Demi Sorono Interview
Demi Sorono was a standout performer in Australian's version of So You Think You Can Dance, reaching 4th in the competition. With no formal training, Demi's strong Bboyin (a cross between Break Dancing & Hip-hop) paired with her focus, determination and passion paid off as she is now recognised throughout the dance industry.
It has been 10 years since you realised you wanted to be a break/street dancer, what have you learnt about dancing in this time?Demi Sorono:
I have learnt so much in the last 10 years of breaking as well as other hip-hop styles. Not only have I gained new skills and knowledge, I have also gained the confidence to battle and to cipher in circles. As Bboyin' is such a male dominated dance style, it's so hard for women to get respect and let alone to even start. But I learnt that respect wasn't what I was looking for, I was looking for the joy and passion that dancing brings out of me so that people can see and feel my expression to the soul of music. That's what I did, I found the joy and I haven't stopped dancing since.
The most important element in dance is being able to feel the music, if you can feel that beat, then you'll be going in the centre of every jam and doing it because you love it with no hesitation. I've also learnt to count better when I'm teaching my students since the show.
Why do you like to dance?Demi Sorono:
I dance because I simply LOVE it. It makes me feel good inside, the freedom to express myself to music and the unique moves that come out when you freestyle is the best. I love how Bboyin has endless amounts of new skills developing, I don't think it will ever stop growing because all Bboy's are so different and have their own sense of style, attitude and character. I love the physicality of it and the challenges that you face when you're on a one on one battle and when you're training. The adrenalin is addictive.
Who was your biggest inspiration? Demi Sorono:
My culture and family plays a big part in why I got into dancing. Growing up with my brothers and my sister we would sometimes have a in house dance contest. I guess that's why I got the confidence to dance in front of millions of people. What inspired me to dance was of course Shirley Temple, and then in my teenage years, I would have to say Michael and Janet Jackson. Then for breaking, watching the 'Break-dance and Electric Boogaloo" movies and seeing AsiaOne (she is one the world's best B-boy or break-dancer in the world) in a music video clip "It's like that", by RUN DMC vs Jason remix was my biggest inspiration
Who would you most like to dance with? Demi Sorono:
This is quite a tough question to answer, as there so many artist that have been around and I have grown to love. I would have to say Michael Jackson or Janet. I know it sounds so cliché, but they have been my idols for so long, so I've got to choose them. Also I got to jam with AsiaOne already so that dream has been accomplished.
What are your plans for the future... do you want to continue to dance or do you want to get into singing and acting? Demi Sorono:
My plans for the future.... Let me see now.... All I can say is that I want to get into everything. Singing, acting and dance. I would love to be in a children's TV show or film. I'm taking it as comes, as I don't want to place any expectations on myself. My head keeps telling me, baby steps first. In fact I'm still recovering from the show.
Has being on So You Think You Can Dance helped with your career in teaching? Demi Sorono:
I guess you could say that the show has boosted my teaching career and like I said before, my 5,6,7,8 is much better.
How do you feel when you watch yourself of the television screen? Demi Sorono:
It changes, depending on what performance I did. If it was a bad run, then I wouldn't usually feel too good about it, but then it takes a good hour to realise that I did the best that I could, so I stop beating myself up about it and laugh. Most of the time, I get a feeling of relief that I did it and proud of myself for achieving something that is difficult to accomplish, especially when I consider my background and the experiences that I've had with dance.
Did you family watch every night? Demi Sorono:
Oh yes, my family were certainly glued to the TV, whenever the show was on. I think they even re-watched the episodes 5 times in one night. Too much? Monday's eviction night was a stressful night for them all. My brother would stay in his room under the doona, and wait till he found out how I went. Then when the verdict was me staying in, he would literally go bananas, he'd wake the whole neighborhood up, and that's how loud he was screaming for me. It's awesome how they supported me all the way. They tried their best to come and watch me live in Sydney, but I told them to save their dollars so they could vote for me... Just kidding!
