“I’m going to tell you something that may be hard to swallow. It doesn’t get easier. It never gets easier. But here’s the best part. You get stronger. Throughout the journey of your career, you will be faced with an abundance of trials and let downs, and sometimes it can be really hard to pick yourself back up. What you must always remember is that you can never let what has happened to you ‘define’ you. You are what you choose to become. Be brave.”
These are the words of Cat Santos, the star of Energetiks’ new promotional video, and a featured member of the all-star The Dream Dance Company. With Marko Panzic and Stephen Tannos at the helm, The Dream Dance Company features some of Australia’s best contemporary dancers, so Santos is right at home.
Since starting dance at the age of 12 at All Starz Performing Arts Studio, Santos studied full-time at Brent Street and has gone on to work for Kelley Abbey, Matt Lee, and danced for artists including Nick Jonas, Ricky Martin, Flo Rida, Ricki-Lee Coulter and Timomatic.
Not only has Santos just completed The Dream Dance Company’s inaugural season and national tour, she is also the face of Energetiks’ new Dance for LifeTM campaign, which aligns with her own journey from student to successful professional dancer. From humble beginnings to the top of her game, Santos embodies the spirit of the campaign, inspiring young dancers to follow their dreams and dance for life.
Santos spoke with Dance Informa while resting at the conclusion of The Dream Dance Company tour.
When you started dance classes at age 12, did you ever expect to be dancing for the likes of Kelley Abbey, Matt Lee, Marko Panzic, Nick Jonas and Ricky Martin?
“To just simply dance was a gift to me at age 12. My mum was a single mum with two daughters, so for me to even be at a dance class was the greatest gift I could receive. I don’t think I even dared to dream of what else would come out of it, and in all honesty I don’t think I could quite comprehend at that age what it meant to truly aspire to make dance my career and what opportunities would come out of it. When I first started, it was purely because of how dancing made me feel. I never knew I would be so lucky to work with these incredible people.”
The Dream Dance Company really is the dream team of Australian dancers. What is it like to perform with this group of dancers?
“Indescribable. No string of words could possibly describe or capture what it’s like to be on stage with this group of insanely talented artists. And in all honesty, it’s not just performing with these guys that blows me away, it’s the training with them! Learning movement side by side and watching and being inspired by one another. Every day that I spent with them left me feeling creatively rejuvenated and wanting to better myself. I have never been surrounded by such driven dancers.”
You’ve just concluded The Dream Dance Company’s first tour. How were the shows received, and what were some highlights?
“I think it’s safe to say that the first tour was beyond an absolute success. What Marko and Stephen created with ‘Genesis’ is honestly something that Australia has never seen before. I have far too many highlights, but I think one moment I will absolutely never forget was at Australian Dance Festival, during our bows after performing and having over 1,000 people on their feet cheering and clapping; you could see our shadows reflected on the wall. I am no rock star, but if ever I had to imagine being one, I am pretty sure it would feel a little like that moment.”
What is an average day like for Cat Santos?
“Oh, that’s a tough one! It changes every day! But I think one thing that remains consistent is waking up and having a big cup of coffee with a big plate of breakfast, followed by either teaching or rehearsals! And then taking class last at night if there is one on! I also love reading, so there’s usually a solid hour of that if I get the chance!”
You star in a new promotional video for Australian dancewear icon Energetiks. Tell us about that experience.
“I had so much fun, and I got to work with some of the coolest people who just get what it’s like to live and breathe our world like we do. I think sometimes people don’t quite understand our world and sometimes it can be misunderstood! But the Energetiks team captured the heart and truth of what it’s like to love something so much that you literally eat, sleep and dream it. It was so good to work with people who just understood not just 25-year-old me but also 12-year-old me!”
What does it mean to you to have the support of a major brand like Energetiks, and what do you love about their products?
“It means the world to have Energetiks behind The Dream Dance Company. Our industry needs to support each other so that we can all grow, and Energetiks did just that! I love how open they are to wanting to learn and intertwine with all facets of our industry and their constant research of bettering their products! They aren’t just about their products, they are about empowering a dancer’s way of life!”
Win 1 of 2 $100 Energetiks online gift cards and dress like Cat in the latest Energetiks fashions in the new year! Just email email@example.com and tell us your favourite Energetiks product. Title your email “ENERGETIKS” and include your name, address and date of birth. Good luck!
What is next for you?
“I’m just about to head off to Hong Kong for a month for a job over there! And then it’s lots of workshops all around Australia throughout January!”
By Rebecca Martin of Dance Informa.
Photo (top): Cat Santos. Photo by Energetiks.