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Gemma Asfour is a dancer, choreographer, actress, and podcast host. Find out more about her successful journey in this interview.

Gemma Asfour is on Her Own Journey to Success

Gemma Asfour is a dancer, choreographer, actress, and podcast host. She has a clear vision of what she wants for her future and is working hard to achieve success. In all aspects of her life, Gemma is always pushing the boundaries to expand herself beyond what even she thinks is capable. One of the hardest working young women, Gemma is constantly training whether it is in the studio dancing, creating choreography, taking acting classes, or speaking to guests on her podcast Society Inspired. Gemma took a break from work for this interview about her dance career, her podcast, and her vision for the future.

  1. You have been a dancer for most of your life. While you are classically trained in all types of dance, you are most known for Chicago Footwork and Contemporary Fusion. Can you tell us about each of those different types of dance and what drew you to each?

Even though I have taken a break from publicly posting Chicago Footwork, I am drawn to its intricacy and culture. I am currently working on finding myself in that style again due to some of the energy I received while immersing myself fully in it for five years. I have loved all the experiences and people the style has brought me to, and I cannot wait to move on in the journey of finding myself within Chicago Footwork with my own projects!

With Contemporary Fusion, I can’t recall a specific moment or idea that drew me to it. When I started creating, I would resort to my two favorite styles: Hip-Hop and contemporary. I love the feel of contemporary with the textures of hip-hop. Hence, my work is a fusion of the two!

2  You are a dancer and choreographer.  Each of those jobs present their own set of unique challenges. How do you approach each type of job? Are there specific aspects of dancing and choreographing that you find particularly challenging or rewarding?

This is a loaded question that I could give multiple answers to. When I am a dancer on a job, I make sure to approach it with an open mindset. I make sure all of my “tools in the toolbox” are sharpened so I can accomplish whatever vision the choreographer has. As a dancer, it is challenging to bend to whatever is needed from you/your body. But I would say that is also a rewarding aspect because it pushes you to your boundaries and expands you as a dancer!

As a choreographer on a job, I make sure my vision is set, not necessarily the choreography, before stepping into rehearsal. Depending on the job and time, I will ensure I am open to the movers around me voicing opinions about the choreography/vision. But if it is a job that just needs to be set, I make sure to have the words and patience to explain what is required. Seeing your work come to life and on other bodies is gratifying. However, the process is also challenging, as achieving exactly what you see in your head is difficult.

3. You just released your first concept video called “Always Forever”. For those of us that don’t dance, tell us what a concept video is. What was your vision and inspiration for “Always Forever”?

“Always Forever” is my first concept, which took me a while to make, but I am so incredibly proud of it! A concept video is just what the title describes. A video revolved around your own created concept. I was getting my wisdom teeth taken out, and “Always Forever” started playing. I had been listening to this song for years and never envisioned anything until that moment. I saw the concept on a blue tennis court and it needed to be with my talented friend Brady Amaya. I was not wavering on the vision; it was so strong that it inspired me to act on it. “Always Forever” is the story of a push-and-pull relationship, but it shows humans’ reliance on each other when we feel lonely.

4. You not only choreographed and danced in “Always Forever,” but you were also the producer, concept designer, and costume designer! Which of all those jobs did you find the most difficult and why?

To be completely honest, I found all of the parts hard except the dancing! Trusting my vision and my process was a whole struggle, which is why I took a minute to get going on the video. I cannot tell you how many offices I emailed to make sure I got the location I was not wavering on. I went back and forth on costumes quite a bit, too, but I love that I chose contrasts! Overall, it would’ve been a much harder job if everyone didn’t have grace and patience. But having that patience made me push for the end result even more.

5. You’ve worked with notable musicians such as Tone Loc as well as top-notch choreographers.  Are there any specific lessons or experiences you’ve gained from collaborating with seasoned professionals in the industry?

Every time I work with a choreographer, I learn something new that they like to see from the people working for them or from their experiences. One of my favorite lessons I have learned is to be as visual as possible. That way, you can immerse yourself in whatever vision you need to complete. I continue to learn that you need to focus on yourself and make sure that you are completing everything that is required of you. You can help others, but it isn’t your responsibility to ensure everyone else, along with yourself, is 100%.

6. You are the host of the podcast “Society Inspired.” What prompted you to start that podcast? Why do you think it is important for the youth of today to have a voice?

I still lived in Minneapolis at the time George Floyd was murdered in 2021. I saw what was happening around me and people speaking out online. Reposting wasn’t doing it for me anymore, though, so I finally took the idea I had for so long, Society Inspired, and created it. The first step to speaking out and advocating for what you believe in is having conversations/asking questions, which is what I wanted to base my campaign on.

It is beyond essential for the youth today to have a voice. I say this because there is often a stereotype that I have faced, and many other youth voices have faced it from older generations of “not knowing what we are talking about.” If we want to speak out about something we are passionate about, we have the same rights as anyone else. We want to live in a better world and have the same chance of changing it as anyone else.

7. You have a role in the upcoming film “Mi Quinceanera Loca”. As an actress are there a particular genre or type of character you’re drawn to, and why?

I am attracted to many types of characters/genres. Although I have loved doing comedy, I have a newfound passion for the drama genre. I found these types of scripts healing to read because you connect your real-life experiences/emotions to them. So you are sort of working through your real-life emotions, although you may be speaking words that don’t relate to your situation at all.

8. As a dancer, choreographer, and an actress, how do you balance your creative pursuits with your busy schedule? How do you maintain a work/life balance?

Finding my balance has been an ongoing struggle since things get added constantly and often at the last minute. I have consistent training/classes every week, so I make sure to schedule things around those. I like making to-do lists and scheduling what needs to be done first through last, so I complete everything on time each week. I also allot extra time to brainstorm on my own projects or work on my campaign, Society Inspired.

9. When you are not in the studio dancing or training, you are also in a different type of studio- the music studio- playing drums. How did you get started playing drums? How are music and dance similar and how are they different?

I started playing drums in a middle school band. I started with piano, but it didn’t fit me well. Starting drums felt like the perfect fit! I don’t really find many differences between music and dance. They go hand in hand. You play instruments with your body. You dance with your body. You dance to music. That is why I love drumming; it helps with my musicality in dance, and it goes hand in hand.

10. Looking ahead, are there dream roles or projects you aspire to take on, and what goals do you have for your career in both acting and dancing?

Looking ahead, I have many things I want to accomplish. Finally releasing my first concept video, “Always Forever,” brought in a rush of different ideas for the future that I can’t wait to build on. For acting, I will keep working on my craft and see what comes to me. I can’t wait to work on more series/movies and make characters come to life! For music, I am continuously learning more about drumming and diving into producing. You can keep up with me and my work @‌gemma.asfour on all platforms.

For my campaign, Society Inspired, new episodes will be posted monthly, with the topics switching every three months! You can listen to the Episodes on YouTube or your preferred podcast platform, then follow @‌society_inspired on Instagram for more information.

I have also been diving into my photography passion more and am posting on my Instagram account, @‌snapsby.gem!

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