The Dance Podcast

The Dance Podcast

Canada

Inspired by big dreams, big let downs and authentic conversations with some of North America's most successful dancers; the Dance Podcast is a series of interviews designed to inspire, share and connect dancers pursuing a career in the industry.

Episodes

#048 Dancer & Chiropractor, Scott Maybank, shares the keys to physical success and longevity.  

The best kind of reunion - old duet partners!! Scott Maybank had a late start in his training, but that didn't let him shy away from pursuing the top Ballet schools across Canada. Over his ten year career Scott worked for Ballet British Columbia, West Australian Ballet and the Queensland Ballet, eventually retiring in his hometown of Edmonton after dancing with Alberta Ballet. With the help of the Dancer Transition Resource Centre, Scott is now a Chiropractor committed to helping Dancers feel healthy & work efficiently. From the worst thing you can do to your body, to best physical & mental practices- Scott shares his how to create a successful career with a lot of laughter! 

#047 Jeff Mortensen covers it all Disney's The Descendants to Cirque to SYTYCD!  

Jeff Mortensen is a multi-talented dancer, gymnast, assistant choreographer, and performer. Jeff shares his unique journey through So You Think You Can Dance, to Cirque Du Soleil, to performing and assisting on renowned productions like Disney's The Descendants and Rocky Horror Picture Show. Jeff gives quick and applicable advice on what you can use as inspiration in your career and solid tips when on set!

#046 Casting agent Melissa Panton shares advice & best practices when pursuing & working with agencies!  

Headshots, Resumes, Reels, Agent introductions- we cover it all with Melissa Panton! Although a performer at heart, Melissa was always interested in the business side of entertainment. While building credits as a choreographer in Toronto, she began studying Arts Administration at Humber College, and gathering experience in production, casting, and stage management. Melissa is now the principal agent in Vancouver, BC and gives LOADS of advice about getting and working with an agent!

#045 Ballet Boy, Chris Scruggs, on perfection, finding yourself outside of the studio and why you don't want to be #58 at a Ballet Audition!  

Chris Scruggs is an Alberta Ballet Company member, who shares his love music, movement and people both in and outside the dance community! He started his training with the Maryland Youth Ballet, later attending summer programs with Washington Ballet, Boston Ballet, and Pacific Northwest Ballet. Chris finished his training at Indiana University, graduating with a dual degree in Ballet Performance and Political Science. Chris opens up about his career obstacles, how to properly audition for a Ballet Company , and what he regrets most in his training. 

#044 Award-winning filmmaker, Tomer Heymann, introduces us to his latest Dance documentary MR. GAGA.  

What is is like to follow an internationally acclaimed choreographer for 8 years? Filmmaker Tomer Heymann shares his latest documentary capturing Ohad Naharin, one of the world's most influential choreographers who created his own "movement language", Gaga. When he was 22, Ohad was invited to perform with the prestigious Martha Graham dance company and attended Juilliard and the School of American Ballet simultaneously. But Ohad was not happy until he could do exactly what he wanted. Moving back to Israel, Naharin became the Artistic Director of the Batsheva Dance Company, developing Gaga within his own ensemble. Listen now as Tomer shares his insights, perspective, and love for both Ohad and the dance community! 

#043 From Selena Gomez, to Kylie Minogue, to Ricky Martin and Britney Spears, Liana Blackburn is a force in the commercial dance scene!  

She has worked for Talyor Swift, Nick Jonas, Katy Perry, Lady Gaga, Ricky Martin, Kylie Minogue, CeeLo, Michael Buble, Glee, Dancing with the Stars, The Voice, Fresh Beat Band, X Factor, Cirque Du Soleil and many more. Liana Blackburn has been seen dancing in films such as Behind the Candelabra, Footloose and Seventeen Again and performed with Ms.Britney Spears in her resident show “Piece of Me” at Planet Hollywood in Vegas. Liana shares her incredible story from audition surprises to asking for what you truly want. After a scary incident while touring, Liana had to get real about the food she was eating (you mean french fries isn't a food group?!) and start to use food as a source of healing. Liana has now founded The Daily Dancer Diet, an online journal of inspiration and education!

 

#042 Lukas McFarlane, or #onesock, opens up about winning a reality show, starting a new company and the UK commercial world.  

Originally from Canada, Lukas McFarlane chose to jump the pond and make a commercial dance career for himself in London! His life took a drastic turn when he won the reality show Got To Dance and became famously known as #onesock. So, he had money, fame, titles and opportunities - that should mean happiness and success, right? He opens up about his journey after the show, shares where his career is now blooming with how his company, Untitled, shapes his choices, dreams, and artistry. 

#041 Menina Fortunato is a full-out Dance Entrepreneur and creates events, training and experiences for others to do the same!  

Menina knows, "Talent is such a small percentage of a dancers success". Ms. Fortunato is a Portuguese and French Canadian, who has been killing it in California since 2001 with an Entrepreneurial spirit and taking every obstacle into an opportunity. She can be seen in several commercials for Pepsi with Britney Spears, and Lux Shampoo with Keira Knightly. She has extensive work behind the camera as well in production, choreography and casting on various projects including AMERICA's GOT TALENT, THE X FACTOR.  She is also the CEO of MENINA ENTERTAINMENT that produces music videos, instructional videos, and The Hollywood Summer Tour with the intention to educate, prepare and inspire serious dancers wishing to pursue a career in the commercial dance industry.

#040 Kristina shares how an early diagnosis shaped her dance career and the power of dance in the Public Education system.  

Kristina Eustace was a competitive dancer with dreams of taking her training into a professional career, but a medical diagnosis quickly changed her options. Now, Kristina runs a public education Dance Program and has changed the lives of hundreds of dancers and "non-dancers". We talk about how physical health can change your journey, how politics are a part of dance and schools, and how we can advocate for Dance and grow its value within communities. 

