As Mara so eloquently put it, dancing is not my strong point. It would rank third in my act, sing, dance list. As for the other two – I’ll let someone else decide on that – otherwise known as an audition.
Don’t get me wrong – I can dance and I believe I hold my own with musical theatre choreography…most of the time.
• Grace personified – when someone else does it! I have watched and enjoyed some beautiful ballet. Whilst I have been told I can point my toes quite well, if I attempted ballet it would probably resemble more of an Irish jig. I have been known to assume third position when having a conversation.
• “Real men don’t lift weights. They lift women”. The ‘T’ is silent.
• My inspiration for Jazz comes from Robin Williams in ‘The Birdcage’. “Fosse. Fosse. Fosse. Martha Graham. Martha Graham. Twyla. Michael Kidd. Madonna. But you keep in all inside”. I play basketball and because of being in West Side Story my warm up is very different to the rest of the team.
• Smoke, Dancing with a double bass, Jazz hands in to Spirit fingers.
• My father bought me up well.
Me: We did tap dancing at rehearsal.
Dad: Really…did you fall in the sink?
My first tap show was in 2002. It was the show during which I met Mara. Prior to this I had attended the Daffy Duck school of tap dancing. I learnt that if you could time the forward stomp with everyone else you could (sort of) get away with it. I have done 4 tap shows during my time and I’d like to think that I have improved since then.
• Sliding, Wings, Jumping, Heel clicks, Noisy, Pardon?
• Contemporary dance has unpredictable changes in rhythm, speed and direction. This makes me perfect for contemporary dance because so do I!
I enjoy the narrative elements of contemporary dance. My interpretive dance skills are on point. If the stories involve using a shopping trolley, a lawn mower, replacing a light bulb or opening a door then I’m ready to step up.
• Interpretive, unpredictable, creative, made-up on the spot?
• Hey Yo! It has been many years since I learnt how to hop. I’m 50% of the way there! To be honest, after watching some hip-hop clips on YouTube, I think I’d prefer to be part of the entourage. They have a great time without actually doing any work… The closest I’ve ever got to a ‘battle’ was accepting a dance-off challenge in an Irish Pub. Let the record show that, for those who were there, it was the most entertaining 15 minutes of all time!
• Baggy clothes, Key chains, Entourage. Fo Shizzle?
• Yes. This one did trip me up. From the sound of things, the stumble that occurs after tripping over could fit into this style of dance. Ecstatic dance AKA Trance dance AKA Movement meditation is the definition of the ‘dance like no one is watching’ mantra. However, you are encouraged to do so when lots of people are watching. But they’re not judging. Check your brain in at the door and just do what the music tells you. Minimal structure. Do what you feel. Speaking is not allowed. The volume of the music would not encourage speaking anyway – you’d look pretty silly.
• Liturgical, Exhausting, Individual. Happy-Clappy.
I would like to make special mention to all my choreographers over the years.
Your skill, patience and understanding has given me to confidence to try something that is outside my comfort zone, work hard and – eventually – get it right. The ability to tell a story via dance and then have the patience to teach it to the community theatre male ensemble is a phenomenal skill to have and I salute you.
And … 5-6-7-8. Kick, kick, step, turn…
Until next time, be Fantastix!