41 Countries to Unite in Jamaica for the 2018 Wan Move Diaspora Dance Experience
Cafe Mocha caught up with Moiika Stanley, CEO of Wan Move, Inc., to talk about the Wan Move Dance Experience (WMDE) taking place in Kingston, Jamaica (Nov. 25 – Dec. 2)
1. Tell us about yourself and how you started Wan Move?
As a lawyer by trade and a dancer by passion, I truly believe I’m a conduit of truth and advocacy, whether that be in the courtroom with my words, or on the stage delivering a message through movement. I feel compelled to move humans toward their purpose.
I started Wan Move because after touring and teaching afro-dance in 67 countries and 126 cities, I noticed the faces that monetized movements in business, the arts, namely dance, and many other areas were not the faces that popularized those same movements. The narrative for people of color is consistent in various parts of the world, especially in countries where colonialization existed. It is crucial that we, as people of color, not only be noted for our work but actively take part in the monetization of it.
2. Tell me more about the conference and why it’s important?
The Wan Move Dance Experience (WMDE) is an eight-day adventured-filled experience that will expose attendees to dance classes, excursions, networking opportunities, and performances from remarkable dance professionals from around the world. The trip also provides attendees with the opportunity to submerge themselves in a different culture and experience Jamaica through the lens of dance.
More than a dance link-up, WMDE is a transformative experience that takes people through a journey of self-actualization, discovery, and more! Dance is the conduit that we use to get people to recognize who they are and what they believe about themselves.
3. What do you hope to accomplish with this conference? What do you want to outcome to be?
I want this to be a transcendental experience for attendees. I want them to leave having a better understanding of themselves, but more importantly, discover more of the world around them. I also want them to be better informed about dance and the origins of popular dances.
All too often, when people see something that is trendy, we don’t bother to discover or give credit to its origins. While most of us in America are doing the ‘gwara gwara’ dance and watching Black Panther, the person that created the dance is fighting for survival.
Dancers in Africa, South America, the Caribbean, and the Watts have the same drive and sometimes more than the person(s) we see “make it” but will never have the resources or access that their European counterparts have in markets like the UK or the USA. We have been twerking for centuries, and one white girl does it in the 2000s, and it’s popping?
4. What does the future of this conference look like? Will you host it in different countries around the world after this?
The WMDE occurs every two years in different locations. However, we do have an interest in developing partnerships with government/tourism sectors in host countries which could lead to a Wan Move Dance Experience occurring in the same country year-to-year. In 2020, Wan Move heads to Africa.
5. Who are some notable people that will be in attendance?
There are so many! Norma Miller, Chloe Arnold, Ding Dong, Kaffy, Danielle Polanco, Crazy Legs, Jose Xtravaganza, Taina Costa. The list of teachers and featured dancers is truly exhaustive. We’re bringing some of the best and most well-known dancers from around the globe. It will certainly be an unforgettable experience.
6. As a Dancer and CEO, how do you blend the two lifestyles? As the CEO of the company, but also a dancer are you ever torn between making creative decisions and business decisions?
It is challenging, but not because of what you might think. It’s challenging because it’s only 24 hours in a day; I just have two arms and two legs. I often must choose between staying up to answer emails, or zoning out in freestyle training or conducting a video conference. However, when I’m brutally honest with myself I’m not allowed to feel burnt out because I can always give more, I never feel 100% immersed, so until then there will be a juggle effect.
My remedy is to try to work as much as possible to align the business and creative and if such an alignment does not currently exist create the model for such.
7. You talk a lot about Dance being a conduit for self-actualization and discovery, tell me why you believe that?
In my opinion, the physical body is a roadmap to a person’s spirit. Exploring the range of motion in my core or back helps me to understand the range that I have in life. Unlocking new levels of physical strength for instance always remind me I’m stronger than I think, even in non-physical situations.
Physical comfortability and acceptance of self or lack thereof reflects inner knowledge and approval of self. You cannot accept what you do not understand, you cannot understand what you do not know, and you may not get to know what makes you uncomfortable if
Additionally, dance; moving your body through the time-space continuum, creating and sharing powerful energy and furthermore manifesting a reaction in your environment with that movement has revealed characteristics in me that I don’t think I would’ve otherwise discovered.
8. What is your vision for Wan Move? Where do you want to see it go?
I envision the Wan Move organization continuing to grow and expand its reach to dancers and artist that need representation, brand development, mentorship and association. We need a Sag, Aftra, Bloc, MSA, Motown for dancers of color.
9. If someone wants to attend Wan Move Dance Experience, what do they need to do?
People that are interested in attending the Experience in Jamaica may log onto our website www.wanmovediaspora.com and go under the register tab and join us in making history. We have all-inclusive packages flight, hotel, food, beverages, classes, excursions, parties. You just pay and pack!