WHO IS UKALINA CELINE OPUWARI
Ukalina Celine Opuwari, last of 8 children born to Mr and Mrs Opuwari from Ahoada East in Rivers state, where she grew up till she moved to Lagos. She started dancing quite early, she always knew from a very young age that she would be a performer! I had my first stage performance in University of Port Harcourt while in primary school, it was a solo performance in the midst of other dancers at the Jeans carnival! Because I didn’t have other opportunities back then I settled for learning rap songs with my brothers; I discovered that part of me. When I got into Secondary school I joined the dramatic club and went for competition, I was one of the Leads; I rapped, sang and danced and we won, twice. At that point I was stopped by my brother because he wanted me to concentrate on school. So after Secondary school I joined a ministry called “Make them Mine” I auditioned and joined the dance arm called PUREGOLD in port harcourt. There I began my grooming in dance as well as serving God; I learnt all kinds and also the art of stage performance. We traveled to many states in Nigeria and then Ghana. When I got into University of Nigeria, Nsukka, where I studied Mass communication I joined “STAINS FAMILY” we performed a lot before I went solo….. I won the best female dancer award before leaving. After graduation I went for Maltina Dance all and my family won season two (2008)…. then my career kicked off. I joined Society for the Performing Arts in Nigeria in 2008 because I was hungry for knowledge in dance. I studied two years and afterwards became Head of Dance from 2010 till date. So far as a Dance teacher I have grown as well as a performer and Choreographer. In all of these I have developed my skills in dance, Presenting, writing and Rap… I’m also discovering other aspects I’m good at.
Head of Dance (Presentation and Schools)
Society for the Performing Arts in Nigeria (SPAN)
WHERE HAVE YOU TRAVELED TO WITH DANCE
I have traveled to many states in Nigeria, Ghana, Benin Republic, France, United States of America, Lebanon, South Africa etc
My worst challenge as a dancer was getting to learn outside my comfort zone; outside the country you learn with teenagers who are way better and technically sound… phew it was crazy. Also when I started there was always a huge competition between men and women. For a woman to be one of the best she needed to compete with guys, it was not easy. As a dancer another aspect is gaining respect in this profession and not seen as a riff raff. People are yet to completely accept it as a profession.
WHERE DO YOU SEE DANCE FIVE YEARS FROM NOW IN NIGERIA
5 years from now, Dance will be a unifying factor and it will generate massive income for the Nation. Dancer’s will be respected and recognized and we will have an organized movement with a stronger force! Dance will be a tool for change in every aspect and it will stand on its own with a loud voice.
WHAT SHOULD YOUR FANS EXPECT FROM UKALINA
Expect something totally different from the Norm. I have plans of a traveling the world seeking more knowledge about dance and educating people, I have plans of dance series that will tell stories, plans of not just creating dance videos but touching lives and making people happy asides teaching dance! People know me more for dance but I’m about to combine my elements…. Trust me from 2018 UKALINA will be announced to the world.
ADVISE TO YOUNG UP COMING DANCER
My advice to the young ones is Simple… Train as hard as you can now that you are young and not burdened with too many responsibilities… Learn everything not just dance, have an open mind and a heart of service! Be humble, don’t limit yourself! Read books, go to school; yes it’s never too late to learn. Have a plan and savings culture and above all HOLD ON TO GOD! Live in love.