Steppeing Out

Story published by Fremantle Herald, 17 June 2022.

WHEN Dana Kazhimova went to watch a couple of friends perform the traditional music and dance of her native Kazakhstan, she had no idea of the impact it would have.

“I was not a Kazakh dancing type of person,” she said.

While she’d done the compulsory national dancing in primary school and her father had taught her Kazakhstan’s most popular instrument the dobra when she was seven, like most Kazakhs Ms Kazhimova’s gaze was on the modern sights and sounds coming through their screens. These days Kazakh teens are into hip hop, R&B and even a central Asian version of the K-Pop phenomenon.

Ms Kazhimova left Kazakhstan in 2010, spending a couple of years working in the United Arab Emirates and another three in Egypt before moving to Australia with her husband in 2015. She hadn’t really thought about those old dances or songs.

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