When you turn up for a dance contract, there is always the fear that you may not get along with everyone, or that not everyone will want to get along with you. So you put your best foot forward, both in and out of the rehearsal studio. You want to make friends but you don’t want to be fake either. So you hope that you can be yourself and that the friendships will evolve naturally. This is not always the case.
For me, the contract I’m currently on has exceeded all expectations. Not only are we all friends, we are one powerful band of sisters and a force to be reckoned with. We’re also a really friggin good time.
When I first met Gemzy we were both dazed and lacking sleep but also completely excited to be at the airport at 6am. We both caught a flight together from London (having never met) and became friends almost instantly. Her giving nature and warm smile made me feel at ease. Minutes later we were exchanging bumble/tinder stories and giggling like a couple of teenagers. Hours later we were in Mannheim, Germany and I was consoling her on the unfortunate misplacement of her laptop back at London Stansted Airport. I’m pretty sure it was our constant chit-chat that distracted her, so I felt really bad! (It was found and returned to her - don’t worry!) Anyway, we bonded pretty hard in those first 24 hours. We may have accidentally watched the season finale of Big Little Lies (on my laptop of course) thinking it was the first episode. Epic fail. Talk to anyone who has seen it. We stuffed up big time. Anyway, I knew straight away she was a keeper.
Tarzy I already knew from our last contract together. She is a Melbourne girl and one of the kindest, most beautiful people I know. She also makes me wee a little when I laugh at her. The legendary Tarz. Her signature dance move (for da club) is iconic. As is she.
Neeks was the last one to meet and boy she did not disappoint. A Brisbane girl (saaaaame) who believes strongly in roadies and inappropriate leg tilts (which she can do perfectly both sober and drunk). The most easy going girl on the planet with a heart of gold.
Rehearsals kicked off and so did we. Little did we know that this awesome foursome was soon about to expand and bloom into something extraordinary.
Off we went to Düsseldorf to rehearse in the Apollo Theatre and move into our lovely apartments. There we met all the other artists, one being a young, vibrant, female foot juggler/aerialist from New Zealand. Emma clicked with us instantly. After studying in China for 3 years and subsequently working in Europe with mostly non-English speaking artists, she was over the moon to meet us.
Katja is our female singer who I had met previously a couple of times. A joyful, big-hearted German with the voice of an angel. Her laugh is contagious and her cuddles are my favourite.
Then came an unexpected addition to the Apollo clan. The one and only Emily. She stumbled into our lives and constantly through our front door. She already knew Gemzy, Neeks and Tarz (from previous dance contracts). She is also a dancer from the UK (same as Gemzy) who created her own aerial act and is now based in Düsseldorf. She isn’t part of our show but she is part of our lives. When she came knocking, she needed us and we needed her. We took her under our wing and now I have my Emily for life. The strongest person I know.
All I know for sure is, we are all better when we’re together. We encourage each other, support each other and are constantly building each other up without even realising. This isn’t one of those contracts where we all go to our rooms and Netflix and chill on our own. There is no time for that - too much socialising to do thank you! We are always out and about, going for coffee, going for drinks after the show, cooking breakfast together (banana pancakes FTW), sitting in the sun together and talking about what matters.
Personally, I have discovered a lot about myself and what makes me happy in the last 3 months because these girls brought it out in me. I’ve started painting again (first time in 10 years), I’m reading and writing more, I’m moving to London and I’m not scared because these girls believe I can succeed at the things I really want. (Ok, I’m a little scared but I wouldn’t be human otherwise.)
Then there are the other women we see every day at the theatre. These women are so talented, smart and insanely strong you can’t help but be inspired. Lilly, Ambre, Sasha, Lucia and Maria (and also little Lisa) are superwomen. Their dedication to their craft is undeniable and so incredibly impressive. Maria has also been teaching us Pilates twice a week while she works towards her qualification. She has made us all stronger in both our body and mind. I just love working and living in this empowering, female environment every single day.
This is who I want to be. To quote Maria: I know who I am, I know what I want and I know how to get it. I’ve got the support of an army of women to back me up, even if they can’t be with me all the time anymore. We’ve got this experience to remember forever, and we now have friendships that will last a lifetime. Two days left until we bid farewell and head off on the next adventure.
Girls, who run this mother?