Thirteen-year-old Canadian dancer Tate McRae has been taking the stage by storm, recently starring in So You Think You Can Dance Next Generation in the U.S., where she was second runner-up and top female in the competition. She is no stranger to the spotlight, having won titles such as Mini Best Dancer at the Dance Awards NYC in 2013 and Junior Best Dancer at the Dance Awards in both 2015 and 2016, as well as the Silver medal at the Youth America Grand Prix final in 2015. McRae can also be seen in the “Rule The World” video for the band Walk Off the Earth, and her voice can be heard as Spot in the Lalaloopsy series on Nickelodeon.
Now, McRae is ready to visit Australia for next month’s Victorian Dance Festival at the Melbourne Town Hall, where she will assist fellow SYTYCD star Kathryn McCormick with four classes, meet and have photos with dancers, and perform at the VDF Gala Showcase. Here, McRae speaks to Dance Informa about her visit.
Have you ever been to Australia? What are you looking forward to?
“No, I have never been to Australia, and I am so excited! I am of course looking forward to dancing and meeting dancers from Australia, and I will hopefully have time to go sightseeing. I would love to see some koala bears!”
Why are you excited to come to Victorian Dance Festival?
“It will be so cool to see what dance is like in Australia. I cannot wait to meet people and of course see Kathryn again!”
How have dance conventions/festivals shaped your life?
“Dance conventions have been a huge part of my life! I have met so many dance friends from all over Canada and the U.S. that I keep in touch with, and I have had the opportunity to learn from so many amazing teachers and choreographers. They have helped shape me into the dancer I am today.”
Are you looking forward to meeting Australian dancers?
“Yes, I am so excited to meet some Australian dancers! I know some from social media but cannot wait to meet some in person.”
How excited are you to be coming out with your SYTYCD mentor, Kathryn McCormick?
“I cannot wait to see Kathryn! I miss her so much!”
How will Kathryn inspire the dancers in her classes?
“Kathryn is one of the most amazing and inspirational people I know. She is so sincere and will help every dancer believe in themselves and live in the moment. She is one of a kind!”
What’s your favourite thing about dance?
“I love to express myself through movement. It is the one place I can be fully vulnerable and let my heart go.”
You have so many achievements at such a young age. What’s your secret to success?
“Be yourself, and keep working every day. A dancer has never made it; you always have to keep working and growing. Stay humble and hungry, and of course be a kind person.”
What is your career goal? Where would you like dance to take you?
“I like to keep my options open. I train in most styles, so I hopefully will have choices when I am older. You never know where life will take you!”
Birthday: “July 1, 2003. Same day as Canada Day!”
Favourite food: “Brussel Sprouts or dark chocolate.”
Most amazing performance: “I think dancing on SYTYCD was pretty amazing! I had many numbers that would be on the top of my list- the Salsa piece with Jonathon, Used to Mine (Travis Wall) with Kathryn, Stacey Tookey’s This Gift with Kathryn, and my Paso Doble with Kida.”
When start dancing and why: “I started when I was six years old recreationally but got more serious at the age of eight. My mom used to dance and is a dance teacher, so of course she put me in dance!”
Favourite style of dance: “Contemporary!”
Top item on your bucket list: “I would one day love to be in a Hollywood movie!”
Don’t miss out on VDF 2017! Limited places are still available. Head to www.VictorianDanceFestival.com.
By Deborah Searle of Dance Informa.