Did you find people that you hadn't spoken to in years try to contact you after being on TV? Demi Sorono:
There were few people that came out of the woodworks who contacted me and expressed how proud they were and that they were supporting me all the way. I felt really special, knowing there were people appreciating and supporting me throughout the show.
How tough was it dancing in heels? Demi Sorono:
Oh my! Dancing in heels? Tough is an understatement. I really wasn't comfortable dancing in heels at all. For the Samba (red costume) routine, I had a pair of 3inch heels and I was struggling in them. So I requested for 2.5 inches and they were much better to dance. At least I could stand in them for longer than 5 minutes.
Describe your style? Demi Sorono:
My style is Bboyin' (break-dancing) and hip hop. It's street, dirty, mean and raw. I guess you could say it's all about the attitude and how you dress too. Sneakers are a huge element of Bboyin and Hip Hop. You'll know when someone is down with it, because the first thing they notice is your sneakers. Sometimes you don't even get a "hello", you either get "phresh shoes man, are they new?" or "where'd you get those?" looking down at the shoes.
What was the most challenging thing about So You Think You Can Dance? Demi Sorono:
The worst thing about the show was probably the amount of time we had to prepare for the routines we had to perform on the show... was extremely stressful. Australia needs to understand, that learning foreign styles is very challenging. To be able to perfect any dance styles, you would need to train it for at least 5 years. To only have less than 24 hours to learn and practice is 'insane in the membrane'. Sometimes I was in disbelief with myself that I did it, especially when it came to contemporary, Jazz and Ballroom. Let me just say quietly that I'm thankful and lucky that I had the best partner to dance with and awesome choreographers. What was worse was that I wasn't able to thank the people I wanted thank, as time was an issue.
What are your other passions in life apart from dancing? Demi Sorono:
Apart from dancing, I love to sing. If I stay at my mum's house, I'm usually caught with a microphone in my hands singing Karaoke songs. That's when you know you're in a Flippino household, when there's a karaoke machine that scores each time you sing a song.
Which charities are you involved in and why did you choose those specific ones? Demi Sorono:
I've been an ambassador for Open Families "Longest Night Appeal" and working the Smith Family "Around The Bay Ride" in Melbourne, and trying to fundraise for disadvantaged Aussie kids in Australia. You can go to this link to sponsor me www.aroundthebayinaday.com.au or you can do the ride with me on the day of the event.
What would you like to achieve through your charity work? Demi Sorono:
I like the idea of helping kids who are less fortunate than others because I've been in their place before. I firmly believe in giving something back to the community. If I can do something to help kids to promote a better education, to gain more opportunities in life and a chance to succeed, then I'm there with bells on without a doubt. My main goal is to inspire them and to open up their hearts to the possibilities in life, and to even plant an optimistic attitude towards life in general.
You seem to be a fairly approachable person, why do you think this is? Demi Sorono:
I think it's because I have a likable personality. I guess it's also because I opened my heart to the whole of Australia and didn't worry about being myself, plus showing my determination at becoming versatile and growing as a dancer gives people the opportunity to want to approach me. To be honest, I think it's my big smile that makes me approachable ...and genuinely interested in connecting with people.
Where would we find you on a Sunday? Demi Sorono:
You would either find me teaching around Australia, or if I'm not teaching, I'd be at a cafe chilling with my friends. I forgot to mention sleep. I love to sleep in on Sundays. It's my only rest days. What I would love to do on Sundays is have a roast with great friends and tasty red wine.
What do you do to relax? Demi Sorono:
I love having a bath with aromatherapy oils and getting a relaxing massage. At this time, it's been hard to relax as there's always something to do.
One rule you live by? Demi Sorono:
In the past I've always been such a push over. Now I've learnt to stick with my guns and to follow my gut instinct.
How do you want Australia to remember you? Demi Sorono:
I want Australia to remember me as a strong individual female, who is willing to take risks and sacrifices to get to the top of any game or challenges in life. Not to mention my infectious smile that resonates beyond the TV screen!
What do you think about Demi?
Is she your inspiration?
Tell us on our blog: www.femail.com.au/blog/
For information about Demi's workshops check out the What's On section of our site.