A big hello out there to all my readers!!
It has been a long time since I have put fingers to keyboard and written something for my blog, and I apologize for my absence. This year has been a really great one because I have been lucky to be so busy with so many performances and gigs, and I have hardly had a moment to sit down and process it all.
This year I was fortunate enough to be offered a second touring contract with the Apollo Theatre Company, to tour N.Z for 5 weeks with the amazing Tommy Dorsey Orchestra from U.S.A.
It was a fantastic experience, and all four dancers enjoyed being able to show our beautiful country to a new bunch of talented Americans, and we became a part of the T.D.O family. Terry Myers – the band leader – really welcomed us and every show he would give us a beautiful introduction that was very heartfelt, and would bring tears to our eyes.
I intend to write another blog about the tour in detail, but one of the highlights for me was our show in my hometown Tauranga, where my Mum came to see me dance for the first time as a professional dancer. This was very special. I have spent many, many years working as a professional dancer, but most of my performances have been overseas and away from home, and my Mum hasn’t had the opportunity to see me dancing in a show of such caliber before.
Terry and I spoke prior to the show, and he mentioned to me that he was going to say something about my Mum which I thought was really lovely. Little did I know what he had in store…
After our first routine ‘Bugle Call Rag’ Terry asked the dancers to stay on stage, and he announced to the audience that Tauranga is my home town, and that my Mum was there that night. He said she had been instrumental to me becoming a professional dancer, and he dedicated the WHOLE SHOW to my wonderful Mother!!!
It was so amazing and unexpected, and I had tears in my eyes as I could see her smile beaming out from the audience. Thank goodness my amazing dance partner Anton was there to hold me upright on stage as my heart was bursting at the seams.
We were very fortunate to be asked to tour with these outstanding musicians, we had a fantastic tour and it was definitely a highlight of the year.
Since I have returned to Auckland I have been a part of some great shows. I performed in James Luck’s debut of his show ‘Gifted’ at TAPAC which was a fusion of Contemporary, Hip Hop, Lyrical, Jazz, Acting and Dance. James created a great show and it was fun for me to play so many different characters and also to be challenged to be able to dance alongside brilliant Hip Hop/Break dancers and try to hold my own in that genre.
We can all have a giggle at ourselves trying a style that may not be our forte, but it really is important to push yourself outside your comfort zone while you are training so that you can make sure if you are required to dance in a style that is perhaps not your strong suit, you can still pull it off and still dance with strength and presence, so that you are versatile and hire-able as a dancer.
My whole career has been about pushing myself to learn new dance styles and be adaptable to what choreographers and directors want. And because I have been able to be a dance-chameleon I have had a long and successful career, whereas other dancers have found themselves contained within certain forms, and therefore restricted with their job choices and offers.
Once GIFTED was finished I continued on with my work at Apollo, and we had our first year of A.J.D.A (American Jazz Dance Affiliation) Tap exams. The students danced very well and I was proud of them, with only beginning tap this year they had very good results and worked very hard.
The next gig came in the form of M.A.C Cosmetics launch of their Rocky Horror Picture Show line, to celebrate the anniversary of the film. I was cast to play Magenta, and had fun working with my fellow tour buddies again, Anton playing Dr Frank n furter and James as Riff Raff. We ran around the stores in Hamilton and Britomart staying in character the whole night, and had fun scaring people and dancing to the Time Warp while they tried the new cosmetics and drank red champagne. It was a lot of fun and having our makeup done by the professionals with amazing costumes prepared was a brilliant experience. Something I would love to do again. They had every detail of the costumes from the film, even down to the shoes Anton wore as Frank n furter, perfectly colored with diamantes on the heel just like Tim Curry!
Now I’m well into my next project, which is choreographing and performing in the Apollo Theatre Company and School end of year show, which is a Pantomime of Aladdin! We are having a blast with rehearsals, so many talented dancers, aerialists, actors, singers, a very interactive show that will be very entertaining. This year I’m performing a number of different characters which I am really enjoying.
So don’t miss out, come along from December 4th- 6th at Apollo Theatre School studios in Wairau Valley for a great night of entertainment!