We had the good fortune of connecting with Maja Keres and we’ve shared our conversation below.
Hi Maja, have you ever found yourself in a spot where you had to decide whether to give up or keep going? How did you make the choice?
My position on this question is that the answer is always present inside of us. The only thing we need to do, and practice, is connecting with ourselves so we can recognize the answer. In my experience, the best decision is the one that feels good, or better in regards to the ultimate desire or goal. Sometimes giving up only means stopping the effort and releasing the struggle to get to our goal specifically and only in the way that we imagined is taking us there and thus allowing other ways to open and present to us. If it feels right to keep going even though it’s hard, then keep going. The point here is to be in tune with yourself so much that you can recognize when something is good for you and when it’s not, which is really individual, but in the end, if we know that we gave our ultimate best in the process, then giving up doesn’t feel so wrong, it just means – I gave my all, and I’m proud of it, so now I let it go.
Can you open up a bit about your work and career? We’re big fans and we’d love for our community to learn more about your work.
I think, as a dancer, what makes me me the most is the way I connect to the music and the way that my soul shines through while I’m performing. When I’m choreographing, I also take a lot of pride in my musicality, the way I hear music, and the way I connect the movement to it. My journey goes all the way back to Croatia, a small country in Europe where I’m originally from. In my wildest dreams I couldn’t have predicted that I am going to be living and working in the United States as a professional dancer, but following my passion for dance and for learning eventually led me here. Every path has its own challenges, and of course mine had too, from getting the visa to even be able to come here, to living far from my family in a completely new environment where your income isn’t as stable, but one of the most important lesson that I actually just confirmed to myself is – being genuine is always the path I want to take. Everything I have achieved was purely because I was being myself. So, it reassured me that by being myself, following my heart, doing what I love and what makes me happy will open the doors to more and more of that in the ways I could have never imagined. And that’s what I would like the world to know about my story, or me in general. The power of pure desire and following your heart can take you further than you’ve ever imagined.
Any places to eat or things to do that you can share with our readers? If they have a friend visiting town, what are some spots they could take them to?
Well, I’m going to answer this from experience, because my best friend did visit me here. I showed her the Grove, we went on the Runyon Canyon hike, watched the sunset from Mullholland Drive, rode bikes on Venice Beach, walked and shopped in Santa Monica, went downtown, visited the Broad Museum, Getty Center, I showed her Staples Center, we went to the big bookstore around there, walked Hollywood Boulevard, shopped on Melrose Trading Post on Sunday, had burritos at Tacos Tu Madre in Los Feliz, and so many more fun stuff. There is so much to do and see in LA, and even though I have lived here for 5 years, I still have more things on my to do and to visit list. Who else deserves some credit and recognition?
At this point, my shoutout goes to Marty Kudelka, a renowned choreographer and dance teacher that I have had an honor of assisting lately. I am extremely grateful for all the knowledge I’m gaining by shadowing him in his work. From the way he teaches dance, listens to music, choreographs, handles business, talks to business related people etc. I am learning so much, and I can feel how it’s improving my own approach to teaching dance classes and getting me ready for the next career paths that I eventually want to be on – working as a choreographer in the entertainment industry. So, shoutout to Marty – the man, the legend!
Other: I also have my sewing account on Instagram, @emkaymadeit , where I share my sewing creations
Chris Singer Ivan Vidosevic Sam Roden Selin Spuehler Bong Buño