I feel like I could talk about my life as a dancer for hours. I’ve been super lucky to have worked as a dancer for around 14 years (badly showing my age here). I have travelled the world, met my husband and made some lifelong friends along the way. It’s been a crazy, emotional, thrilling, tiring, draining and skint journey but I have loved every second of it. I’m going to try and share some of the ups and downs of my career as I feel like it’s coming to a natural end now due to me nearly being grown up and having responsibilities (house, husband and cat!).
Dancing was my life as a kid. I went to dance class for 6 hours of a Saturday and also went on a Thursday evening. I loved it. Loved the dance friends I had, loved my dancing school, loved some of my teachers. It was my safe place. I always knew after school that I would progress into Dance College to study even further in dance, it was the natural progression that would happen. I had my heart set on becoming a professional dancer and nothing was going to stop me. I lived and breathed dance. I literally could not get enough.
I was lucky enough to head into work a couple of months after graduating. My first couple of jobs were a massive eye opener. Luckily I was quite streetwise and didn’t take any shit, but it didn’t stop people trying it on. I’ve had everything from breaking into a safe to retrieve my passport to being offered more money for doing “private dances”. Needless to say I was straight at the airport and on a plane home!
Along with the shit jobs come the great jobs. I look at my job on my first cruise ship as one of the best contracts of my life. The team I worked with on the Funchal were the best team I have ever worked with. I remember when the contract was over I cried at the thought of not working with them again! The laughs we had were amazing and this was where I met my husband as well! I’m still in touch with people from that ship 13 years on. One of the most amazing times of my life.
I’ve definitely had a varied career. I’ve worked in a travelling circus in Spain; living in a caravan that was built in 1914. We literally toured around Spain, I learnt how to pack down a caravan for movement, how to connect water and electricity to a caravan, how to survive without an oven for 10 months, showering in a freezing cold shower in the back of a lorry and being best friends with Spanish, Russian and Bulgarians for 10 months without speaking the same language. It was one of the craziest, fun and rage-inducing contracts I have ever done, but I loved it.
I have literally moved country for my job. Most dancers will go off on contracts for 6 to 9 months and then return home and have a little break, audition and head back out to wherever. Me, no I like to move countries. Yes we actually packed up our rented flat, sold our car, put our life into storage and headed out to Cyprus where we lived for 2 years, producing shows and performing for holiday makers. We even got married out there. We were going to make a life out there for ourselves but we had to return home to Blighty when we realised we weren’t ever going to see our wages.
Yes, that happens, A LOT.
It’s a bitch to not get paid. What other profession would accept that? Crazy. I’m so glad we did come back though because we’ve spent the past 3 years touring the UK with our show which has enabled us to buy our little home. After all the moving around it’s so nice to have a place we can finally call home and not sleep in bunk beds! #shiplife
After all the travelling, touring and cruising I have now settled back in the UK and dancing part time. I feel like my dancing career is coming to a natural end, and you know what? I’m ok with that. It’s been a blast but no one wants to see a 40 year old dancer onstage (I’m not that old, yet!). I haven’t mentioned any of the things I wanted to, there are far too many stories but here are some pics to have a laugh at.