Vienna, Chengdu, again Vienna and then Shijiazhuang: a golden paved path of Gabriele Goffredo & Anna Matus, four times world champions of Latin American dances, that last May managed to impose themselves as debutants among the professionals. Samba, rumba, paso doble: the technique is refined after years of training, but love is a daily achievement. Gabriele and Anna, as well as partners on the stage, are also a couple in everyday life. Is this the secret ingredient of their successes?
Both of you had different partners before you started dancing together in 2011. How did your paths cross and how did your love story come about?
Gabriele: After dancing with my sister Antonella and reaching the world finals among amateurs (dance is a family passion) I had a short partnership with Francesca Tocca but we competed together for only six months
Anna: I was competing with a Spanish dancer at the time (Note: Edgar Marcos).
Gabriele: When I didn’t have a partner I started looking for a new one through videos of competitions and performances: that’s how I saw Anna performing in a sensual and beautiful rumba! Well, at 3 am I decided I wanted to dance with her. Then the next day I called her and I received a very short response. The reason? I was famous for not having exactly an easy character. However, my proposal had the desired effect, so after ten days she contacted me to give it a chance to tryout. Our “first time” was in Slovenia: 8 hours of rumba. As a trial, I took her by the hand, and a second later we realized we were not only meant to dance together, but there was something more. There was immediately an incredible magnetism.
You were recently married after a very spectacular marriage proposal made in Vienna during the 2017 World Championship. Gabriele, why did you choose to ask her at that moment? And Anna, did you expect it
Anna: I’ve never expected such a proposal: Gabriele has a strong and volcanic personality, but I did not think up to that point. He managed to make me feel like a real princess.
Gabriele: I grew up thinking that I would never have married. I was convinced that it would have limited my freedom in a certain way, but over the years with Anna (and it’s all thanks to her) something inside me has changed. So I told myself “if I decide to do it I do it my way”. In a big. So I asked her to marry me in front of thousands of people: it was hard for me to believe in me, but I did it! And now I’m happy every day more that I did that gesture.
How does your training look like and how do you prepare for an important competition?
Gabriele: Our training day looks like: wake up early in the morning around seven, breakfast and then straight to the gym to prepare with our personal trainer before moving on to technical training in couple. In addition, there are a practise the night before the event and hours of teaching our students who come from all over the world. The dance keeps us busy from early morning until late at night, and if we are not in the gym or at training, we are traveling for competitions or conferences. In short, we never break away from what is our passion and our work.
Does being together help your understanding of the dance?
Gabriele: It might seem strange because being together all day can sometimes be a little stressful. However, in our case this has made us stronger: I believe that the medals, which we have won, prove it. We are sure that supporting each other and sharing everything leads us to give our best, facing different problems. Just have a strong bond, a lot of passion and a bit of stubbornness to make us unstoppable! We know well that without each other none of our achievements would have been possible, so we go on in this direction.
What should every good dancer have?
Gabriele: A good body and good coordination definitely help, but the most important thing is the brain. Be ready to sacrifice everything to train constantly and know how to get up after the defeats or when the result is not for what you hoped. You should not forget that you compete under the eye of a jury. This also needs to be worked on. It is the first reason why you have to be mentally strong in our world! Very strong!
In which of the Latin American dances do you recognize your personal identity more?
Anna: For me, it is samba and rumba! Samba because I am a very explosive and solar person and this dance is an expression of strength and speed! Rumba because I am also passionate, sweet and emotional: in movements and in the concept it is a dance of conquest, it allows me to express this side of my personality.
Gabriele: Samba and paso doble. Samba because it requires delicacy and elasticity above all other dances, allowing you even special technical gestures. For the paso doble there are different motivations: in the dance I am associated with the Gladiator. I like to fight, to sweat and win and the paso contains all of these. It’s a gruelling challenge. To win, you need a lot of humility and sweat. As was my career: difficult, but I have always fought for everything, I had nothing as a gift.
Gabriele, tell us about how it was appearing at Tu Si Que Vales (Note: Italian talent show).
A definitely different but beautiful experience: I really enjoyed dancing with Belen, it was fun. The program is really well done and organized. Many professionals, who make the final product enjoyable and successful, work behind the scenes.
After three amateur world championships won consecutively, you have recently joined the professional category, winning the gold medal in Shijiazhuang City: how did you manage the pressure of this jump?
Gabriele: We simply did not think about it in that way. We have not changed anything from the past few years, from the working method to our personality. We certainly feel we have more responsibility for the small talents that grow: giving the right example is one of our priorities.
Do you see yourself on the small screen in the future?
Gabriele: If there are any plans for investing into talents and making Latin American dance attractive, then yes.
Note: This interview is translated from the original source at https://starssystem.it/interview/gabriele-goffredo-anna-matus-ritmo-cuore-latin-dance/?fbclid=IwAR0umd5ggpZ3FsmK-1VFfSILzf_xuSCPRSOJ-LpzTmMCe2364q2EfqPWMX4