She has worked in all aspects of the industry – as a dancer, a teacher, a choreographer. Her credits include TV and live theatre, and she has danced with top musical artists. And she’s been recognized for her work, having won the Broadway World Australia award for Violet, and placing in the Top 3 on So You Think You Can Dance Australia Season 2. She’s Amy Campbell, and she’s about to make her debut at the Victorian Dance Festival (VDF) this June, when dancers will have the privilege of studying musical theatre with her, a legend. Here, Dance Informa finds out a bit more about her illustrious career and what she has planned for VDF.
What do you love most about teaching dance?
“I have been a passionate teacher of dance for as long as I remember. It has always been an important part of my career development, as both a tool of creativity, inspiration and giving back. I love when you connect with students and you feel the whole class on this natural high from expressing and sharing what you all love! I love challenging them with new steps or ways to think about dance. Trust me, I learn as much from students as they do from me!”
Why are you looking forward to teaching at VDF?
“I am so grateful to be having my first experience at VDF. I am looking forward to connecting with new dancers and teachers and be a part of something I’ve heard so many wonderful things about. I cannot wait to meet the next generation of dancers. I am so eager to share and learn and help shape the very bright future of dance in this country.”
What classes will you be teaching? What do you hope to share with students, and what do you hope they take from your classes?
“I am teaching musical theatre. You can expect to be challenged, enlightened, have a laugh and be brave at the stories we can tell with our bodies. I hope to share my obsession with story-telling in theatre. I hope the students leave feeling sweaty, confident and happy. I hope they take away at least one new thought or step they didn’t know at the start of class. Rest assured, I will work as hard as you do; we’re all in it together!”
You’ve had such a successful career in many aspects of the industry. What is one of the biggest highlights of your career?
“I have had so many wonderful opportunities and experiences throughout the last 18 years! Highlights would definitely be SYTYCD, Fame, dance captaining for Kylie Minogue, performing solo in Carmen and the first time I saw my choreography on TV. Recently, though, In the Heights was a very special show to choreograph.”
What do you think has taken you to where you are today?
“I think my ability to adapt and learn and evolve. I am so passionate about dance in every facet, and I love the versatility you can have in your career, from company dancer to lead role to choreographer. I also like to think I’m a hard worker and nice person, too!”
What’s the most rewarding part about being in the dance world as a dancer, choreographer and teacher? And what’s the hardest part?
“The hardest part can be trying to do all those things at once! The most rewarding thing is seeing how dance moves people, how people can be affected by it. The hardest part can be perseverance in the face of defeat. You absolutely have to love it. It has tested me more times than it has rewarded me, but I’ve learnt to ride the good and bad and enjoy what crosses my path.”
What advice do you have for aspiring dancers?
“Dream bigger. There is an amazing world out there for you to explore. Work hard in every class you ever do, and it can take you anywhere you want. Also, know you are enough. Whatever way dance appears in your life, it will look different to everyone, so make your own path.”
When not in the studio, what do you enjoy doing?
“I love the ocean. You can find me there most days. Swimming, reading and enjoying a delicious coffee!”
By Laura Di Orio of Dance Informa.