He’s ‘Happy’ Now … but what’s next?
There is no denying Robbie Kmetoni is a big deal. Since he won the 2010 season of Australia’s So You Think You Can Dance he has been celebrated for his incredible talent and work ethic. He has gone on to travel the world with the electric Burn The Floor ballroom show as well as continue to teach and choreograph when possible. He also mentored and cameoed in The Movement‘s 2016 grad performance at DanceLife Unite’s Nationals at Luna Park.
He recently spoke to us to share plans for his next career moves and offer some sage advice to aspiring, young dancers.
Q: What did you get up to in 2016?
2016 was quite a big year for me. It was sort of the beginning of my first huge year of teaching and that lead me into X Factor with Squared Division and I also went overseas to America and was assistant choreographer with Burn The Floor which toured all over the world for 4 years. They’ve invited me back to be a part of the creative team now… which is sort of what I want to pursue further so they’ve given me the opportunity to assist them and choreograph a new show for Norwegian Cruise Lines which is pretty epic! That was the beginning of April last year so that was a really exciting time for me.
Then I took a couple of months off and went to Europe to gather my thoughts and figure out my next move. I also had the opportunity to be a part of Dami Im’s music video for ‘Fighting For Love’ and then got to choreograph her first live show on X Factor. I also had a big year travelling all over Australia for teaching, workshops, and choreography.
Q: What is the best advice you have ever been given?
That is a good question. I think it comes from when I was on So You Think You Can Dance back in 2010… So the best advice I’ve ever been given was to be persistent. Obviously, this industry and this career that we choose as performers, dancers or artists… you can say it gets really tricky… It’s 50/50 going to be either incredible or difficult, and obviously it’s what you make of it. You have to remain positively persistent because times will be difficult and, unlike other jobs, you’re got to be your own boss.
You create your brand and that’s how you create a bigger market for yourself. If you’re persistent in a really positive way I think good things will come to you rather than being impatient and trying to get things so quickly. Everything is hard work.. and that’s what it stems down to… being persistent and striving towards that. That’s what I learned on So You Think You Can Dance… you just have to be really persistent and patient and understanding to what you want in life, and everything will come to you after hard work.
Q: What do you like to get up to when you aren’t working?
I like this one! I’m actually a little bit of a party boy! I love socialising. I call myself a social butterfly! So I like hanging around friends… going to dinners with a group of friends and just talking about stuff other than dancing! I commit my whole life to dancing so it’s nice to get away from that for a little bit and just explore other parts of other people and what they have to offer. I also have a bit of a travel bug… I have itchy feet so I love to go overseas when I have time. For example, last year I went to Europe for a few months just to enjoy their summer, meet people and you see their culture.
I love to go to the gym… I go every day! It’s sort of my new passion. I wouldn’t say I eat right, because I’m Italian, but I do look after myself… Because in this industry your body is part of your career so I look after it like I need to. And, my family and friends means everything to me… just being involved in their everyday life for me is important.
Q: What would be the theme song for your life at this moment?
I went into the New Year extremely happy… like, really positive! I have to say I’ve never felt so energised and positive at the start of a New Year. So I would have to say my theme song is Pharrell Williams’ ‘Happy’. I mean, that is so clichéd and cheesy but I’m hoping 2017 is going to be an extremely good year for me. Hopefully Pharrell has my back!
Q: What is one thing that people would be surprised to know about you?
I think it’s quite obvious I wear my heart on my sleeve. I’m a very open book. When it comes to my profession… when you think I would be confident, but I’m so shy. I lack confidence in my own genre of what I do… my own job… that I really need to work on. That’s something I need to work on and I think people get surprised that I lack a lot of confidence in what I do best really.
Q: Can you share some of the things we can expect to see from you during 2017? [Note: This interview was conducted several months ago.]
I’m actually currently rehearsing for the Chinese New Year Festival. So this is the first year that The City of Sydney have organised an actual proper dance company to perform throughout the Chinese New Year Festival, which begins on the 27th of January. Then I go straight into Opera Australia’s Carmen with Kelly Abbey, which is a huge production that will be performed on the harbour near the Opera House. Carmen will run until the 24th April. I’m really looking forward to that as it will be a great cast, with great dancers and obviously an amazing opera cast as well… so that’s exciting.
Straight after Carmen I go back to the US for the third instalment of doing a floorshow [Burn The Floor] I’m assisting on. After that, I’m planning to move to London in October. I’m taking that risk because I feel like if I don’t take it now, I’ll regret it, so really my heart’s telling me to go for it. It should be good… I mean I’m doing a lot of workshops, still teaching quite a bit, but really my main focus for this year is to pursue my choreography… that’s where my mind and heart is leading to this year.
Q: Any final advice for our younger readers?
Just make sure that they realise this business is based on networking. My advice is to start networking and meeting people. Of course social media is a big thing… but it’s being kind to one another and really showing support to your friends that’s important, because at the end of the day, when you’re older, and hopefully wanting to make a career, those people who you support through your learning days will be there for you.
That’s what will make a really great career for you… the positivity that you’ve given to everyone when you were younger. That’s my little piece of advice.
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