Alex Saunders | Professional Dancer
JLD – Age you started dancing?
ALEX – I started dancing at the age of 3. I danced at K and V Dance.Corp for most my dance life and then graduated full-time at Brent Street Studios. I studied dance for my HSC also at Kirrawee High School.
JLD – What is your current profession?
ALEX – I am a professional dancer and dance teacher alongside my job with the Cronulla Sharks Mermaids.
JLD – When did you move overseas?
ALEX – I moved overseas for the first time in 2012. I was offered my first contract at Royal Caribbean Productions cruise line. I was there for 8 months performing in two musical theatre production shows and rehearsing in Miami. I was offered another 9 month contract straight after and this time I was not just a dancer but also an acrobat and aerialist. I learnt 4 production shows on this ship and one was a circus show another was a ballroom show! So I learnt so many different things! This ship was based out of Europe two which was beautiful!!!
My 2 ship contracts with Royal Caribbean Productions and a contract with Opera Australia on their very first show built on the Sydney Harbour “La Traviata” which lasted around 4 months.
JLD – What was an average day for you on contract? Eg. breakfast, gym, rehearsals food, travelling to work, make up, show prep?
ALEX – On ships we had two months of very strict rehearsals starting at 8 30am Monday to Saturday to learn all the shows. Once you get on the ship you basically work of a night doing two seating’s of each show! So the days were spent either in port exploring and then getting back on to get to the gym! Going to the gym everyday is part of our contract and it is clocked into our hours. For the Opera we rehearsed full days for around 2 months also learning about the routines and learning about the stage and story line of the show together. Then we needed to put it all on the stage before we opened! Once the show was opened we were called an hour before each show of a night to do our own warm up and prepare our bodies to dance. I always made sure I had a big breakfast on show days for all my contracts and made sure I didn’t go too hard at the gym on a show day also so I had all my energy to perform to my max that night!!
JLD – How many dancers in the Show?
ALEX – There was 12 dancers in the show but a cast of 20 all up including singers on my last ship. So there is 6 girls and 6 boys! We were all paired on height and also how we danced together.
JLD – What was the best part of your job?
ALEX – The best part was getting to perform to a huge theatre of people every second night in amazing productions! Better than you would expect on a ship! Getting standing ovations from the crowd was always so rewarding at the end of a long and tiring show that you put your whole heart and soul into!
JLD – What some memorable and funny things that happened abroad?
ALEX – The very first time I went grocery shopping on my own in Miami I realized I had no car to transfer the groceries and no phone service on my AUSTRALIAN phone!! So of course the streets were really quiet that day and a taxi didn’t come past for about two hours!! I watched my diet coke and water bottles fall from my bags and roll along the road!! I learnt my lesson!! I also found it so funny meeting Americans who didn’t really know much about Australia.. I had one man ask me how I knew how to speak English!!
JLD – what do you have planned for the near future?
ALEX – Right now I am very busy working with my dance agent off to any casting or audition I can! I am currently shooting a new movie that is coming out as well as dance teaching and cheerleading!! Loving life!!