My style: Clara Bajado
Sunday 23 December 2007
Occupation: Hip-hop dancer and Nike brand ambassador
Personal style: Urban androgyny
James Sherwood: Clara, before we spoke I had this image of you being discovered by Nike's cool-hunters dancing in some Manhattan ghetto. How does one become a professional hip-hop dancer?
Clara Bajado: I started dancing in Paris, where I was born, when I was eight. My mother wanted me to do ballet but I took modern jazz and hip hop instead. Everyone forgets ballet started on the street. Salsa was a street dance, as was tango.
JS: How fascinating. I'm almost loath to bring the conversation around to clothing. Obviously your trainers are Nike.
CB: Yes, they are low Dunks with pony-skin detail. They are the kind of shoe I love to dance in because they are light and flat.
JS: I'm presuming the shorts and socks are a practicality for your style of dance.
CB: The knee-socks are for fashion not for practicality.
JS: Aren't those hoop earrings a liability?
CB: No, they're not a problem.
JS: They are also the only item of clothing that couldn't just as easily be worn by a man.
CB: Actually, I love to look like a girl. I have danced in high heels before. What I'm wearing today is very much what I would wear if I was rehearsing or teaching.
JS: So what defines your style of hip-hop dancing?
CB: My style is new school. I'm in the UK teaching house dance. What I'm teaching is a style that came out of New York as opposed to street dancing, which came from LA.
For more information about Clara's group, visit http://indahouseuk.wordpress.com
How to look new-school cool
White trainers, 64.99, by Nike, 0800 0561 640
Grey zip cardigan, 27, by American Apparel, www.americanapparel.co.uk
Slouchy red beret, 39, by Reiss, www.reiss.co.uk
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