Afro-pop and Afro-house make their way to South Korea.
To be a good dancer, first one must love dance.
Nicolas Cardoso is striking in a number of ways. He is tall and has a slim build, easily towering over the average person. His fashion is bold and his good looks combined with his height have given him some modeling jobs in Korea as well. While Nicolas could probably build a fine career out of modeling alone, he is more than just a mannequin; Nicolas Cardoso is a dancer at heart.
Originally from Cap-Vert, or Cape-Verde, Nicolas made his way here from Senegal, and currently teaches dance at his studio Beat Mix. He’s well-versed in a variety of dance styles; hip hop, kizomba, and dancehall, but he confidently states that his main dances are Afro-pop and Afro-house.
What was your initial interest in dance?
I was born in a family where all the members know how to dance, though not specifically Afro-pop or Afro-house. But everyone was really good at salsa, bachata, kuduro (a type of music and dance originally developed in Angola) and more Latino style dances. Because we are originally from Cap-Vert and Brazil, I can say that we have a bit of the Latino lifestyle.
Why do you dance? What are some of your personal reasons and drive for dance?
I dance because I express myself in dance. I dance because I am free when I dance and make people happy. I dance because it’s my passion and I love listening to music and letting my body feel it, until my soul relaxes and I can show this talent I was gifted from God.
What was the reason for coming to Korea and how has dance helped you get connected here?
I was an exchange student while finishing my Master degree. After that, I got connected with an entertainment agency who asked me to become a model for them. After thinking a lot and seeing the opportunity of my lifestyle as a artist, model and dancer, I decided to come to Korea show my many talents here. Through instagram, I was able to get more connections and share my life with other people. Dance studios have always contacted me via instagram when they want me to come teach or do a workshop in their dance studio, as well as brands who want to work with me.
What makes a good dancer?
What makes a good dancer?! For me, to be a good dancer you first must love dance, you must feel it in your soul, and be open to the other culture, to share it with people and you must practice a lot to be better every day.
What was one of your best performances?
I don’t think I can say I’ve really had a best performance, but I used to dance with my dance group, team Socoman (a big group with seven well-known dancers all with different styles) and we did a lot of good performances and battles together.
What was your worst?
The worst happened on a day I was sick but I was supposed to perform in a high school and the children really wanted to see me. So I went, but my condition was really bad and even though they liked the performance, I know didn’t give one hundred percent of myself and I was a bit disappointed.
Where do you get your inspiration from?
My inspiration comes from my soul and also my interest in other cultures and their dance styles. As a dancer, you have to be open to everything, because there will always be people who know more than you. I always search to find more material so I can be unique.
What is next for you? Do you intend to travel or live elsewhere? Will dance be a part of your future?
For me, I will keep following my destiny, just like it all started. Korea is part of my history and I am really happy for that. I will stay a bit longer here and try to work hard to be someone who they will remember. I will teach my style, my culture and also help all people who want to know more about my culture. After that, I will just follow the wind and go where destiny drives me.
Dance is my beginning and will be my future. My goal is to help all those with talent in Africa to become known. In Africa, there are so many talented people; they just don’t have the chance to show what they have. So one of my goals is to open a big school where you can have all kinds of art (dancing, singing, fashion, design, painting…) and make my contribution to the development of my country and continent.
For those interested in learning dance from NIcolas, check out his instagram @niicolas__cardoso and get connected.