pleased to be able to talk about my electro swing adventure. I hope that by doing so I can inspire others to pursue their passions. In my case, it all started with a love of music. I’ve been a fan of swing music since I was a kid, so it wasn’t hard for me to fall in love with the more contemporary version of it that we’re talking about today. The tipping point came when, by chance, I found myself at the legendary takeSomeCrime performance at Catgroove. I don’t think I’m the only one who has taken a similar direction thanks to this dancer :) However, it took a while before I took my first steps in this style specifically myself. I had a few minor and major approaches to regular training, but at the same time I was training other types of dance, which focused practically all my attention. I became serious friends with electro swing in 2018 or so, and for the past 3 years it has accompanied me as one of the two main styles I do :)
02. LadyDot: Despite the fact that I am not a dance expert, I can see and feel that you have a lot of experience. How many years have you been dancing? I’m sure you can dance more than just shuffle and electro swing…. ;)
Em Delacrem: Haha, you’re right. I took my first steps in dancing as a child, but of course I didn’t immediately know which style I would find myself in 100 per cent. Throughout my life, I have tried to attend various workshops to develop myself comprehensively. I had adventures in hip hop and Broadway jazz, but I didn’t stay with either style for long. I have spent the most time in my life training in swing dancing, but I also have experience in classical. Before I opened my studio, I performed with a ballet revue. However, despite everything, my heart beats the strongest to the rhythm of electronic music, so the moment I started training shuffle and electro swing regularly, I finally felt that I had found what I was looking for and what I wanted to spend the rest of my life with :)
03. LadyDot: When did you first think of starting a ShuffleDance school and sharing your knowledge, experience and skills with other people?
Em Delacrem: I love dance so much that it has always given me immense satisfaction to infect other people with this love and share my energy with them…. Even before I started working as a dance coach, I was often involved in various dance initiatives. Even as a child, I was preparing choreographies for school talent competitions, and at university I founded an academic dance group with which I regularly met for training. At the beginning of my career I worked in several dance schools, but even then I dreamt of having my own in the future. Over time I started renting a dance hall for hours and gradually opened my own groups, until finally 2 and a half years ago I managed to open my own place. It was a really crazy and very risky decision, but I already know that it was the best one in my life :)
04. LadyDot: In both the world of music and dance, we have our idols who inspire us. Who is an absolute dance guru for you? Who would you like to dance a joint dance or dance battle with?
Em Delacrem: I can’t answer this question by mentioning one name. As I mentioned, it all started with takeSomeCrime, but over the years I have discovered many outstanding dancers who have influenced my own development and the deeper I put down roots in the dance world, there are more and more. Being inspired by others, I try not to limit myself to only those who dance the same styles as me, as I love to combine different techniques and through this I have found my own way of dancing. I am very fortunate because I have already managed to get to know almost all the dancers who have been and are my biggest inspiration and motivation for development. Many of them are already my friends at this point, which proves how open and integrated our community is all over the world, and that the borders of the countries we live in are not an obstacle for dancers.
05. LadyDot: Since I asked about dance idols, now I just have to ask: what songs do you dance best to? What song has been reigning supreme at the ShuffleDance studio lately?
Em.Delacrem: A very difficult question this time, because this genre of music is very diverse and each type of electro swing has its own charm. I really like remixes of old swing tunes, which are great to dance to because of my swing technique, but I also like more contemporary and electronic tunes. For me it’s important to have “that something” in the music, in search of the answer to what I dance best to, I think it’s enough to go on my TikTok, haha :D
06. LadyDot: Haha, I know you follow Electro Swing News very closely! Have you had a situation where one of your students or friends showed you a song and you immediately wanted to make a video and dance to it?
Em Delacrem: I try to keep up to date, but often actually my students act like a rocket. Even recently, before I had time to listen to what news was coming out in July, I was already behind the lens and recording two enthusiasts who had an idea for a new video, and had organised an international collaboration to create it. You can see the results on the profile of Redi-canDance and The Traveling Dancer (UK & PL) :D
07. LadyDot: While we’re on the subject of videos, I can’t help but mention that many of your videos on TikTok already have several hundred thousand or even several million views! There are lots of supportive comments underneath them and people from all over the world rave about your moves, style and that positive energy you share. How do you find the time to do all this? For dance school, making videos, just living life? :)
Em Delacrem: I think the key thing is that dance is both my job and my biggest passion. I think in my case it can even be hard to define when I’m at work and when I’m relaxing, because it’s practically an equivalent state for me. Both teaching classes are the best pastime for me because I have very close contact with my students, so it can be counted as spending time with friends, just as going to workshops in other cities is always super adventurous because I love meeting new people. Recording videos is totally fun for me even though I’m alone at the time, or with my dog who all my followers love. Thanks to the fact that I often have a lot of projects on my plate, I’ve learnt to be very good at organising my time and being systematic. I enjoy what I do so much that, as a result, my whole life revolves around dance and that’s what makes me most happy. A lot of people ask me if I am such a positive person in real life as I am on TikTok and the answer is 100% yes, because I am doing what I love all the time :D
08. LadyDot: You seem to be an incredibly humble person – on the internet one can search in vain for information about your achievements, medals, victories in dance tournaments. I admire that very much, but I hope that for the readers of the Electro Swing Thing blog you will make a small exception. ;) Please tell me, what are your three biggest achievements? Maybe you’ve placed highly in some competitions that you really wanted to place highly in?
Em Delacrem: I think I talk about my achievements often, but maybe a little between words when I share videos of my students in my Instagram accounts. I have really good dancers under my wing and each one of them, for me, is my little success as a coach. And adding them all up – the biggest success is building a really big and wonderful community of people who are motivated to work every day for their dance success. I have more stage experience than tournament experience, and I have had far more tournament starts from my students than my own, and their winning dance battles satisfy me far more than mine. :)
09. LadyDot: Ever since I was a kid I have felt like I have two left feet, haha. Seriously! I know I can hear the music great, but I totally can’t move to it. What would Em Delacrem say to all the people who are reluctant to try electro swing dancing? Which moves are the best to start learning this style with so you don’t get discouraged and give up after the first attempt?
Em Delacrem: Em Delacrem always says: Anyone is capable of learning to dance, it’s just that you have to treat the whole process as an adventure rather than a struggle to reach a goal. Dancing is about working with music, so the basis is to work with the one you actually like so that it just feels right. Attitude is key. If we go to a workout to get it over with, the road can actually be difficult, but if we are having fun at it then we want to repeat it as often as possible and that bears fruit :) It’s worth starting with the realisation that every step can be the best fun and then just have fun with the music and the results will come in pleasant circumstances :D
10. LadyDot: Finally, I have to ask you this question: what’s next? What are your plans for the next few years? What else would you like to achieve? Maybe you have a dream, not necessarily dance-related, that you would like to fulfil?
Em Delacrem: Finally, one of the more difficult questions, because I don’t know where I will be in a few years, but I wouldn’t change much in my life at the moment. My goal is to grow the dance community first and foremost, so hopefully in the future I can travel the world and teach people who have a passion. Unfortunately, there aren’t many Electro Swing teachers in the world, so I feel I would like to be the person to fill that gap and make the style grow to bigger proportions. I think it’s a realistic dream because I’ve already started to travel a bit for this purpose, but it’s still difficult to reach interested people because the acoustic community is still small. I know it will be hard work, but keep your fingers crossed and I’m sure we’ll meet in the real world!
Interview by LadyDot (Ja, Wizeruk) Date: 2023-08-28