Posted by: D.A.S. Chicago | April 25, 2011

Interview With Chris Marosi

April 19, 2011

by:  Maria

Meet Christopher Marosi:  full-time student, dance extraordinaire, and choreographer. What more can be asked from this talented, goal-oriented, and energetic man? At age 20, Chris is graduating from the University of Illinois at Chicago (UIC) this May with a Bachelor’s Degree in Applied Psychology, as well as a minor in Communication, and already is beginning his Graduate student career at Illinois State University (ISU) in the Fall to obtain his Master’s Degree in Developmental Psychology. Think that’s enough to keep a man busy? Think again! Consider his other passion:  dance. And we don’t mean take-a-class-for-an-hour-once-a-week-dance. We’re talking half-of-my-life-revolves-around-dance-dance. As a professional dancer, instructor, choreographer, AND full-time student, Chris somehow manages to keep himself happy, healthy, and calm. Maria from D.A.S. took some time to chat with Chris and find out how.

Maria Thiakos:  Chris, you seem to have quite a life to handle! What kinds of obligations do you deal with every day?
Christopher Marosi:  Well, school, generally. I’m planning for Graduate school in the Fall where I’ll be attending ISU to get my Master’s Degree. It’s also that time where finals come around, so there are lots of projects, papers, and presentations that need to be done. Also, with dance, I have to make sure I attend all of my rehearsals and prepare for performances. Aside from all of that, it’s important for me to take care of myself at home and keep sane with all that I have going on!

MT:  So how long have you been dancing for?
CM:  I started dancing when I was eight years old at the Academy of Dance Arts in my hometown, Downers Grove. I started out with hip-hop, but then I grew into liking tap and jazz and started competing after that. And I’m still dancing! I have been for twelve years now.

MT:  How did you get involved in dance?
CM:  I got involved with dancing by chance. My family’s not a cool, artistic family; we’re very sports-oriented. So growing up I was in hockey and baseball and blah blah blah. But my parents noticed that every time music came on I was spazzing out, dancing and jumping around. (laughs) So they figured it would be a good idea to get me into a hip-hop class because I was really interested in that. They probably just wanted to get me to calm down and thought the best way to do it was to put me in dance for an hour a week, but it eventually turned into something more.

MT:  They definitely did the right thing there! Who do you dance for?
CM:  I’m a professional hip-hop dancer with BoomCRACK! Dance Company, which is directed by Trae Turner and Corale Lamont, and we dance at Lou Conte Dance Studio right here in Chicago! I also teach tap, jazz, contemporary, and hip-hop at the Academy of Dance Arts where I first started dancing.

MT:  You’re definitely a well-rounded dancer! What is it about dancing that makes you want to do it all the time?
CM:  For me, dance is wonderful because it’s an outlet for artistic expression. It’s very therapeutic, especially modern, jazz, or contemporary. With these styles, there’s a different kind of connection to the music than there is with hip-hop. Hip-hop tends to be very literal in telling a story, but you can tell a story by expanding and contracting your body in different ways with jazz, contemporary, or modern. It’s an awesome way for me to forget about all the other s*** going on in my life, and I can focus on just myself.

Chris, back in his competitive days

MT:  But you can pursue a dance passion in other areas besides the studio. Are there any other places you like to dance at?
CM:  Well, there are things like dancing at the clubs and bars, but that’s a different style because people are just bumpin’ and grindin’. I actually think that’s like dancing for weirdos… I hate that. But I take classes still at Lou Conte, as well as Visceral on the North Side [of Chicago]. Actually, for the past two semesters, I’ve had some friends who are dance majors at Columbia, and they’ve invited me to be in their dance pieces that are presented for critiques and grades. This semester I’m in two pieces for two of my friends, and we’ve been rehearsing for four hours for each dance per week. That’s all aside from all of my other rehearsals, mind you. But I love it because it gives me different artistic flavors and perspectives.

MT:  As we’re talking here, I notice how you’re sort of dancing as you speak! (laughs)
CM:  Yeah, that’s just kind of how I roll. I’m very fluid, and I more or less choreograph my life. The smallest things inspire me and make me move. I’m also Italian, so I talk a lot with my hands. Sometimes instead of talking with my hands, I’m just talking with my whole body (as he flails his arms in the air).

MT:  Besides dancing, do you have any singing or acting experience?
CM:  When I was younger, I used to play piano, which I sucked at. But my piano teacher also gave me singing lessons for about a year. I mean, that was a nice A for effort, but I can really only sing in the shower; I’m really bad at that. As far as acting, I’m very emotive in my face, so acting has never been a strength of mine. Though I can memorize things very well, if I were to make a small error, you could totally see it in my face. So, yeah, I’m a one-trick pony.

(more laughs)

On stage doing a hip-hop performance

MT:  Well with all of your school and dance commitments, would you still say dance helps take your mind off of your hectic life to give you a well-balanced lifestyle?
CM:  I would entirely! In this very fast-paced society, you don’t always have time to get into the gym, or go take a run and take time for yourself. And I don’t mean in terms of burning calories, or losing weight, but just to work on your soul. I’m lucky because dance is actually scheduled into my daily plans and I’m committed to it. I’m forced to go, but I don’t mind that because dancing let’s me focus on myself, express myself, and let out all of my negative emotions that I may have built up. It’s very powerful for me.

MT:  Sounds like dance does nothing but good for you! Would you recommend dancing to others who may have too hectic of a lifestyle?
CM:  I definitely would! While applying to graduate schools, one of my choices was Columbia for their Dance Therapy program, which I thought would be a great idea because both of my passions, psychology and dance, would be combined into one program. I actually chose not to go. But dance has tons of therapeutic properties. If you’re stressed, movement, and physical activity in general, helps raise your endorphin levels and puts you in a more pleasant mood. No matter what you do — whether it be dancing, singing, or acting — you’re using your body’s energy to create something. It’s taking your mind off things, and you’re learning about yourself in different ways. No matter what your mental state is, it’s very powerful for everyone.

Want to see more of Chris? He’ll be performing at the Prelude Midwest Urban Dance Competition at the Olympic Theater in Cicero April 30th! He will also be at many of the hip-hop shows here in Chicago in the upcoming months. Chris teaches at the Academy of Dance Arts, as well as other Chicago studios. For choreography scheduling or other inquiries, contact him at chrismarosi@gmail.com.

Chris hopes to be picked to join his dance company, BoomCRACK!, in the Hip-Hop World Championship at Las Vegas in July! Wish him the best of luck!


Chris and a former dance partner

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