Today’s Dance Partner: Artur Kozuń , Pro Competitor/Instructor
“To waltz” it has been said, “is to fly without wings.” In that case, Artur Kozun absolutely soars. The professional dancer and instructor has been guiding students and electrifying ballroom dance competitions for years, and now calls Oceans Dance Studio his home.
Although in-studio lessons and competitions may be resting a beat due to the current pandemic, Artur and his fellow instructors at the Oceans Dance studio are keeping ballroom dance active in the minds of their students through social media and phone calls.
A highly decorated competitive dance professional, instructor, and PhD., Artur is using this time to get back to the basics by focusing on the positive with his students. He’s finding the regular communication is beneficial for both. “I check in on them regularly to see how they are doing,” he says. He also posts on the Ocean Dance studio Facebook group to keep the students learning, laughing, and in touch with each other as they weather out the pandemic distancing guidelines. “We have to take advantage of what we can during this disadvantage,” he says.
The Science of Poetry in Motion
With a background in mechanical engineering, the science of movement has always been intriguing to Artur, who was captivated at an early age.
At age 7, he began dance lessons in his native Poland at the urging of his parents. He simultaneously earned his PhD in mechanical engineering while continuing to train and compete throughout college. What began as a chore turned into a passion that has taken him across the globe and ultimately to the United States. He relocated to Daytona Beach two years ago.
Did earning a doctorate in the study of objects and systems in motion prepare him for his career as a competitive dancer and instructor?
“Absolutely,” says Artur. “I’ve always been interested in how things work. Our body is a machine and my knowledge and understanding of the physics and mechanics of dance helps me improve.” He continues, “I think my students benefit from it, because they are quite successful and the ones who compete win a lot of trophies at competition.”
Put One Foot in Front of the Other
Up until March 13, Artur’s life was similar to many dance instructors: classes and lessons during the week and competitions on the weekends. “Prior to the mandatory stay at home orders I had participated in 7 competitions in less than 3 months,” he explains. “We spend a lot of time traveling, in cars and on airplanes,”
Artur’s “we” includes his dance partner and fellow Oceans Dance instructor Monika Pyrgiel.
They met last year at a dance competition. “I overheard her speaking Polish, we struck up a conversation, and now I have a new partner.”
Together they are poetry in motion, and their artistry has won them numerous accolades and awards, which can be seen on their joint Facebook page: https://www.facebook.com/arturkozunmonikapyrgiel/
Return to Flight
Although Artur is ready to get back into the in-person teaching and competitive dance routine, he looks at the current situation as an opportunity. “I encourage my students, and future students, to take advantage of what you CAN do. Right now, it’s important to stay positive, and do all the things you didn’t have time to do before.”
And for anyone interested in learning how to dance?
“Take the first step,” he says. “Once the stay at home order is lifted, don’t think about it. Just call or come to the studio and schedule your first lesson.”
As Newton’s law of inertia tells us, an object in motion stays in motion, and the converse is also true. One doesn’t necessarily need to fly without wings, according to Artur, but at the very least “keep moving!”
Next time: Learn from his moves – a look into the teaching style of Artur Kozuń.