One of Australia’s most successful commercial dance exports, Alex Carson, has forged an incredible career overseas performing for the likes of Janet Jackson and Gwen Stefani. We had the privilege of sitting down with her to not only talk about growing up in Canberra and her amazing career (stay tuned for our full interview) but also about a workshop Alex is leading in her hometown of Canberra, 11:Eleven.
Designed to help people wanting to enter the professional dance industry, this workshop will cover a range of subjects all of which are crucial to getting a start in the industry. ‘As a dancer, you are expected to be so much more than just a dancer,’ explains Alex. ‘We have to be able to do our hair, do our makeup, style ourselves; we have to have a good attitude, be happy, and healthy. It’s just so much and people don’t even realise.’
‘And that’s just to dance. If you teach you need to be able to promote yourself, create posters, flyers, prep a class, network. It can be hard, but if you know the sorts of skills that you need to succeed you can prepare and be successful.’ And this workshop will certainly be teaching young dancers those very skills.
Along with a few guest mentors, Alex will be covering the following:
Personal Styling with Alicia Xyrakis (Owner and Buyer of Rebel Muse and Peachy Keen)
‘Yes you can have your own style and be amazing at that, but what if a client wants a certain look? You have got to be able to create heaps of different looks from what you have. Guaranteed there will be auditions that you don’t find out about until midnight the night before and you will have to quickly build a look that fits the brief.’
Make Up with Makeup Artist Amelia Singson
‘We are going to cover how to do a basic face. Half the auditions you go in to, you just line up and they go yes, no, yes, no without even looking at your resume or even seeing you dance. It is really important to be able to present yourself well and be able to adapt to fit a brief.’
Fitness with Suzi Piani and Nutrition with Wesley Suradnya
‘We are going to cover nutrition and fitness in a healthy, holistic way. There is so much bullshit out there and false expectations of what you should look like as a dancer and how you should get there. We want to explore different options for fitness by looking at ways to keep fit and healthy without it taking over your life.’
Headshots by Photographer Michael Jajdoravic
Every participant will come away with a professional headshot from this talented photographer.
The workshop will start with goal setting something that Alex herself did the year before she booked Janet. ‘We were talking about what we wanted to achieve. I never thought that I would actually be able to tour with an artist but I wrote down that my goal was to tour with an artist by the end of 2015. A year later, just before I moved to America to tour with Janet, I found that piece of paper and my mind was blown. I had actually achieved it. Just putting it [your goal] out there can be a powerful thing. Subconsciously you are putting something into focus.’
As well as learning how to put together a killer resume, feel confident within yourself and, of course, dance (the styles covered will be hip hop, heels and commercial jazz), the three-day workshop will finish with a mock audition. ‘The thing that I found very difficult going over to LA was how many auditions there were. Every step in this workshop is about providing the support people need for those situations for them to hopefully be successful.’
‘The experiences I can share they will hopefully be able to relate to and be able to take something away that they can apply to their own journey. Failure is not the be all and end all, if you are resilient, if you keep pushing through, those moments can be just as important as the good stuff. It’s not always going to be a win and you can’t let it get you down, you have to get back up and that is what is going to make you stronger and help you grow.
20th – 22nd January
Dance Central, Canberra
Model: Alex Carson
Hair and Makeup: Lilah Gow
Photography: Doug Hall
Styling and Wardrobe: Emma Batchelor, Lilah Gow and Alex Carson
Assistant: Emma Batchelor