Skapandi Sumarstörf Series #2: Dansandi

This summer, we here at Dansverkstæðið are facilitating space for groups of young artists taking part in Hitt Húsið’s Skapandi Sumarstörf initiative. In this mini-interview series, we’ll present these groups and highlight their ongoing projects.

Our second interview is with Dansandi, a duo who are hosting pop-up dance parties throughout the summer. The duo are María Kristín Jóhannsdóttir and Inga María Olsen, who have known each other since they were 14 working on the set of Billy Elliott at Borgarleikhúsið. The pair have held two parties so far and have many more happenings planned ahead.

Their main goal is to bring dance closer to people who don’t dance much, says Inga. ”We’re mostly hosting pop-up dance parties where people can come dance freely all over downtown,” says María. “We’re also bringing dance to people in work places. We went to a staff party, and we are going to go to a kindergarten and maybe to elderly homes.”

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Dansandi in their signature Hensson tracksuits

The response of people who happen upon their dance parties has been better than they thought. “It takes time for some people to come and join and some just want to watch, but when they get in I feel like they enjoy it,” says Inga. “They don’t want to leave,” adds María.

The two don’t focus on any particular style of dance but do notice a trend in the public who join. “We noticed that people dance pretty similarly to the way you dance at the club or something,” says María. “Just grooving to the music, and that’s so much fun. We don’t do any technical dance moves.” They mainly find it interesting to see how people move and how people react when confronted with dancing in public.

For their next performance, they plan to be just the two of them dancing in their trademark light blue Hensson track suits, with noise cancelling headphones so the public can’t hear the music. “I think people get really awkward when they see someone dancing or they are dancing and people are watching,” says Inga. "It’s a bit like, dance like everyone’s watching.” 

“And there’s also no music so it adds an extra layer of awkwardness so it’s kind of an experimentation of sorts of how people react to it,” says María. “It’s awkward but I think the suits help so much. It’s like a costume so we become like characters and it has helped a lot when we go, for example into the staff party. I was really nervous but I think the suit helped me so much. I was someone else than myself. So I think it’s very important, the blue Hensson suits.”

Find more information about Dansandi’s upcoming pop-up dance parties on their Instagram: @dansandii