What are you currently working on?
Debut of US national tour of Cirque Dreams “Pop Goes the Rock”
original cast. I am one of the 3 aerial flyers in the show. Cirque
Dreams is a Cirque style company based in Florida.
When did you start your training?
I started training as a dancer when I was 3 years old, of course I did
not become serious about it until my teenage years. And started
training as an aerialist at age 23, and still continue to train daily.
A true professional never stops working on their talent.
When did you decide you wanted to be a dancer?
Every since my 6th grade field trip to NYC to see the Rockettes, I
knew I wanted to be a performer and live for the stage. I leaned over
to share the news to my mom, she just nodded saying “okay, sure
Maria.” She knew I was a dreamer because she lived a similar life with
a passion for the arts, music and sculpture design.
Who were your mentors and what roles did they play in your growth as an artist?
I would have to say my mentor is my duo partner, best friend, and my
superman, Jocka Carvalho. We met over 3 years ago, I was just
starting out my dance career and he was a solo aerialist/hand
balancer. I was blown away by his talent and asked if he would help
work with me on some different aerial technique. He is a wonderful
teacher/trainer with plenty of patience and knowledge. I am so
grateful and honored that he took the time to” take me under his wing”
(no pun intended) and train me and then decide to leave his solo
career and to travel the world and perform with me, together we have
created an unbreakable trust in our unique duo of dance and acro.
Where are you based out of?
I have my own place in Upper Darby (right outside Philadelphia) PA. I
am not there very often due to all the travel my career demands.
What’s your favorite on stage memory?
Wow theres so many, do I have to chose just one? My favorite onstage
memory is the first time I ever performed as the “Jocka & Maria”
aerial /adagio duo. It was such a rush of adrenaline, similar feeling
happens every time I fly above the audience, I feel like Wendy and
think of Jocka as Peter pan.
What inspires you to keep going?
I have the privilege to be surrounded by so many talented performers,
who either grew up in a circus family or trained many years in their
technique and specialty, I would have to say each and everyone of them
inspire me to work harder especially since I am rather new to the
circus world! Also Jocka is a huge inspiration to me. He was a
Portuguese Olympic champion in sports acro, trained 8 years in circus
school, and continues to work at his technique daily! And last my
parents inspire me because of their strong support and faith in me!
What are your goals or hobbies outside of dance?
My goals in general are to be successful, happy, and business savvy.
To stay ambitious and keep reaching higher. I feel these days as a
performer it’s not just all about the technique and your performance
quality on stage but also about the business side. To be connected
with the social world and market yourself, agents, mentors, whoever…
No one can market yourself better then you. So my hobbies are keeping
up with the new technology and learning the business side of show biz
along they way! As well as enjoy family/ friends time as much as I can
around all the travel! Family / friends mean the world to me.
What was your first professional job as a dancer?
While in college my first professional job was cheering for the NFL
What has been your greatest triumph to date?
My greatest triumph is graduating with a BFA and having the
opportunity to perform my passion.
Do you have any advice to give to other dancers whether they are just
starting or in the thick of it?
My advice would be stay humble no matter what you accomplish. There is
always going to be someone better then you, but that should drive you
to want to continue to work even more on your talent!
What is your favorite place you have ever performed?
I have had the opportunity to perform all over the world, but not one
place sticks in my mind in-particular. I think maybe the venues my
loved ones can attend because I feel even more blessed when they can
be present when I share my talent.
Was there a particular performance that changed your life or changed
you as a dancer?
The performance when I transitioned from dancer to aerialist dancer.
It changed my path in life and opened me up to a whole new world I
didn’t even know about.
Do you have a pre-show ritual or superstition?
I always say a prayer before a show, say this ones for you Grammy &
Papa (who are at peace in heaven,) and kiss Jocka on the cheek right
before entering the stage. My grandmother and grandfather were the
strongest believers in my passion and always had faith in me. I
remember the last thing my grammy said to me, was “I know you are
going to do big things, keep those dreams going, and believe in
yourself, and you can do whatever your little heart desires.” Until
this day I cherish those words and keep them in my heart. And the kiss
on the cheek of Jocka is a tradition we started since our first
performance 3 years ago, and it stuck, I feel it is a seal of our
trust right before we enter the stage.
What music are you listening to right now?
I am actually on a tour bus as I am working on this. On the long day
bus rides, I always have my iPhone playing music. Usually it’s on
random mix, I have a mixed variety of music it depend on my mood. I
let it play at random and just skip around to what suits my mood.
Sometimes I’m hyper and prefer upbeat music (you can even catch me
dancing in my seat,) other times I’m in a more peaceful mood and
listen to the lyrics to get in touch with my spiritual side. Most of the
time I listen to sappy music as a hopeless romantic, being on the road
is one difficult side to finding your true love, and sometimes the
music may help that emotional rollercoaster.
List five inspirations.
Other talented performers in person or on YouTube
My mother and father
My aerial/adagio partner Jocka
The scenery of this beautiful world
Maria Artim’s Biography
Maria Artim hails from Swoyersville, PA, where she began studying dance at the age of three. She graduated from the University of the Arts in Philadelphia, PA with a BFA in Dance Performance. While in college, she was an NFL cheerleader for the Philadelphia Eagles for two seasons, where she participated in live performances, appearances on national television, and corporate/charity speaking events.
She has performed with pop star Sean Kingston and has been seen on Comedy Central’s The Colbert Report and internationals Magic TV’s Le Plus La Grand Cabaret du Monde. Maria also performed as a production dancer at the Harrah’s and Trump Taj Mahal casinos, in Atlantic City, and at corporate trade shows around New York, New Jersey, and Pennsylvania.
She spent several years teaching dance at multiple studios and at the National High School Dance Festival.
Maria has been a feature model for the Philadelphia Eagles Cheerleader swimsuit calendar, Nicole Miller fashion show in New York, national dance catalogue The Costume Gallery, and fashion shows for United Dance Merchants of America (UDMA).
Post graduation 2008 to present, Maria began training extensively to perform as a cirque aerial acrobat. She has been featured as a Headliner speciality aerial artist/dancer on Celebrity and Norwegian Cruise Lines, where she has had the amazing opportunity to travel the world, with her partner Jocka. Together, they combine different styles of dance, aerial flying, and acrobatics to create a romantic blend of physical stunts and movement.
The Duo performed internationally for corporate shows in London, UK 2011-2012 and nationally with Cirque Dreams Pop Goes the Rock, Feb-May 2012.