How do you define success?
Achieve your dreams, be happy and make people happy.
Do you have a key sentence/motto about success?
Be unique to make your mark on your era. Originality and innovation have been the keys to my success: surprising people and not hesitating to go where no one's ever gone before, doing my best to make every one of my shows marks the audience's memory deeply. That's the ideal I strive for.
What inspires you? And where do you find your inspiration?
Recreating the magic feeling you have when you discover something for the first time, whether a flavor, a sound, a story... Nothing inspires me more than the opportunity to be able to create that little moment of emotion in people's minds.
More specifically, an object, a shape or a movement can inspire me and give me an idea for the theme of a show, tricks or a video. I try to be as open as possible to lots of different disciplines, arts and movements. I think that inspiration is a way of synthesizing all the data that you've picked up over time, shaping it and applying it to a specific case and context. That means the more data you have, the more possibilities you can choose from. I think it's extremely important to always remain receptive to our surroundings.
Could you tell us about your success? What is the short-story of your success?
I started freestyle soccer at the age of 15, after discovering a Japanese guy's videos on YouTube. I wanted to learn how to do freestyle right away to make other people feel what I felt when I first discovered it, seeings things done before my eyes which I hadn't believed possible. I was also enthusiastic about being part of the first generation to practice this new sport, being able to explore a completely unspoiled universe where everything was yet to be discovered, a story yet to be told.
I decided to take up this sport to do something different, so I wanted my approach to the sport to be different too. That's why I worked on creating my own style, which allowed me to stand out and qualify for the international competitions.
In 2011, in my first world championship in Kuala Lumpur, the forecasts ranked me in last place, but I managed to surprise the juries by showing some unique tricks that I'd been keeping under wraps for that competition. I also decided to add a more artistic and musical touch to my routine, to try adding a new dimension to the sport, which was highly perfomance-oriented at the time. That's how I won my first world championship title, to everyone's amazement.
In 2012 and 2013 I won two more world championship titles in the routine category, by persevering in the same direction but with new inspirations and an improved understanding of the art world.
Do you have a “5 rules” to follow and keep on being successful?
- Accept that you have to make sacrifices
- Make sure to maintain the passion and pleasure
- Be patient, make a fresh start every day
- Don't lose your initial curiosity, keep on discovering
Do you have a ritual that you follow everyday?
To try to nourish my artistic side, I try to avoid rituals in order to keep a fresh, creative mindset. Being able to discover new things and new sensations everyday is what inspires me and makes me want to carry on creating. This involves varying where I train and also doing artistic research into different sources of inspiration each day and listening to various kinds of music and artists. As for my sporty side, which comes into play during periods spent doing more technical training, I stick to a training ritual that I'll follow every day. I always get up to music and have breakfast before doing anything physical. Music gives me a way to detach, that is totally necessary when I need to have the motivation to put in all these hours of training. One of my other rituals is to film my training sessions so that I can see how my movements look. I am always demanding when it comes to the graphic appearance of a movement so this is a very important ritual for me.
What do you avoid to keep on being successful?
I try not to get bogged down with habits, which are bad for my creative process. I've chosen a path that requires being constantly creative and adding new things to surprise the jury and audience, which is why I avoid rituals and habits. I try to change my training site and even partner quite regularly in order to get in touch with different energies and vary my inspiration.
Do you have any advice for the younger generation?
First and foremost, do something you like and do everything you can to keep a fresh outlook. It's by keeping an open mind and always being receptive to the outside world that you'll find the inspiration you need to be creative and this will enable you to establish yourself and meet your goals. My advice would therefore be to feed your curiosity and treat it as something precious.
How important time is and has been in your life? And what does time represents for you?
Time is the most important thing in my daily routine, to balance my life as an athlete, artist and entrepreneur. I divide up my time so I that can train myself physically and technically, create new shows, and undertake and prepare projects. Time is like a guidewire for me, a beacon that lets me find my way through those three aspects of my life, for the time being.
How do you deal with time-related issues in your work?
In my opinion, depending on how it is managed, time can be a friend or it can turn into an enemy. Time is a core factor in my job: my area of work depends heavily on it. In fact, I always have a set amount of time to show my choreography on stage or in competitions. So my work is intimately related to time. When I present a piece, a show, each and every second is planned and programmed so that my movements are perfectly synchronized with the music. It's a particularly lengthy and challenging endeavor which demands time, imagination and precision. So I deal with time in a methodical, but also fragmented, forward-thinking way using a classifying approach, something that enables me to enjoy a harmonious relationship with it and so make it my ally, rather than my enemy.
How is Maurice Lacroix a natural continuum of your everyday life? What place does it have in your life?
Maurice Lacroix allows me to go about my everyday life confidently, elegantly and punctually.