Chatting with Karine Hermes

Introduction to Karine Hermes

I’m Karine Hermes, from São Paulo, Brazil. I discovered Rockabilly and then Lindy Hop around 2010. I started teaching in 2012 in Brazil and internationally in 2015. It’s been quite a journey!

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Cos’è il Lindy Hop?

2. How did you start dancing?

I started social dancing very early! With my dad and my sister leading me in parties or just in the kitchen! My parents are both good dancers and loved dancing together. I grew up watching them being romantic and joyful through dance, with the house full of music (I have German and Italian families that simply love to party). Brazil is very rich in music and dancing,  and in a very natural way I was introduced to many styles like forró,  samba, samba-rock, vanerão, lambada, axé, funk, salsa and others. Formally, I did Ballet and Jazz for years,  and later Belly Dance, until I discovered Rockabilly, Lindy hop and other swing dances.

3. How do you feel when you dance?

If I am in the right vibe, I feel free, creative, powerful, inspired, inspiring, and in unity – with my partner,  with every person in the room (whoever is dancing,  watching,  playing music, passing by…), with myself! It sounds trippy, but getting to that state is the best feeling… it’s the feeling of presence, life and love. Accepting everyone, being genuine, laughing and extracting the best of everyone. It’s not too easy to get there, tho. Other thoughts get in the way.

4. Why this genre and not others?

Hmmm I have been invited to work with dance multiple times, but I gently averted for a long while. Life insisted and at last found the right way and right time of making it happen. I’m still an eclectic dancer but yes, my time is invested in the swing scene now. Among the reasons why is the music, the variety and the community. I mean the variety within the music, speed and styles to express. I love them all and the cultural elements related to its history and evolution. It also manages to be a rare partner dance without the rigid/traditional roles of male and female. It’s great and it feels safe to be playful, musical and social without necessarily dancing as a “couple”. I always loved the music and discovering dances that go with it was just a present.

 5. What was the most exciting moment in your career?

I believe my most exciting moment is yet to come! I started this professional journey about 10 years ago,  and I’m a completely different person now. But I’ll mention an exhilarating experience I had, dancing on stage for the Nickelodeon TV show “All that”. The reason it was so special is that the audience was a whole bunch of extremely excited kids, screaming to the top of their lungs. I had never felt such an enthusiastic crowd. It was like I was plugged on 220V, activated on turbo and swimming on Redbull. My heart literally felt bigger and my spirit expanded.

6. What is the character or person you are inspired?

The first dancer to come to my mind right now was Fred Asteire. It’s truly enjoyable for me to watch him. He’s light, fluid, elegant and so sharp and skilled. I like his lines, his expressions, his precision, the humor in his numbers. There’s not a hint of doubt or arrogance in his dance. It’s not only what he does it but the way he does it that attracts me. Maybe someone else would come to mind if I were to think again.

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

Beauty. Truth. Entertainment. Pleasure. Overcoming. Something unique or memorable. And what I’m still working on: full commitment.

8. What is your secret dream?

But if I tell is not a secret anymore!

9. 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?

It’s a wonderful world where you can find friends for life, where you can find pleasure to soothe the soul or motivate you, where you can find opportunities to challenge yourself,  where you can become part of a large exciting international scene. And there’s space for a variety of types of participation and contribution. I’d recommend being true to who you are and what you love about the dance, the music and the scene. Be honest, have fun,  work hard.

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

 A little bit, or a lot of bit, of yourself. But the best, improved, pure expression of yourself.

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