Meet Hakim, dancer and asylum seeker
Hakim, 23, left a lot behind when he had to flee Burma, including all of his family and friends. But after arriving in Australia, he picked up something new that is keeping him mentally and physically strong – dancing.
“I never danced in my country because no one encouraged me,” said Hakim, who arrived at Christmas Island in June 2013 and was released from detention into the community on a bridging visa in August that year. “I first started practicing when I began studying at Bankstown Senior College.”
Hakim and some friends started trying out some moves together when a talent quest at the college was announced. “My team got shy before the performance though, so I ended up dancing solo.”
He hasn’t stopped dancing since. “I’ve always got dance steps in my mind. I mostly do hip-hop, freestyle and moves from Bollywood. I listen mostly to Bollywood music because I understand the way of their talking.
“When I’m at home, I put on the music and dance. And I love going to parties because every time people ask me to get up and dance, then they follow me.”
When Hakim’s SSI case manager Marcela found out about Hakim’s love of dance she helped arrange for him to dance at the premiere of Broken Time, a film produced by SSI about issues of homelessness for Unaccompanied Humanitarian Minors.
Hakim has also performed at SSI Community Kitchen and after the latest Walk Together event.
Hakim is a self-taught dancer, and he’d love to attend dance classes but can’t afford them. “I’ve talked to my case manager about finding free dance classes, like hip-hop. Dance classes here are really expensive.
He would also like to form a dance group. “I’m trying to find people who really want to dance. I have to find people who are not greedy for the money but who dance for their enjoyment because it’s their passion.”