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The stage should be your home, live there- Etsitso Toju from Dance with Peter

The stage should be your home, live there- Etsitso Toju from Dance with Peter 

Am Etsitso Toju. from a family of 8 (6 sisters and 2 brothers) with a loving dad and mum I am from Itsekiri in Delta State. I am a professional dancer and work with a construction firm.

Did you ever think you would love dancer enough to become a dancer?
It began with the love and passion about 8 years back, when even though I really couldn't dance, I mingled with dancers learning bits from them. So no, I never thought I would turn out to a dancer.

For how long have you been in it?
About 7 yrs now
The stage should be your home, live there- Etsitso Toju from Dance with Peter

How did you start/when did you start off officially and what is the name of your brand?
I started dancing when I was in my 300 level at school. I  joined the group ROYAL HOOD CFI (Christian Fellowship International) during my 100 level; after my audition I can still remember I did performed poorly but there was an atom of seriousness and flexibility was there so I was put among people who would be trained.

How do you generate your ideas?
I basically generate my ideas from everything I see around me and  things that I feel are missing; the things people are too busy to notice.

Apart from being a dancer what else do you do?
I also am into music; an artist cooking up to storm the music world.

How many hours do you rehearse a day on average?
Since I started working my dance time has been cut short so what I do now is go to work with my rehearsal kit and rehearse 2hrs (break time) weekdays but my weekends are basically dance dance dance and I averagely spend 7hours dancing (rehearsing).
The stage should be your home, live there- Etsitso Toju from Dance with Peter

What is your greatest fear and how do you manage fear?
My greatest fear is not attaining my dream concerning dance and music,Opening my dance school, writing hundreds and thousands of songs to heal the world before I get too old; lolzz funny but true. So right now am working hard, rehearsing non stop, being out there, either in the dance or music studio and still working to generate funds for this dream.

What do you really care about (passion)?
All I think is dance and music even when I am at work, the little time I get, am either watching a dance clip or choreographing something in my head or writing a song.

How do you define success?
My definition of success is SELF SATISFACTION.
The stage should be your home, live there- Etsitso Toju from Dance with Peter

What have been some of your failures, and what have you learned from them?
 I have been to auditions and didn't scale through, competitions and didn't make it to the finals, its not the end of the world I tell myself,  you need to keep fighting and striving, it just tells you that you are not the only gifted one and that one has to strive to be unique and better.

What/who are/have been your influence?
I have always been this quiet introvert which isn't bad though but then I discovered dance and its one tool I use to communicate with people without being shy.. People that have also influenced my dance career are  my family, Otomewo Ovo (my bestie), Isaac Agbettor who never failed to accompany me to auditions and always encouraged me, John Isabemoi who always believes in me, Kaffy Shafau- Ameh, Peter Okoye and Don Flex who were my judges at dance with Peter and groomed me to be a better dancer and Above all GOD who would always tell me that all is well.

Tell us about a time when things didn't go the way you wanted and how you came out?
Hmmmmm...okay there was a time in my life when my parents didn't want to see or hear that I dance, it was a big struggle because I couldn't seem to convince them on why they should allow me dance also they couldn't give me a befitting reason why I should stop dancing. They said as a female it could affect me one way or the other during child birth or even during old age, it could cause some complications in the body. I on the other hand gave them examples of female dancers that have excelled, given birth and even look way more younger than their age. it was after they watched me on dance with peter, they started encouraging me because they saw the unceasing love I have for dance.

How has being a dancer affected your life?
Being a dancer has made me connect to the world with so much ease, taken me places I never thought I would be, connected me to people that I never thought I would see in my lifetime. Keeps me fit and I don't think any random person can take a wild guess at my age. lolzz. u can try.

What would you say are the top three skills needed to be a successful choreographer?
Creativity, Uniqueness and Delivery.

The stage should be your home, live there- Etsitso Toju from Dance with Peter
What are your long term goals/plans?
My plan is owning a dance academy, leading a people who breath dance and entertainment. I also intend taking Nigerian music to another level by Gods Grace.
What advice would you give to college students who want to become professional choreographers?
If you want to become a choreographer, it starts with you choreographing yourself, think crazy, weird. What makes you outstanding is thinking out something that doesn't make sense to make sense and making people see the clearer picture that even the lame man would understand. Above all, the stage should be your home; live there.

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