#039 Michelle Dawley talks career visas, job expectations, and how gratitude builds your career.  

You may recognize her name from SYTYCD Next Generation as she choreographed Tate McCrae's audition solo, but that is just one of the credits on Michelle Dawley's list of achievements. Michelle has danced in Sonya Tayeh's company, worked on Glee, tours with Empire of the Sun and has danced with Selena Gomez,  Pitbull, Kesha, Janelle Monae and more! Michelle talks about her visa process, making a long distance relationship work, and how gratitude can build the best career you could dream of!

#038 Pilates trainer, Sharmila Mitra shares her insights from working with some of Americas most recognizable dancers and instructors in Southern California.  
Sharmila Mitra has spent decades working with dancers in both Dance and Pilates studios. Her first Pilates certification was under the instruction of the late Romana Kryzanowska, a protégé of Joseph Pilates, through the New York Pilates Guild.

In 2014, she completed a certification for dance medicine from the Westside Dance Physical Therapy in New York, where she studied with physical therapists who oversee the health of the New York City Ballet and other prominent professional dance companies. She earned a master’s degree in spiritual psychology from the University of Santa Monica, emphasizing in consciousness, health and healing; and dual bachelor degrees in dance and communications from California State University, Fullerton. We talk about how to train like an elite dancer, what cross function training can do to build healthier bodies and what we can do to build an even stronger community of dancers and artists!!!

#037 Currently on tour with Cirque du Soleil, Kevin Mylrea has danced and trained with today's biggest names.  

First introduced to Canada on SYTYCD Season 1, Kevin has danced with today's biggest names like Meghan Trainor, Paul McCartney, and Rasta Thomas. Kevin shares how his dance journey has taken him from Cruise Ships, to Broadway, to World Tours with Cirque Du Soleil. 

#036 The Power of Stories with Lauren  

Whether it is in your training or personal life - the stories we tell about ourselves can launch you forward, or pull you back. So, what's your story? Lauren talks about her own experience with stories and sparks some self-reflection moments to get you closer to your truest, boldest, most awesome self. 

#035 Tyce Diorio is an Emmy award-winning choreographer and director best known for his work on So You Think You Can Dance.  

EMMY Award Winner Tyce Diorio has been a powerful force in the entertainment industry since he was a teenager. Originally from Brooklyn, Diorio moved to Los Angeles to dance with legends like Paula Abdul, Janet Jackson, Ricky Martin, Jennifer Lopez, Mya, *NSYNC, Kelly Osbourne, Céline Dion and Toni Braxton. In addition to performing on numerous TV shows and films, Diorio also starred in the Tony Award winning Broadway hits Fosse and Chicago. We talk all about finding you VOICE as a dancer, how to have longevity and how to become a master of rejection!

#034 Gia Martello, best known for the hit TV show, Dance Moms - talks choreography, confidence, and dishes on the work behind-the-scenes.  

Gia Martello is one of the most recognizable Dance Assistance out there. She stars on the hit show Dance Moms as Abby Lee's right-hand girl. Gia shares how her training with Abby differs from what Maddie, Nia and Kahlani are exposed to. Gia opens up about why she chose to go to Point Park University and not attend the dance porgram as well as what she wishes more people knew about the show and her career.

#033 A prima ballerina for 17 years with American Ballet Theatre, Ashley Tuttle shares her legendary career from Baryshnikov, to ABT, to Twyla Tharp and Broadway!  

Ashley Tuttle was invited by Mikhail Baryshnikov to join American Ballet Theatre (A.B.T) at the age of 16. She was a prima ballerina with ABT for 17 years all while joining the acclaimed Twlya Tharp Dance Company in 2000. Ashely received both TONY Award and a Fred Astaire Dance Award nominations for her role with the hit Broadway show "Movin' Out". But what happens when a dancer's roles and contracts end? Ashley talks about transitions, school and humble moments in her journey as a dancer. 

#032 Tony Award winning Cady Huffman and her  iconic experiences in dance, on Broadway and on screen.  

What happens when you get a ballet dancer who sings opera? A Bob Fosse dancin, Tony Award winning wonder. Cady Huffman has over 30 years experience in "the biz" and shares her iconic stories. From working with Fosse to  agents to sabotage stories, Cady shares it all!!

#031 We Can-Can this week with Cara Lee and her Moulin Rouge adventures.  

From Cruise ships to the Can-Can, Cara Lee has created a career that includes hip hop commercial work, show girl spectacles, and tv series. This episode includes everything from changing your name for the industry, to how to prepare for auditions, to what it's like to learn an entirely new style of dance in a brand new country!

#030 Calen Kurka is a NYC Choreographer and Company creator who teaches mindfulness within a Dancer's training and career path.  

Raised in Prince Rupert, British Columbia, Canada, Calen Kurka started his training in Jazz, Tap, Ballet, Musical Theatre, and Modern. He moved to NY with big dreams, but few plans or job prospects! Calen shares how his career, and life, have evolved in ways he couldn't have anticipated. He is the founder and Artistic Director of :pushing progress a company, and inspires Dancers at every stage of their career to take a mindful approach to bring their most authentic self into their work and life. 

#029 Moe Brody is the co-owner of Vancouver's top rated dance studio, and mentors young artists and professionals on how to build community, a positive reputation and have a great time along the way!  

Moe Brody is at the Hub of Vancouver's dance scene. She has a successful commercial dance career, co-owns Harbour Dance Centre and directs one of the best training programs in the city. Lauren and Moe talk about what your first big move away from home can look like, what it's like getting back into dancing, after taking time away from it, and how you can build a community and reputation that support a fulfilling career.

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