AUSTRALIAN DANCERS ABROAD, Part Two

Published on 26th Jul, 2010

International contracts have hit an all time high! With the likes of Universal Studios Japan, Moulin Rouge Paris, Disneyland Hong Kong & International Cruise lines all actively auditioning in Australia, there is growing opportunities. Australian dancers have great technique & vitality AND we are extremely competitive on the international stage. From Broadway to Beijing we are landing those jobs!

However for many, living away from home, especially overseas is a huge step. I recently spoke with Laura Potter, a 26 year old from Wollongong currently living & dancing in Alaska.

What made you decide to work overseas?
After completing my HSC I gained my teaching accreditation (F.A.T.D) & was teaching jazz & tap, working as an NBL cheerleader & working a day job. I enjoyed my life but I needed something more. I really wanted to travel so started auditioning for international contracts. My first overseas contract was with the Moulin Rouge, Paris & I lived there for 19 months. Before commencing at the Moulin I also lived in London for a short time. Paris was a great base for travel. I saw a lot of the world. My family & friends visited me in Paris so they got to enjoy my experience too …I loved it!

Laura returned to Australia to recharge her batteries & worked on the Sydney Showboat for 12 months. She started teaching part time again however still felt that urge to head off overseas. Laura is presently contracted with Jean Ann Ryan Productions. JAR Productions cast everything from Broadway book shows to Las Vegas reviews & are a leader in cruise line productions.

How did your present job, dancer on the Norwegian Pearl – luxury cruise ship, Alaska come about?
I didn’t have to audition. I sent my show reel & headshot & was cast from that. I had also been offered a contract in Egypt with a different company with the same method. My previous dancing experience helped.
Rehearsals were for 2 & a half weeks at the JAR studios in Miami. We learnt three shows in this time. It was tough but we have a great cast & production team so it was fun too. We had day trips to Disneyland so it wasn’t all work.

Tell us a little about life on board?
In Alaska we perform three shows a week. Sunday night “Welcome aboard show”, Tuesday night “Sealegs” and Friday night “Garden of the Geisha”. We also do a full technical run of the show the day we perform it. I also have cruise staff duties which includes welcoming passengers the day they embark, participating in “Dancing with the Pearl Stars” & “White Hot Party”.

You obviously enjoy being a “showgirl” again?
I’m really enjoying ship life. It’s really different from any other contract I’ve had as you live & work with the same people. We are able to get off the ship in all the ports & explore Alaska which is amazing. So again I am being paid to travel & see the world.

The best advice you’ve been given?
Be yourself…and I’m doing just that!

Many long & short term cruise ship contracts are out there so what are you waiting for? Get out there & let your dancing take you around the world!

By Alana Hyde

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