Q1: You are considered to be Pakistan’s most well known salsa dancer: tell us about how you got involved with salsa dancing?
Q2: Tell us about ActOne: it’s called a center for the arts and wellness. What does this mean?
Q3: You have been at the forefront of doing flash mobs all over the country: tell us about the culture of flash mobs in Pakistan? Is this emerging? Are flash mobs being used as a marketing and PR activity?
Q4: Tell us about the Kickboxing tournament: it was Karachi’s first such event. What inspired this event?
Q5: Is kick boxing a new trend in Karachi: do you feel this trend is becoming popular?
Q6: ActOne’s freeze mob was the first time such an activity was conducted in Karachi, Lahore and Islamabad simultaneously: can you tell us what inspired this activity?
Q7: Which one of the many classes you are offering at ActOne is the most popular?
Q8: Do you have a lot of men signing up for Bollywood classes and other courses which are traditionally meant for women?
Q9: Do you feel society still looks onto dance as an activity for women, or is it now considered okay for men to learn how to dance?
Q10: How is ActOne different from the other dance institutes around?
Q11: Tell us about ActOne’s B-Boy dancing tournament. You also had girls participating in the B Boy tournament. Did this surprise you?
I guess it was one of those things which happen to you for good!……after my degree from IBA, I went to Turkey for little white to enjoy my life before entering into the corporate world…one day I was strolling down a road and ended up walking into a Ballroom Dance School… This was my calling – even at the age of 23 I knew I was meant to do this.
Arts & Wellness are two main reasons for ActOne’s existence… by Arts we mean anything which comes under dance of any form, music, singing, acting, painting, graffiti and more… and when we talk about wellness we mean anything that can help you find a balance between body, soul and mind, such as power yoga, yoga, aerobics, kickboxing, pilates, and zumba. At the moment we offer 22 forms of Arts & Wellness with 12 local and foreign instructors.
One of the things that we are recognized for are our flash mobs. I mean we did the FIRST EVER Documented Flash Mob…we did the LARGEST EVER (850+) Flash mob in Pakistan… and then we made the WORLD RECORD in flash mobbing by doing a 100 flash mobs in 12 days in Karachi!!!
It was only a matter of time. We have many students and this was a platform where students had an opportunity to display their skills and take on challenging opponents. Eight fighters competed in the ActOne Muay Thai Bouts that started on December 11th. Before the tournaments started there were boot camps held at ActOne every Sunday from 10am-12pm, from among these Guru Gohar Gul selected the top eight and the bouts begun.
After the tournaments, kick boxing has surely gained a lot of popularity. It no doubt is one of the upcoming trends amongst youngsters, not only just boys but also the girls. We have a number of girls too who are interested in taking kickboxing classes. The future looks bright!
The aim of this activity was to increase youth awareness pertaining to getting-the-vote-out. I wanted this message to hit hard that the upcoming elections are not a time to freeze. These are a time to get out and vote!
For ladies it’s mostly Bollywood, Zumba, Aerobics and Power Yoga. For teenagers it’s Hip Hop and Break Dancing; for gentlemen it’s Kick Boxing; for kids its Ballet, Hip Hop and Guitars.
Bollywood is one of our most popular dance classes. We do have a lot of men and women enrolling themselves for this class, it’s just because they enjoy their classes. We have a simple philosophy, we do not teach people to be perfectionists, we simply teach them to have fun.
Dance has now gained some acceptance in the society. People now-a-days have a very broad aspect to everything, so it doesn’t really matter if you’re a male or female all that matters is the love for dance. According to me dance is for both genders and age does not matter at all. You’re never too young or too old to dance. And just from a ballroom dance perspective… I feel there is nothing more manly for a gentleman to make her dance on his finger tips!!!
No doubt there are a few more dance institutes opened up and there are more dances involved in the theatre productions which are great! ActOne started 6 years ago and it is the Largest & Oldest! The thing that makes us different from others is that we, in addition provide a space for some of Pakistan’s finest dance artists to develop and perform their art, it also delivers a year round program of activities including courses, classes, performances and events for both dedicated dance lovers and the wider public. We have run our own studio, given workshops at Alliance Francaise , Indus Valley, PACC, we have done workshops in schools such as CAS, Bayview and Neemtree School of Music. We have now crossed over 6000 students since we started. We have over 20 local and foreign instructors. If you’d really like to just get moving but have ever so slightly cold feet, then ActOne is a one-stop solution for you.
It was the first time in Pakistan that a competition of break dancers was held at this level. One highlighted and this being close to my heart was the Planet B-boy Battle. The story is fascinatingly brief. Two sets of senior break dancers contacted me. I met with them and found that there are over 300 bboys in Karachi. ActOne gave them a vision of having a battle competition. We also had a B-girl competition during the battle. It was a pleasant surprise to know that even girls are no less than the boys in break dancing and it was also a good bit of inspiration and encouragement to other girls watching the battle. For me, this is Pakistan making a point on an international level. Informing the world that we are just as normal and expressive and fun loving as they are!
Famous salsa dancer of Pakistan Hazan D reveals his love for salsa dancing in his exclusive interview with Fashion Central.