jeffrey trinidadLast December, I had the pleasure of being a guest on the Royal Caribbean Cruise Ship Rhapsody of The Seas.  The 10 day cruise was very relaxing and just what my family and I needed after a hectic 2011.
During the day, we relaxed, swam, and visited some of the many islands surrounding New Caledonia and Vanuatu. In the evenings, we were treated to world class meals and spectacular shows.  The entertainment comprised of a themed variety event every night, with music courtesy of the Rhapsody of The Seas Orchestra, and dazzling performances from scores of dancers and singers.  It was during the first evening show that I discovered an especially remarkable young dancer by the name of Jeffrey Trinidad. As I watched Jeffrey glide through the air so effortlessly and with such magnetism, I thought it would be nice for aspiring and professional DanceLife readers to learn more about the life of this dancer at sea.
Name: Jeffrey Trinidad
Age: 21
How long have you been dancing?  Eleven years! I started when I was ten years old in a small suburban school in Melbourne.
What inspired you to start dancing? I listened to a lot of Michael Jackson. My parents’ love of the star influenced me and soon enough I wanted to be like him, to dance like him. Eventually my mum encouraged me to join a dance school. At first I refused, but after watching the first class I decided that I wanted to join and ever since then I’ve not been able to stop.
You have supportive dance parents? Yes I do.  However, coming from a traditional Asian family they wanted me to do something more with my life than dance. They didn’t mind me dancing but they wanted me to have a “normal” job.  It took some convincing, but they came around and now they are happy seeing me do what I love (and getting paid for it).
Where did you train during your formative years? Isolation Performing Arts Studio in Tullamarine. I also trained full time at this school for one year. The principal of that school then encouraged me to move on to professional level.
When did you start participating in dance auditions? I started auditioning for random dance shows and events half way through my full-time training. It wasn’t until my first year out of full-time training that I started getting work. I auditioned for Royal Caribbean Cruises three times and it wasn’t until the third time that I got the contract. I am currently on my third contract with Royal Caribbean.
After your first audition, when you found out you didn’t get in, how did you feel and how did you deal with that? At first it was hard to accept that I wasn’t getting the gig. Having to go through the whole competition life, and being the token dance boy where I trained, I was spoon fed a lot. So the reality of a dancer’s life was a shock at first. It breaks your ego and you have to finally come to terms with the fact that you are not the best dancer and that you still have a lot to learn.  So, ever since that first audition, I’ve been of the belief that “I am not the best dancer and there will always be someone better than me, but I am going to give my absolute best!’
What do you advise young dancers with regard to auditions? Don’t give up! If you really want something, put it out there and show the casting panel your best! Don’t ever just mark out the steps. Make sure you give 100% and keep going. You will get there.
What is it like having a job on a cruise ship? It’s great. Your get paid to travel and with Royal Caribbean you are contracted for dance entertainment only, meaning I don’t have to do any other cruise staff duties. This enables me to concentrate on my job and give my best.  I’m living the dream.
How often during your busy schedule of work and travel are you able to visit your family? Sometimes we can have a few months off so I can visit family and friends during those times.
Do you have an agent? Yes, I am with Jason Coleman’s Ministry of Dance.
Growing up as a male dancer, what was High School like for you? High School was tough. It was hard being the male dancer that got picked on and called names. However, these experiences made me more comfortable within myself. Bullying is always a reflection of the bullies’ insecurities.  I am probably a much happier person now than they are.
What other dance goals do you have? I would love to be in the musical Cats! I really want to be Mr Mistoffelees!
Thank you to Jeffrey for sharing his world of dance with us. We wish him all the best and hope to see him as Mr Mistoffelees very soon!
@ Kate Histon PTY LTD