The Art of Being “Korra”
Korra Obidi, in entertainment lingua, is a triple threat – dancer, musician and actress. The artist from Delta State started modelling at a very young age, trained in salsa and contemporary ballet and has featured in films like Another Ordinary Day, The Flatmates, Lumba Boys, SARO the Musical. She reveals to having a very sheltered childhood as she says, “I had private tutors, and was never allowed to play with other kids. I think that is why I can’t stop playing as an adult.”
Guardian Life caught up with her, where she talked about her life and career.
You have such a beautiful name; how did the name ‘Korra’ come about?
I play martial arts called Capoeira. Everyone in the Rhoda has a nickname. People compared me to the anime character Korra because I learned fast I could master everything. They called me that all the time and the name just stuck.
Was dancing natural to you or did you have to train specially for it?
It did come naturally, but I had to train getting to the level I wanted to be in.
What do you think needs to be different in the Nigerian dance industry?
Discipline amongst dance artists. Mediocrity is a poison here. But that being said. It is booming! There is change and it is progressing every day. I am grateful to be a part of the movement.
What challenges have you faced as a dancer in Nigeria?
A lot! It’s too much to mention, having to travel to learn a lot, having to wait months to get paid for jobs, there are a lot. But it is changing and I can feel it improving.
How difficult is it to become a dancer in Nigeria?
It is extremely easy compared to other countries. Mentors like Kaffy, Loveth, SPAN myself and a host of others groom young dancers without charge. You don’t have to be attached to a dance company for years before you start getting paid. The industry is welcoming and if you work hard enough, you will be at the top in no time. I am not just a dancer but a musician, model and entertainer and because of this, I can compare qualitatively the dance industry to the other industries, dance is by far the most welcoming.
You’ve been teaching dance professionally. How has that experience been?
Amazing. Connected with a lot of souls. It’s purely amazing.
You travel quite a lot. Where is the one place you’d like to go but haven’t?
I think Odisha in India where the classical dance Odissi is from. Having trained in Odissi for seven years, I would like to see the temples and statues one of these days if I ever find the time.
If you could share a stage with anyone who would it be and why?
Teyana Taylor, Janet Jackson, Shakira, Karina Smirnoff. They make my blood boil with that familiar dance.
Do you have an alter ego during your performances?
I am a crazy wild gypsy at heart most of the time, not your regular. She’s not what society wants or expects from a Nigerian woman. I always unapologetically let myself express her every time.
What advice would you give to a young girl or guy who’s trying to start a dance career?
Find a style and specialise. Train till you are satisfied. Move on to the next style that tickles your passion. Don’t be a lazy, directionless dancer.