Travel the world and dance in unknown territories—Would YOU do it?
Today, Divine features a rather remarkable man. Guillaume Sanchez is a French entertainer whose dream is to dance his way around the globe and unravel the mysteries behind ancestral cultures. As well as featuring his incredible journey, we also managed to catch up with him and ask him a few questions.
Guillaume, welcome to Divine Magazine. It’s an absolute pleasure having you here and we appreciate you taking the time to talk to us.
As is our habit, we like to ask a few silly questions first to break the ice then we’ll get down to the serious ones.
What do you typically have for breakfast?
A bowl of cereal, a fruit and a coffee.
Do you know the dance steps to an annoying cheesy pop song?
Many! I was a resort entertainer and all the dances we did for our shows were cheesy pop songs. From Pitbull to Glee’s cover of Lady Gaga… I know them all!
Do you have any superstitions?
If I stay optimist, the world will be okay. It’s a lot of pressure.
If you could talk to one species of animal which would it be?
Cats. I just want to know how they do it.
As we mentioned previously, Guillaume is dancing around the globe with an insatiable desire to learn and absorb other cultures.
Guillaume, this is a fascinating goal. What started you on this path to both world and self-exploration in this way? We understand you have family in the film business who have helped you in this ambitious enterprise.
Many things motivated me to do this project. In terms of world exploration, I’ve always been curious of nature. The idea to explore the world using dance as a conductor also really interested me because it hasn’t really been done. This is when one of my cousins, who is a talented filmmaker, suggested to create this travel show. In terms of self-exploration, I feel I always have something new to learn that will rewire my perspective of the world and that’s exciting!
You aren’t a professional dancer, starting out in tour entertainment. What gives you the passion to make dance the medium by which you choose to express yourself?
Since I was a kid, I enjoyed putting on a show. My primary aspiration is to tell stories, and after that, you have dance which is an art form that really speaks to me. It’s such a great expression of oneself and a way to connect with others. I can remember so many great moments that started with me dancing with someone. I also love bonding around a good jam session but never took the time to learn an instrument, so I dance instead 😉
Do you believe that modern life is more complicated than it needs to be and sometimes, simply ideas and pleasures are all we need?
Haha. Yes, I do… and yet I make my own life complicated. Even though traveling the world to learn dances requires simple motivation, making a series out of it is rather complicated, especially when you have no idea how the industry works. What I really believe in however, is living on your own terms and not let your actions be defined by a set of existing rules. Go out and discover what it means to YOU to be alive and how you can apply positive values on the vision you have of yourself. In a certain way, this is living simply as you will begin to follow what feels right at the moment you’re in. I think this is the most valuable lesson this project has taught me.
This type of travel and education requires a huge amount of discipline and strength, both mental and physical. How do you keep going? What setbacks have you experienced?
The adventure in Borneo was a rather big surprise. My expectation was to have fun and a good time learning a dance, but unfortunately for me, it didn’t go all as planned. The whole process of learning from the Dayak people was pretty extreme and having only one week to do so, made it really hard. But that’s just part of the show, so I had to keep pushing. Half way through my training, I was rather stressed and afraid this whole project would end in failure. The motivation really came from my cousins and their production team who were by my side throughout the journey.
The true setback of the adventure came from practicing barefoot on floor tiles. After 3 days, I had huge blisters and the pain was brutal! I had reached a point where I felt completely out of control and it was not easy. This whole experience really showed me that in these situations, you just got to let go and trust all will be alright. Usually, it turns out better than you’d think.
You’re quoted as saying you aspire to create authentic entertainment for viewers in search of inspiration and you already preparing for your next destination. Can you give us a hint as to what’s next for you?
Yes! This whole endeavor was about creating a travel show that went beyond the traditional ‘let’s go see nice landscapes’. We really wanted to put in light an inspiring culture that currently faces extinction due to modernisation. It’s not a story about cultural appropriation, it’s about discovering our differences, our similarities and what we can learn from each other. For these reasons, I really aspire to create more episodes. It takes time and resources, but I am already discussing new adventures in Australia and New Zealand!
And with that, Guillaume is off, dancing his way around the globe once again…
It was a pleasure chatting to him and Divine wishes Guillaume all the best of luck in his endeavors.
You can follow Guillaume on his epic journey at the links below.
The series isn’t just about the personal challenge. In each episode, Guillaume goes out to explore something new. From meeting inspiring street artists, to visiting the natural wonders of Borneo, you will embark on a journey in Dayak territory, while getting a better understanding of what it means to push yourself beyond what you think achievable.
Guillaume says “I simply wanted to learn a foreign dance, but instead, I got to live an incredible journey of self-discovery. This story isn’t about cultural appropriation; it’s about exposing cultures threatened by globalization, learning from them and finding the common values we all share. Whether it is traditional or modern, I really believe dance has an incredible social and spiritual impact on communities all over the world.”