This weeks Dancer/Choreographer shout out goes out goes to Laura Furtado. Laura Furtado, a successful international Dancer, Instructor, Choreographer and Presenter, is the Founder and Owner of DivaGirl.
DivaGirl consists of 4 divisions: DivaGirl Fitness (dance/fitness company across Canada, Brazil & Spain), DivaGirl Entertainment (professional dance company), DivaGirl Beauty (spa/beauty division) and DivaGirl-Preneur (hosting women entrepreneur seminars and networking events). With over 25 years of experience in the dance and fitness realms, she has made a presence across North America and Europe, including Italy, Switzerland, Germany, Ukraine and Portugal.
She is a Visionary who has transformed the concept of a diva, with the creation of the DivaGirl community. Throughout her career, Laura has danced on stages across the world, has taught in numerous cities, certified hundreds of female Instructors and instructed thousands of women.
Laura has been titled Canada’s Top Young Entrepreneur of 2010, one of Canada’s Top 25 Young Entrepreneurs of 2009, Nominee for the Arts Entrepreneur of the Year, Nominee for the Emerging Performing Artist of the Year, Titika Advocate, Lululemon Ambassador and Diva-Preneur. She is also the Co-Founder and Co-Producer of Women In Dance, a creative showcase featuring the top female Dancers and Choreographer in Toronto, ON. She has also been recently featured in the first edition of the TorontoCrave book, featuring the sassiest women entrepreneurs in the city.
The success of her unique dance styles and repertories, have featured her in numerous media outlets such as the Toronto Star, Global Television, CBC, Cosmo TV, Much Music, Rogers Television, City TV, The Slice Network, OMNI Television, Toronto Life, The National Post, The Mississauga News, SNAP Newspaper, Sheridan Sun, CHUM FM, Chin Radio, That Channel Radio & The Best Darn Talk Show.
She has also been featured in various online media outlets including: Sweetspot, Notable TV, Toronto.com, FAJO Magazine, CRAVE Toronto, Hip & Urban Girl, Stiletto Twins, HeyDoYou, Happy Girls, I’m Charming You and The City is Mine Blog.
Find out what Laura had to say in this weeks shout out...
Nikki: Do you remember the first time you started dancing?
Laura: I started dancing at the age of 6. My mother enrolled me baby ballet at Heather Menzie's School of Dance. All I remember is that I LOVED it... and was a disco duck for the show :)
Nikki: Do you remember the first song you choreographed to? (Or your earliest memory)
Laura: This is a hard one... as there were many! But the one closest to my memory was "Cold Hearted Snake" by Paula Abdul. I was jamming in my basement with my little sister... nothing beats some great 80's tunes.
Nikki: Getting in the zone to choreograph, what does it take for you?
Laura: To get into the zone, I need to focus on listening to my body... and what feels right. This requires me trying to block out the outside world and distractions, which for me, can be challenging at times. I need to feel well rested, inspired and creative. Starting off to listen to music that I adore, is a great way to get my creative juices flowing.
Nikki: Who are some of your biggest influences in the Dance industry?
Laura: I gravitate towards female Dancers and Choreographers, as that is part of what my business represents. I love the style of Kay-Ann Ward, a friend of mine, who's work is not only sexy, but fierce and raw. Lindsay Ritter is also an amazing Choreographer who has effectively tapped into Commercial Jazz, making it very marketable in the industry. Growing up, I also loved the sexy style of Sophie Luxton. Most of my sexy dance influence has came from her, so I thank her for inspiring me to create a community like DivaGirl.
Nikki: Name a Toronto Choreographer you enjoy working with and why?
Laura: I enjoying working with Carla Catherwood- my Partner with the Chic-A-Boom Room. Carla is not only passionate and super creative, yet she is also hard-working and hustler... just like me! I enjoying being surrounded by people who have positive energy, also thinking of what more can be done, working hard and getting things done. Execution is key to success- and Carla is someone who understands this.
Nikki: Name one of your favorite artists to work with and why?
Laura: I really enjoy Bollywood dance, which is a style that I picked up about 6 years, once I started dancing internationally. Thus, my favorite artist is Apache Indian, though not mainstream, a great success for the "desi" music scene.
Nikki: Are you currently working on any projects?
Laura: I am working on various DivaGirl Entertainment projects in which are corporate event bookings across the GTA. The main project that I am working on is the Chic-A-Boom Room, created by Carla Catherwood, in which I am the Marketing Director of the show. We are working together to create bigger and better shows in 2012, a stage performance in September and taking the show to Vancouver, to build a second home for the Chic-A-Boom.
Nikki: Qualities you think Toronto Dancers possess?
Laura: Four top qualities that any amazing Dancer should embody include: dedication, uniqueness, passion and hard work.
Nikki: Any advice for emerging dancers and choreographers working/training in Toronto?
Laura: Dance, dance and then dance even more. The best way to get better at your art, is to do it. Take the opportunity to go to different classes and workshops and be open to learn from others. Networking with other dancers as that is the way to get your name out. ALWAYS be kind to others and avoid the drama. Good things happen when you are good to others.
THANK YOU LAURA FOR SHARING YOUR LOVE AND PASSION WITH T.D.O.T. XO
CHECK OUT THE DIVA GIRL PROMO VIDEO...