When you find something worth pursuing with your entire body and soul, you make it your life. Carlo Atienza has put everything he had into dance. He’s made it his profession, his creative outlet, and a mean to communicate his passion to the public.
“Even if I had one success and a million failures – it’s still enough motivation for me to keep pursuing dance,” Atienza tells The MIX. “Since it’s entered my body and my mind it’s a part of me now.”
Atienza started dancing at 19 years old. He was walking through his university when he stumbled on a hip-hop class – and everything just started to make sense. Leaving his first dance class, he immediately joined the studio and began his career.
“I’m a creator, a choreographer, a director,” Atienza states. “Dance, for me, is a way to speak without words… Sometimes I can’t say how I feel. With a space to create, I can tell you how I feel through dance.”
Atienza knew that everyone else around him was much further in the game when he first started and used that motivation to become the best in his hometown of Edmonton, Alberta. Knowing he had to force himself out of his comfort zone, Atienza moved to Vancouver in 2010. “It wasn’t an option not to succeed when I moved,” he admits.
And now, the choreographer directs TwoFourSeven Company, 4-time back-to-back Canadian Hip Hop Champions and teaches sold-out classes at Harbour Dance Centre. But, the journey to success is never easy. “There have been tons and tons of failures,” Atienza acknowledges. “It goes hand in hand with any job you take on, especially in the arts because it’s not stable, it’s not for sure. You’re constantly competing with everyone else and yourself. And yeah, we’re going to shed some tears. We’re going to shed a lot of tears.”
Atienza has pursued his passion with a single-mindedness most of us can’t imagine. He reminds us that when your hobby is your profession – it becomes your whole life. Now, Atienza is working on a passion project, his own show. “There’s no limit, there’s no restriction and the cast I have makes it a reality,” he says, thankful for his creative freedom.
“Who knows what I’ll be doing afterwards. But, I’m excited for it.”