Katja Završnik

Chatting with Katja Završnik

Today, We are honored to introduce you to an exceptional dancer who has dedicated her life to the world of swing dance. Her name is Katja Završnik, and her journey through the realm of movement and expression is nothing short of remarkable.

Are you ready for this trip?

Introduction to Katja

My name is Katja Završnik, I am a professional dancer, choreographer and dance instructor. I’ve
started dancing at the age of 5 and been studying various dance styles such as ballet, jazz, modern,
ballroom, acrobatic rock and roll and gymnastics. In late 2004 I came across swing dance and
because I already loved the music, this dance form was a perfect match for me. What I immediately
loved about swing dancing was the connection between partners and improvisation within that
connection. That is something I never experienced in any of my dancing before and this is still one
of the key elements that keeps me in this art form.

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Interview with Katja

1. How do you feel when you dance?

Dancing in general gives me an opportunity to express myself. I love that moment of a perfect sync
with my partner and the music and creating magic together. It helps me to focus on now and the
present and gives me sort of a grounding that is much needed in today’s fast way of living.

2. Why this genre and not others?

As I already mentioned, dance has always been a part of my life but this dance form attracted me
the most because of the music, partnering and improvisation.

3. What was the most exciting moment in Katja Završnik ‘s career?

The most exciting moments are always the ones when what you do, affects others. When you realise
that by sharing your passion, you help and inspire others. Sometimes teaching dance can feel a bit
useless, but if you know me you already know my view on this subject. People dance for different
reasons – some need a form of weekly exercise, some need a breakthrough into a social life, some
are looking for friends, and some are fighting depression and anxiety. Everyone has their own story
and while dance can be a form of exercise, it can also be a form of therapy. And seeing
transformations happen makes it all worth it.

4. What is the character or person you are inspired by?

Having the privilege to meet different people from all over the world and being able to catch a
glimpse of their culture is what inspires me to aspire back. Sharing the passion, sharing the
traditions and sharing the friendships. This is what bonds us all together and if we can celebrate the
differences, we will realise that we have more in common than we think.

5. When you dance in front of an audience, in an exhibition or competition, what would you
like to convey?

No matter how I spread my passion, whether that’s through teaching, performing or competing, it is
always about sharing the passion and love I have for this dance and music. Every teaching,
performance or competition should be an inspiration for others to create and explore.

6. What is Katja Završnik ‘s secret dream?

As far as my goals go, I think I am pretty close to living my dream, if not already there, even though
I tend to forget this sometimes. I feel that today, more than ever, it is difficult to stay true to yourself
and to believe in yourself and your beliefs because we are living in a time full of images of how we
are supposed to live and what we are supposed to do. We are chasing dreams that are not even ours
just because everyone else does the same and we feel we will be worth less if we don’t. That’s why
it is important to step back, take a deep breath and try to connect to ourselves again to find peace
and happiness.

7. What do you recommend to those who are now taking their first steps in the world of Swing
or to those who are still just thinking about it?

No matter what dance form someone chooses, dance is amazing. It benefits your body, your mind
and your soul. It can be liberating and meditating and it connects you with yourself and the present.
What partner dancing has, that I love the most, is the connection. The connection with another
human being, which needs to be focused, true and sincere to be able to work. It requires trust, it can
be vulnerable and that is okay. It helps to build trust, respect and empathy, which are sadly
disappearing in today’s society. Dancing helps you build values that are as important on the dance
floor as they are off the dance floor too.

8. What a dancer should never forget to post on the dance floor (not a material thing)?

In connection with the previous answer, never forget to respect others. Treat everyone with respect
and don’t forget that everyone is living their own struggles, no matter what those are. And more
important than a skilled dancer, is a good person.

10. Why do you Swing dance? Try answering with a word.