Melissa Eaton is from Sydney, Australia and has a great passion for Dance and Performing. Melissa started dancing at 3 years of age and has experience in a variety of styles including contemporary and commercial jazz. She has a BA majoring in Dance and BEd in Dance and Theatre and Performance Studies, graduating from the University of New South Wales in 2009 and is currently working as Secondary School Teacher in South London. In 2011 she successfully auditioned as a professional Dancer/Cheerleader for the NRL Bulldogs in Sydney, Australia. Over the 2.5 years with the Bulldogs various and regular dancing and performing opportunities arose. Performances included home games, pre-game and half time entertainment, sideline entertainment, finals events, club events, member events, charity events, live TV functions, shopping centre appearances, fetes, themed events, children’s clinics and the highlight being the 2012 Rugby League Grand-Final with an audience of over 82 000 people.
Melissa has also danced in a Video clip in 2010 for an Australia Idol contestant, the 2012 Mardi Gras Parade in Sydney, a Global Jim Beam TV Commercial in 2013, a short film titled “3 Rounds” filmed in London 2013, and ongoing dance training for a London based dance squad.
JLD – At what age you started dancing and which dance schools did you attend?
MELISSA – I started dancing at 3 years of age and attended local dance schools in Sydney. At 18 I started teaching and attended UNSW studying a BA Dance BEd Dance and Theatre and Performance Studies. In 2011 I successfully auditioned to be an official Cheerleader for the NRL Canterbury-Bankstown Bulldogs in which I absolutely loved and was sad to leave!
JLD – What is your current profession?
MELISSA – Through my degree I am a qualified Dance and Drama Secondary School Teacher, however, while living in London I am trying to explore as many performance opportunities and work as I can!
JLD- Tell us a bit about this, when did you move overseas?
MELISSA – I left Sydney in April 2013 and arrived in London after 5 weeks of travel through Asia, in May 2013. I moved over here with the intention to travel and see the world as well as explore as many performance and work opportunities as possible! I always knew at some stage in my life I wanted to live and work in another Country and it was just the right time in 2013 for me to make that leap!
JLD – What kind of work have you been involved over in the UK?
MELISSA – Since arriving in London is has taken a good 7-8 months to find my feet and really build a life here. I can honestly say that as of about 2 months ago I have finally started to live my dream and have created the type of life I wanted to live here. This is to involve travel, dance, getting paid to dance, teaching and “extra” work for TV and Film. I am someone who cannot settle on one thing and I am happiest when I have a lot going on!
I am now dancing for The London Cheerleaders, a new company (only launching in December 2013) which provides dancers/cheerleaders for corporate events, brands, exhibitions with a big focus on sports teams and events. I have been lucky to be a part of many performances for this group including a trip to France to perform as a Dancer/Cheerleader at a Rugby 7’s Tournament in Paris, a trip to Wales to perform as a Dancer/Cheerleader at the Cardiff 7’s Rugby Festival and the group is also the official “Steelbacks” Cheerleaders for a Cricket team in Northampton (North of London). As well as this, other performance and work opportunities have included performing at a “London Wasps” Rugby game, a Navy vs Army Charity rugby game and a Casino Superbowl Event. We also attended to a photo shoot for the UK Rugby 7’s Magazine as well as a performance and Interview for their YouTube Channel. I am very excited for more that is to come dancing with this group!
I have also been involved in a few other projects since arriving such as dancing in a short film (a contact I met through a lovely dance friend here), auditions for a reality TV show and attending many castings/auditions which have been a great experience. I have also done some choreography for a new up and coming experiential girl group which was lots of fun!
JLD- What is an average day for you?
MELISSA – My days and weeks here are completely and utterly “random” which is how I like it! Everyday includes the gym and Tuesday and Thursday I have rehearsals, however, every week is different! They usually involve some kind of teaching work, dance rehearsals, lately they have included a dance performance/s and if I’m lucky some kind of work on set for TV, film etc.
JLD – What is the best part of your job?
MELISSA – I absolutely love performing (especially on the field and at sporting events) and for me right now that’s the best part of my job! I also love being in London and Europe and all the opportunities that can come from this. I also absolutely love Cheerleading and dancing with poms and the crowd interaction that comes with this kind of work.
JLD – What is the most interesting, memorable, funniest thing that has happened abroad?
MELISSA – For me at the moment it has been the opportunity to travel to Paris for dance. Coming from Australia, the fact I could wake up and catch a train to Paris, dance, explore the city by night to see landmarks like the Eiffel Tower, dance some more the next day and then catch the train back to London… is a surreal and very memorable experience
I am so so excited for all that is to come this year! I am absolutely loving waking up each day not knowing what will and could happen that day or that week. I will hopefully have the opportunity to travel more for dancing and cheerleading while I am living here so look out for more exciting things to come 🙂
Wishing our fellow Aussie Melissa all the best with her journey as a performer in the amazing city of London.
Make sure to follow the Melissa and the London Cheerleaders on Social media:
Instagram @melle2 @lndcheerleaders
Love from JLD xx