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Where are you from originally?
I grew up in Vancouver, Canada.
How did you fall in love with dance and what does dance mean to you?
I originally had a passion for musical theatre- the more acting and singing side of it. I was told I needed dance training to make it anywhere in that field. Therefore I joined a competitive dance studio growing up. I ended up falling in love with dance and engrossing myself in it more and more. I started a bit later than the others so I had a lot of catching up to do.
Do you have a preferred style, perhaps a style that empowers you?
I grew up loving contemporary and lyrical but after struggling with the flexibility part of it I tried hip hop which I absolutely loved! My favourite style I would say is commercial hip hop or street jazz because it mixes my technical training into it.
How do you deal with the constant scrutiny on your look?
When I first moved to LA that was the most difficult part for me. Every audition was sexy and edgy, which coming from Canada was not a thing and on top of it everyone was stick thin and I was not. I made it a goal to get my body in shape and become healthier but as soon as I achieved that goal the industry wanted thicker girls with curves… 4 years went by of me trying to adjust to what I thought the industry wanted ie. changing my hair colour, extensions, style and body type. I always tried doing it in the most authentic way possible but found it absolutely exhausting. Ultimately I was still just trying to figure out who I was. It’s probably only this past year where I’ve gone “I don’t give a crap either they want me or they don’t.” I definitely have my insecure moments and days where it’s not like that but think it was important for me to go through that process of trying things to figure out what I truly liked or didn’t like so I could be my most authentic self.
Having a big social media presence has become a thing for dancers and choreographers. How do you navigate that?
When I first moved to LA 5 years ago social media wasn’t really a thing..then it became the hugest thing, casting directors wouldn’t even see you in a room if you had less than 10k followers. I'm not saying it’s a bad thing but how you go about your presence can really hinder or help you. I think the biggest thing if you want to be in the industry is using your profiles as a resume while showing your true personality and being professional. You don’t want it to be all about your job because that can come across cocky and you don’t want it to be all fun and games and a casting director looks you up and doesn’t even know what you do for your profession. Essentially social media has because a casting platform, almost 70% of my jobs I would say have been through my instagram. Which is wild that the world has all access to your life you choose to show. I love instagram as a creative thing a part from work (color schemes, photography, finding out new things etc..) I think it’s just about being smart with it and taking it seriously but not making it your whole life purpose unless you are trying to go the influencer route.
Tell us more about your training. How did you end up in LA?
I attended a Fine Arts High-school where I studied art, musical theatre and dance. I also was a part of a competitive dance studio. I then transitioned to a pre-professional company where I studied all styles. I would go to as many conventions and workshops as I could and would make numerous trips down to LA to train. After doing those trips I realized I wanted to go for my O-1 visa and made all the steps to do so. I obtained my visa 4 years after graduation and moved straight away.
What are your interests outside dance? Would you be interested in choreography yourself?
Yes. I love choreography as well as movement coaching actors and upcoming artists. I have a few upcoming artists I choreograph for and movement coach where I teach them how to move with a microphone and perform if they don’t feel like it comes naturally. I also have done a lot of stand-in work for actors and artists such as; Hailee Steinfeld- The Voice, Lele Pons “Bloqueo” Music Video and Britney Spears bio-pic “Britney Ever After” where I got to be the Britney dance double. I love doing jobs like this because it teaches me a bit of behind the scenes/makes me explore that side of performing without choreography. I also get to have a fun inner popstar moment ;). Outside dance I love photography, yoga, anything creative like arts and crafts and exploring.
What is your dream now?
Currently I’m living a huge dream of mine- After 5 years in LA I booked my first world tour back up dancing for leading male latin artist MALUMA. In addition to dancing for some of my top goal artists this past year such as ARIANA GRANDE, JENNIFER LOPEZ, FRENCH MONTANA, JEREMIH, and HAILEE STEINFELD. Perseverance truly does pay off. My future goals are to renew my visa and stay in LA for another 3 years where I can push my career even more now that I have some momentum and potentially open my own swimsuit line. Long term I would love to get into artist development or potentially become an agent for dancers in Canada.
Tell us your favourite things in LA? What inspires you there?
LA is a really awesome place if you don’t get sucked into the self absorbed Hollywood part of it. There’s always so much to do and so many cool coffee shops, restaurants and places to see. I always make sure to do regular things, as it’s easy to get wrapped up in taking class or networking. I’ve always believed that in order to thrive you need to be sane aka doing things you love outside your craft, in addition to working hard. I love the beaches and hiking, I’m definitely a sun baby.
What inspires me most is how many people especially foreigners are going after their dreams in LA it is absolutely not an easy thing. Nothing is better than running into someone you’ve seen struggle and really fight to be there and then flourishing from persistence and commitment to their craft.
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