Dancing Human: Christina Fanizzi
Thursday, August 10, 2017
By The Philly Tribe
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Christina Fanizzi

Philadelphia, PA


In what year was your first class with The Philly Tribe?



What was your relationship to dance/movement before taking class with The Philly Tribe?

With the exception of several years in my 30s, movement has been with me in some form my whole life. I remember my first recital when I was in kindergarten, and then in grade school through high school I took ballet, tap, and jazz. I studied musical theatre in college and started working as a professional actress, singer, and dancer in summer stock and regional theater after I graduated. I was both at times aspiring and working as a performer through my 20s in NYC. One of my most notable two minutes of fame was dancing behind Bette Midler in The First Wives Club!

Then, aside from that, dancing took a back seat … in retrospect, I’m not sure why?! I do know now that the formulated step-by-step routines that were once a part of my life wouldn’t fly for a second anymore. As soon as I arrived on the Philly Tribe dance floor—moving and grooving from a place of spontaneity and instinct—I realized this type of movement was way more interesting and freeing for me. I knew I was home!


What keeps you coming back to class regularly?

It’s like water and breath … I can’t live without it! To know that every gesture has a story, every breath has a memory, every move has a consequence … this is why I dance. It keeps me sane and steady in this unsettling world.


In what ways does this dance practice influence or inspire your non-dancing life?

In all possible ways. Movement is my therapy, one of my most intimate relationships. It’s the place where I find answers to all the other questions that arise in my daily life. It helps me trust myself, my body, my thoughts, and my feelings instead of trying to get rid of them or constantly question them. Movement is the place where it’s all welcome; it’s the best place to find support. “Move and include,” as we say in Open Floor!


Tell us about a specific Philly Tribe class or workshop that you thought was especially powerful.

Oh boy, it’s more a question of how do I choose only one?! I guess I’ll go with my very first time. It was a weekend workshop with Amara Pagano. My schedule at the time only allowed me to attend the first night and last day, and I missed the day in between. I remember going across the floor, four to six people at a time, and being asked to really find your strength and power. Push yourself to your limit! I just went for it. Like a fish in water … I remember moving across the floor and being amazed at how much my body needed this physically. We can think about being strong and powerful, but when we put it in our body and let our body show us what that is, so much is possible. It was an awakening for me!


Is there anything you’d like your fellow classmates to know about your dance-floor personality, preferences, or quirks?

I think everyone already knows this, I LOVE TO TWIRL!!


Tell us a little about your current life off the dance floor.

It was over a year ago that I met my love. He and I share many passions including but not limited to: conscious living, human and social justice, playfulness, dance, nature, and good food. I have a hunch our inquisitive nature will keep us together for many years to come. In addition, the human body, heart, and mind fascinate me. Recognizing all the possibilities they offers through my work as an Open Floor and Pilates teacher has been one of the greatest gifts of my life.


Is there anything else you’d like to share—personal accomplishments, struggles, epiphanies, questions or stand-out life experiences that have helped shaped who you are today?

The first one that comes to mind is being present and available to my dying mentor who had ALS and died in 1999. She was a significant influence in my life when I started acting professionally. She was the one who saw in me what I didn’t see in myself. She cast me in the role of Antigone, a character who I respect and admire profoundly, for a special updated version of the Greek classic for the NYC Fringe Festival.