If you are one of Mitchell Wynter’s 43,300 followers on Instagram, then you already know that he is one of Australia’s most exciting up-and-coming contemporary dancers. You would also know that he choreographs and teaches and recently toured Australia with Maddie and Mackenzie Ziegler. Since commencing dance classes at the age of 12, Wynter trained at Dance Force, Ev & Bow and Queensland National Ballet School. He has since worked with many leading choreographers, including Sarah Boulter, Adam Blanch, Marko Panzic and Michael Dameski.
Dance Informa spoke to Wynter just prior to him embarking on the next exciting step in his career.
Your dance training commenced in Queensland and was heavily focused on ballet technique. Do you think this foundation has helped you with other dance styles such as contemporary and lyrical, and/or has it made things difficult when transitioning into other styles?
“I definitely think my ballet training has shaped me into the dancer I am today. It has really helped me maintain my alignment and balance in my other styles like contemporary and lyrical. I mean, without it, I definitely wouldn’t be dancing the same as I do now. For me, I was always told that ballet is your main foundation, and I really do believe that. I knew when I was younger my path was going to be on the technical side of dancing, so I stuck by ballet until I was ready to move on and do more contemporary.”
Having trained in classical ballet, why did you decide not to pursue a career in that domain?
“One of the main reasons I didn’t pursue a career in ballet was because I didn’t love it enough. My heart was with contemporary. Also, when it comes to dancing, I’m a perfectionist, and with ballet you have to be perfect, and I was far from that. I also work to be the best, and I knew I was never going to be a principal ballet dancer, so I definitely knew contemporary was my pathway. I was lucky enough to notice that before trying to pursue a career with ballet, but I’m very happy with my decisions, and I’m glad I got all my ballet technique while I was young.”
You teach, choreograph and perform professionally. If you could only do one of these, which would you choose, and why?
“This question is quite hard because I love all three. But for me I’ve trained almost seven years of my life to be on stage, and there’s no other feeling like performing in front of people. I love the hard work and all the hours of rehearsals you put in to those few minutes of being on stage. You can never compare anything to coming off stage knowing that you did your complete best and knowing that you nailed it. It’s hard, though, because I love seeing my students grow, and I honestly have a lot of passion toward choreographing. I eventually want to take on fulltime teaching and choreographing when my dance career is over and when I have more life experiences.”
You recently toured Australia with Maddie and Mackenzie Ziegler. Tell us how that came about and what the experience was like.
“Touring with the Ziegler girls was definitely a highlight of the year. We all had so much fun touring around Australia and New Zealand. Marko Panzic was the choreographer and the host of the show, and he was the one who selected me to dance and be part of the tour. I was very pleased to work alongside Maddie and Kenzie, as they both work so hard and they are the sweetest girls. I’d definitely tour with them again. My favourite part of the tour was definitely the friendships we all made out of it.”
What is an average day like for you?
“An average day for me is usually trying to be as proactive as I can. I’m currently taking classes every now and then or holding workshops. I’m in Sydney at the moment, so there is always something going on. I’m also spending a lot of time teaching at Dynamite Studios Australia. Every day for me is different, and I’m never consistent with anything I do, so it’s always a fresh new day.”
What’s next on the horizon for you?
“I currently have a contract with Cirque du Soleil at Sea, and I start early March. I get to travel all through Europe, Canada and a bit of America. Touring and travelling with Cirque du Soleil has always been one of my biggest dreams since I first started dancing, so I couldn’t ask for anything better for me at this time. I hope to continue training and getting better at all styles of dance.”
Follow Mitch Wynter on Instagram: @mitchwynter.
By Rebecca Martin of Dance Informa.