A Dancers Life

Why you shouldn't act your age!

Things we LOVE, Body Health + Fitness, HealthEnergetiksComment

For the young-at-heart adults out there, we have good news about keeping your inner child alive and kicking (and making the outside match!).

Here is the only excuse you ever need to act like a big kid again, because the verdict is in, acting young keeps you young! ...no need to tell us twice.

The research: In 1981, Harvard psychology professor Ellen Langer set up a short but classic experiment: For five days, a group of men in their seventies left their homes and temporarily lived in a house set up to look like 1959, with dated magazines, dated music, and Ed Sullivan on a black and white TV. When the men walked (or shuffled) through the door, they were told to put on Mad Men-era clothing and act as if they were 22 years younger.

The surprise: After they left, they took a battery of tests and seemed to actually be a little physically younger. Acting like their middle-aged selves had left them with better flexibility, dexterity, and even slightly better eyesight. It was a small study, and never published. But it pointed Langer in the direction of decades of further research that supported the simple idea that if you act younger, your body will be a little younger too.

The research inspired a simple new video. As part of an ad campaign, Kiehl's, the skincare brand, asked a group of people to say how old they felt—and then dance as if they were that age, as a reminder that age on a calendar isn't much of a reflection of health.

The campaign "is about embracing our 'second age'—the age we feel," says Chris Salgardo, president of Kiehl's USA. "When we were building this, we said things like 'we hope that it will inspire the 15-year-old budding entrepreneur to start a company, the 40-year-old to get out and dance at that club, inspire a 60-year-old to practice for that triathlon.' But the bigger, loftier hope is that it inspires everyone who watches it to simply feel good in their own skin."

They saw dance as the best way to express age. "The Internet is pretty good support of this—if you look up 'old lady dancing' you find endless numbers of hysterical old women dancing to hip hop," says Evan Slater, partner and creative director for Night Agency, which produced the ad. "It's one of those forms of expression that no matter how old you get, you can also express yourself if you're in the mood. It's a universal thing, regardless of age or culture or language. Dance is sort of an easy equalizer."

Though casting included a couple of professional dancers, most of the people in the film are ordinary people reacting to being asked to express their age through dance.

"A lot of times you try to find yourself using the edit room to tell a story that isn't there," says Slater. "In this case, I was amazed at how the theory wasn't just a theory—we didn't have to concoct a story. It's true. You find people and ask them how old they feel, and give them a very simple vehicle to express it, and they can. It's a genuine thing."

Source: Adele Peters, for Co.Exist

Don Quixote in real life..?!

FunEnergetiksComment

...throwing it back to this little gem because - frankly - if this doesn't help you through those pesky middle-of-the-week blues then we don't know what will.

It's just our long-time idol and all round ballet whizz kid Daniil Simkin innocently going about his day in NYC... as Basilio, from Don Quixote. And since Simkin is currently killing it in the States with his self-initiated art project, Intensio, debuting at Jacob's Pillow Dance Festival, we thought it was time to revisit what happens when you let Simkin do his thing... Hilarity ensues.

Enjoy!

Directed & shot by Alexander Ekman
Shot and Edited by T.M. Rives

 

Want more? Keep up to date with Simkin's adventures and marvellous photography (we know, he's such a talent hog right...) right here.

Thank us later.

New Black-Swan inspired mini-series to air this year!

NewsEnergetiksComment

For those of you still suffering from Dance Academy withdrawals (...who isn't?), we have good news!

A new ballet-focused mini series is currently in the works; described as a "dark and gritty drama that unflinchingly explores the dysfunction and glamour of the ballet world" - Starz' new drama series Flesh and Bone features dancer Sarah Hay (previously in Aronofsky's film Black Swan) who plays the role of a young ballet dancer making her way in a prestigious New York ballet company.

The cast boasts an impressive selection of professional and former professional dancers (the producers have stated they aimed to use as many real dancers as possible as opposed to actors with body doubles... hurrah!) including former American Ballet Theatre principal dancer Irina Dvorovenko, current American Ballet Theatre soloist Sascha Radetsky, and Ballet Arizona company dancer Raychel Diane Weiner. The series also sought out Ethan Stiefel, artistic director of the Royal New Zealand Ballet, who served as consultant and choreographer. He created 13 minutes of original ballet in addition to the other elaborate dancing involved in the series.

