I started to leave the auditorium… I was pulled aside and introduced to Neville Kent , the producer, and Ian the choreographer.
Most of the details I don’t remember but they clarified that I wasn’t the strongest dancer but that I had tricks and…. I GOT THE GIG! I was officially a professional dancer! Professional by the simple definition of getting paid that is.
I was elated that I got the gig. It was a pivotal point in my life and self esteem. I had realised a dream. I was now a professional dancer…I didn’t know what that would entail but that didn’t matter and I hopped on my bike and rode back to Peter’s moms’ place at Mermaid beach. The rain had stopped and my bike hadn’t been stolen. It was a great day.
I had to find a new place to live. While spending time at the beach I had made friends with a couple of guys from Halifax and they had a room to rent. I moved in shortly after. There were 4 of us in the house and they were there to party. Rehearsals started for the show. I would come back to a huge mess of beer bottles, pizza boxes and sometimes holes in the walls. I wasn’t a partier so this was not ideal for me.
I thought I could learn pirouettes and ballet technique at rehearsals. That is not how dance training works. The other dancers and choreographers were really patient and helpful…I learned later that I was almost cut because of my lack of training but was kept because I worked hard. I also did extras – appearances for the producer in the costumes at public markets.
I made a good friend of Mitchell Bartlett, a very skilled and successful dancer that had just finished touring with Kylie Minogue. I have always been a direct person and he liked my honesty. I admired his skill and success. He was also very helpful, kind and supportive.
I remember being very nervous before the first few shows as I was never really confident that I knew the choreography and would be watching the other dancers all the time. This isn’t what you are supposed to do. Once the run started I had fun. I felt like a star. I was on stage living the dream…as they say…or at least what I thought it was at the time.
There was a couple there that primarily performed on cruise ships and that really appealed to me at the time. Travelling the world as a dancer onboard a ship seemed really glamorous….and I wanted it. The seed was planted.
When the run of the show had completed Mitch invited me to stay with him until I got on my feet in Melbourne. I would start doing dance classes and he would help get me connected. So I said my goodbyes, paid my debts and bought my plane ticket to Melbourne.
Another adventure begins…