Liberated by Movement: Theo’s Dance to Authentic Self-Expression

von Guillermo Seis

Few of us have the chance to grow up in a household where creativity and art are the heartbeat of everyday life. But for Theo, this is where his story begins. With parents in the film industry and siblings excelling in various creative fields, home was a sanctuary where freedom and self-expression thrived. It was here that Theo could explore his feminine side and love for dance without fear or judgment.
Today, Theo shines as a freelance artist, blending performing, producing, and teaching into a dynamic and fulfilling career. His work is a powerful testament to his passion for queer visibility and the struggles of minorities, addressing crucial issues such as queer visibility, coping with stress as a minority, and confronting street harassment.
In this conversation, Theo shares his most personal and intimate side yet, from discovering his true sexual desires to navigating the challenges of expressing them.

 

Can you tell us a little about yourself (e.g. origins, work, hobbies, etc)?
I'm Theo, born and raised in Vienna. I was lucky enough to grow up in a family where creativity and art were the norm. Both of my parents worked in the film industry, and my six siblings are all shining stars in various creative fields—film, photography, and arts.
Home was a magical place where I felt completely free to be myself. I could wear anything I wanted and explore my feminine side without fear. It was a bubble of support and acceptance. Stepping into the world outside our door was a different story. School was where reality hit hard. My love for dresses and dance made me stand out, and not always in a good way. I felt the sting of insecurity as I navigated a space where my interests were seen as different.
Since I can remember, dance has been my refuge. After school, I would lose myself in the rhythm and movement, surrounded by others who understood and appreciated the same art form. It was in those moments that I felt truly seen and free from judgment.
Today, I'm living my dream as a freelancer. My work is a vibrant mix of performing, producing, and teaching, and I pour my heart into every project. I love to blend movement, light, sound, and words, focusing on topics that are close to my heart—queer visibility, coping with stress as a minority, and street harassment.

 

What does sexuality mean to you, and how has your understanding of it evolved over time?

To me, sexuality is about courage, authenticity, and connection. It’s about trusting myself and feeling empowered. Every step I've taken to embrace my sexuality has required bravery, but it has also made me more confident and resilient.
Dancing has played an important role for me. It’s where I feel most authentic and empowered. Whether I’m dancing in a club, performing on stage, or rehearsing in the studio, the movement gives me strength and allows me to fully express who I am.
This journey hasn’t always been easy, but each brave step has brought me closer to myself and to others. Embracing my true self through dance has been a powerful experience, one that continually fuels my confidence and courage.

 

How do you express your sexual desires and preferences, and what factors influence them (e.g., gender, attraction, kink, trauma, etc.)?

I’m still on a journey to fully understand my true sexual desires. Growing up in a society that mostly adheres to heteronormative, binary ideals, it has been challenging to express or even explore my desires when they don’t fit into that mold.
That's why I’m so grateful for the spaces within the queer community where honest expression is not just accepted but celebrated. These spaces, designed for authentic and open exploration, have given me the freedom to discover and embrace my desires without judgment.
Being part of this community has been a liberating experience, allowing me to connect with others who understand and share similar journeys. It’s in these moments and places that I’ve found the courage to be true to myself and explore my desires openly.

 

What challenges have you faced in expressing your sexual desires and needs, and how have you overcome them?

The biggest challenge is overcoming the heteronormative, binary ideology that society imposes on us. Breaking free from these constraints is the first step to recognizing and meeting our true needs and desires. This journey can be tough, often involving exclusion, loss of loved ones, and significant emotional upheaval. But once we take this step, we open the door to discovering and pursuing our genuine desires.
There are times in life when accessing and fulfilling these desires comes more easily, and other times when circumstances make it much harder. It's crucial not to force ourselves into anything, but also not to deny our desires because they won’t simply disappear.
This balance is delicate but important. Embracing our true selves, even when it’s difficult, leads to a more authentic and fulfilling life. We must allow ourselves the space and time to explore our needs without fear or pressure, knowing that this journey is unique for each of us.

How do you ensure that your sexual relationships are healthy, consensual, and respectful, and what are your boundaries and communication strategies?

To maintain healthy, consensual, and respectful relationships, clear and honest communication is essential. It also requires a deep self-awareness of what I want and what I don’t want. Our needs develop, change, and evolve over time and with each relationship we engage in. As a result, nothing can be taken for granted or perceived as constant.
In the strong intimacy and closeness that comes with relationships, being empathetic towards oneself is crucial. This self-empathy allows us to stay aware of our own needs and boundaries, helping us build consensual and healthy connections with others.
Understanding and communicating our desires, being open to change, and maintaining empathy for ourselves and our partners create the foundation for relationships that are both fulfilling and respectful. By embracing this approach, we nurture connections that honor both our own needs and those of the people we care about.

 

 

How do you envision a more inclusive and fulfilling sexual culture that embraces diverse sexual identities and expressions, and how can we work towards it?

There are several layers that play a crucial role in fostering healthy, respectful relationships and self-expression. Queer events, sex-positive parties, and similar gatherings are vital as they create safer spaces where we can truly be ourselves without fear of discrimination. Sadly, this level of freedom and safety is not yet possible in our daily lives.
Political work is also essential. Despite the progress we've made, there are concerning shifts that threaten our rights and freedoms. It's important to remain vigilant and proactive. Building and nurturing a supportive community that offers safe spaces, engages in meaningful dialogue, and takes action is foundational to our collective well-being.
For me, art is another powerful avenue. Taking the stage allows me to be visible and to exist authentically. My art is inherently political because it demands visibility and challenges the status quo. It’s a way for me to express myself, advocate for our community, and inspire others to do the same.
By combining community efforts, political activism, and artistic expression, we can create a world where everyone has the space to be themselves, feel safe, and thrive.

Photography:
Isabella Hewlett