Certainly something to loo forward to for anyone who's a fan of dance dramas on the small screen! The mini-series is set to air on November 8th in the US, hopefully closely followed by an Australian release date!

Sarah Hay (left), Ethan Stiefel (centre) and Irina Dvorovenko (right).

Introducing...

Energetiks Dancer of the Month!Energetiks1 Comment
-1.jpg

Name: Daniel
Age: 24
How did you get into dancing, and how old were you? I got into dance through a local youth arts group, I was about 16 at the time.
What do you like about Energetiks? the STYLE!
Do you have a favourite style of dance? I love contemporary dance, the long flowing movements and the ease of storytelling
Where do you see yourself in 5 years? If I had it my way, I would be dancing every day, and acting in my spare time.
What do you like to do when you're not dancing? I act, I am currently learning lines for one play while writing a script for another play.
All-time favourite dance movie: Billy Elliot!
Best dance memory/moment: The very first time I danced in front of an audience (I have been on stage many times before but never for dance) the feeling was amazing, like nothing in the world mattered. The audience faded away, time slowed and the lights reflected off of the stage and my fellow dancers and we just moved... it was beautiful.
Food you can't live without: That's an easy one CHOCOLATE.
The person you'd most like to meet: I would have loved to have met Michael Jackson... he was an amazing artist.
Favourite saying or advice that inspires you: "If it is to be, it is up to me."

daniel.jpg

 

 

Congratulations Daniel, you've won an Energetiks Mystery Prize! Please email promotions@energetiks.com.au to receive your prize.

 

Would you like to be featured as our Energetiks Dancer of the Month?

 

Energetiks Dancer of the Month Questionaire

Name:
Age:
How did you get into dancing, and how old were you?
What do you like about Energetiks?
Do you have a favourite style of dance (if so what)?
Where do you see yourself in 5 years?
What do you like to do when you're not dancing?
All-time favourite dance movie:
Best dance memory/moment:
Food you can't live without:
The person you'd most like to meet (living or dead):
Favourite saying or advice that inspires you:
Include a photo of yourself (dance related please)
 

Email your answers to promotions@energetiks.com.au for a chance to be featured!

Quality not quantity - Getting the most out of your dance training.

Dance Advice, The Dancer's DiaryEnergetiksComment

Full-time dancer and Energetiks model Layla shares her advice on seeing improvements sooner rather than later!


I am sure many readers will hear the phrase 'practise makes perfect', which in most cases can be the key to nailing a dance piece. But are you using your time wisely? Time not spent working to the best of your abilities can be time wasted or even worse time spent working yourself into an injury. My name is Layla Burgess and in this blog post I will be talking about how to safely manage your work time using quality rather than quantity. I have been dancing since I was 3 and I am currently in my second year of full time ballet on the gold coast. I am Classically trained but love all styles. I have definitely spent many hours tucked away in the studio. Days where I feel like I haven't even seen the sun, and days where I come home feeling like not a muscle in my body could support myself much longer. I have also suffered from a dislocated knee, which taught me to listen to my body. My body at that stage was tired and overworked, when I didn’t heed the warning signs it hit harder than expected. Coming back from my injury taught me with that within a short amount of time I could overwork my injury and that I really had to do the most important things in that time. Thinking before dancing can be a key step from moving up from just a dancer, to a great dancer.


Each dancer’s goal is to improve as quickly as possible but this doesn't necessarily mean racking up hours in the studio. Alternative ways to improve your dancing with a change of scenery can keep you on your toes and motivate to you work harder. For example if you lack a strong stamina and your new dance piece has you puffing half way through, try going for a brisk walk, light jog, or run through your local park or on the beach. Swimming is also great for building up stamina without putting weight on tired muscles. Use the outside fresh air and nature to clear your mind and give you strength to work on your stamina. The change of scenery can distract you from the dance and give you time to think about other things while actually still improving your dancing. If you're working on a ballet exam and your new adage and you're lacking the strength to hold positions then don't overwork yourself by holding them hundreds and hundreds of times. GO back to basics, think about the muscles you are using, or the muscles you should be using. Go back to the barre, hold on and try the positions slowly, look in the mirror and see for yourself if there is anything wrong that can be fixed. If you have found a key muscle that you think is too weak to hold the position, then work on that one muscle, do some pilates or other strength training on that specific muscle. There is no use practicing something if you're practising it wrong. Move slowly through the steps in your work and analyze each moment in your head before trying it. One hour of very focused work can mean so much more than 2 hours of time in the studio spent talking or not really trying as hard as you can.
 

