Hot Talent Watch
Once the tall girl in the back corner, 23-year-old Glendene Rout is about to see her dream realised after being one of only a few Australians offered a contract after recent local auditions with the legendary Le Moulin Rouge in Paris.
Originally from Dunedin in New Zealand, Glendene travelled to Perth to pursue her classical ballet training before changing tack, moving to NSW and undertaking full time dance studies after deciding on a career in commercial dance. Ever since she put on her first pair of dance heels, Glendene hasn’t looked back on her journey to become a showgirl!
Glendene is DanceLife’s Hot Talent Watch this week … Here is our interview with the striking redhead.
Q: How tall are you?
175cm … So I just met the minimum height requirement to dance in the Moulin Rouge!
Q: What has been your dance journey so far?
I’m from a small town in New Zealand and I just went to normal, everyday after school dance classes. One day I did a master class in classical ballet with a visiting teacher and decided that ballet was what I was meant to do and why I had been put on planet earth! Then I made the hard decision at 18 to move to Perth to train at the Western Australian Conservatoire of Ballet to further my technical training in Cecchetti and RAD. After a couple of years I decided that the ballet world wasn’t quite right for me and that I was more of a commercial dancer and I wanted to explore that further. I had never been exposed to other dance styles … 3 years ago I didn’t even know what a bevel was! I auditioned for a number of schools but decided that Lee Academy was where I wanted to be, so I moved to the Central Coast. Here I am three years later and have landed my dream job as a dancer at The Moulin Rouge!!
Q: What exactly is a bevel?
A bevel is the classic showgirl pose where one leg is straight, the other has the knee bent in and the foot out at an angle with ankles almost touching, with a hand on the hip. It gives a flattering profile to the legs and body of a female dancer.
Q: When did you decide on a career as a showgirl & what was the audition process like?
While ballet will always be my first love … after putting on my first pair of dancing heels in a musical theatre class I realised that was my niche … It was almost a surreal moment for me. As soon as I learned more about cabaret and the famous Moulin Rouge I realised that’s where I wanted to be.
I auditioned in July when the Moulin Rouge team came out to Australia to hold open auditions. It was a nerve-wracking experience, but I had auditioned 2 years previously, so I knew what to expect and what they were looking for. (The Moulin Rouge hold auditions in Australia every 2 years.). Because I knew what the standards were I worked really hard on my physical ability, flexibility and appearance. We went through 7 or 8 rounds and ultimately I was offered a job!
I was one of a few Australians who were offered a contract. I still can’t believe it! It’s like winning the Lotto because you never really think it’s going to happen. It’s my dream come true.
Q: Who have been your mentors?
My full time teachers have been the greatest support for me and have steered me in the right directions, even when I didn’t think it was the right direction. In particular, my Musical Theatre coach Katie Bettini, taught me how to bevel and introduced me to ex-Moulin Rouge dancers and opened my eyes to a whole other world as a showgirl! For the first time I met beautiful, tall, long legged dancers … I had always been that lone, random giant in the back left corner!
Q: Best advice you have been given?
I’m a positive person in general and my mum used to tell me ‘don’t let the world change your smile, let your smile change the world’ … so I always think about that when times are tough.
Q: What has been your biggest challenge?
I was in a serious car accident when I was 14 and had to get a spinal fusion on my lower back. That was a very difficult thing to go through as I had always been very active and suddenly I couldn’t move at all. I had to learn to walk again before I could even think about dancing again! It taught me a lot about determination and patience … working hard and never giving up.
Q: What do you do when you are not dancing or performing?
Swimming and pretending to be a mermaid! I used to swim a lot. Freestyle is my stroke and I’m a sprinter. I get in, swim fast, and I’m done.
Q: Tell us something surprising about yourself.
I do have a love for animals, and in my spare time I like to volunteer at the local RSPCA animal shelter and hang out with the animals and wildlife.
Q: If you had a super power what would it be?
I would love to be able to time travel! I’d go back into the 1950s or 20s – I think they were interesting periods and I like the glamour and fashion like in The Great Gatsby era.
Q: What is your must have item in your dance bag?
Definitely, a pair of heels!
Q: Who would be your ideal dance partner?
Patrick Swayze. My ultimate dream is to do ‘that lift’ with someone one day.
Q: What are your plans in the next few months before you leave for Paris?
I’m continuing my training, fitness and technique until I leave for Paris next April. Plus I’m trying to learn French! … which is proving to be quite difficult!
I swing between feeling fear and excitement about dancing in the Moulin Rouge. Because I’ve idolised it so much I don’t want to fail and disappointment myself or my teachers or the company. Then I think about all the amazing costumes and people I am going to meet and I can’t believe it is actually going to happen!
Q: What do you hope to be doing in 5 years?
I hope to be a soloist at the Moulin Rouge. I’ve been given an opportunity and I just have to go for it!
Q: Your advice for aspiring dancers?
Never give up. If it’s a love in your heart and soul then never give up. And don’t let fear get in your way. Keep taking classes, trying to find your niche and safe place to find out what kind of dancer you want to be – regardless of how small a town you come from.
BIO | GLENDENE ROUT
Glendene started dance training in her hometown of Dunedin, New Zealand. At the age of 18 she made the journey to Perth to start her fulltime training at the Western Australian Conservatoire of Classical Ballet. Glendene studied in Perth for two and a half years, and then made the decision to become a commercial dancer. Glendene started training fulltime at Lee Academy in Certificate IV and achieved her Diploma in Dance in 2015. As a passionate commercial dancer Glendene travelled to India and completed her first international contract performing in Bollywood movies, at weddings and other corporate events. Glendene is also a member of the children entertainment company “The Wiggles.” She has toured Western Australia, South Australia, the ACT and performed in many locations throughout Sydney. Glendene is about to start a very excited adventure as she has been accepted into the world’s greatest cabaret company the Moulin Rouge in Paris, France. This is Glendene’s absolute ultimate dream job.
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