My uncle once told me if you practised something for one hour a day you would become an expert in a year. You may not think this would apply to dancing as it is such a diverse sport/art, though in some ways certain elements do. The effectiveness of the time and effort we put in to our classes can improve our technique at different speeds. We think that committing to hours and hours of blood, sweat and tears will drastically improve our dancing. But the truth is it may not. Sometimes smaller portions of dance but with 110% effort and full focus can mean seeing the results you want quicker and safer.

Hope you enjoyed my first article and that this helps you see some improvements in your dancing!
 

Love Layla Xx
 

Follow Layla on Instagram: instagram.com/laylaburgess


Hot Cross Buns via The Healthy Chef

Delicious!EnergetiksComment
Photo courtesy of The Healthy Chef

Photo courtesy of The Healthy Chef

Now is the perfect time for making these delicious hot cross buns made from wholemeal spelt, oats, muscatel, honey, cinnamon and vanilla. This is not the light fluff style of hot cross bun you may be used to in the supermarkets made from white flour and refined sugar. My version is full of fibre and the oats give it a wonderful chewy density that marries perfectly with the cinnamon and vanilla.  I’ve used large muscatel raisins in this recipe, but they are also delicious with sun-dried figs, apple and walnuts or a combination of dried cherries and 85 % organic dark chocolate to give it that Easter touch.

For those who are gluten free or paleo, you will just love my gluten free version below the spelt, made from almonds and scented with orange, vanilla, cinnamon and honey with a light sprinkle of sun-dried cranberry and organic dark chocolate.

What’s good about them:
Whole-meal spelt is often tolerated with people who have digestive issues as it has a slightly lower gluten content and higher amino acid profile then traditional wheat based flours.  The beta-glucan fiber found in oats can help regulate your appetite and lower blood cholesterol. Macadamia nut and olive oils are anti-inflamatory and kind to the arteries. Cinnamon improves insulin’s efficiency, which lower and help to regulate blood sugar levels.

220g whole meal spelt or whole-wheat flour
50 g rolled oats
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1 teaspoon dried yeast
125 ml (1/2 cup milk) your choice of dairy, almond, rice, oat, soy
1 tablespoon honey
1 teaspoon vanilla bean extract or 1/2 of paste
60 ml (1/4 cup) macadamia nut oil or olive oil
1 free range / organic egg, lightly beaten
80 g muscatels or raisins
50 g currants

Mix the wholemeal flour, oats, cinnamon, yeast and a pinch of salt in a mixing bowl.
Warm the milk, vanilla and honey just a little until just slightly warm, then pour into the mixing bowl along with the egg and  oil.
Mix the dough for about 6 minutes until it is smooth and elastic. Add the dried fruits and mix through.
Cover the bowl with a clean cloth or glad wrap and leave the dough to double in size in a warm place for about 1 hour.
Knock back the dough and tip in onto your  working bench.
Kneed a little then shape into 10 rolls.
Cover lightly and allow to rise for another 30 minutes or until double in size.
Preheat your oven to 160 C.
Bake for 20 minutes until golden.
Cool then if you like pipe a cross made from either white or dark chocolate on top.
Enjoy.

Makes 10 hot cross buns
Nutritional info per bun:
Protein: 4.8 g
Carbs: 28 g
total fat: 7.6 g
Saturated: 1.2 g
Fibre: 3.5 g
Calories: 200
Kilojoules: 838

NOTES:
These buns are delicious lightly toasted with a light spread of macadamia nut butter
Add sun-dried cherries and dark chocolate in place of  raisins and currants.
Add sun-dried figs, apple and walnuts in place of raisins and currants.
Sprinkle with a few oat flakes before baking for a rustic effect or brush with egg wash before baking for a lovely glace finish.

 

GLUTEN FREE / PALEO HOT CROSS BUNS

300 g (3 cups) ground almonds
pinch sea salt
1/2 teaspoon bicarb soda (baking soda)
1/4 cup macadamia nut oil or light flavoured olive oil
2 good tablespoons honey
zest from 1 orange
1/2 teaspoon vanilla bean paste
2 free range / organic eggs
pinch cinnamon
80 g dried cranberries or cherries
50 g organic dark chocolate 85% + extra for crosses if you like.

Preheat oven to 160 C.
Combine all the ingredients and mix well, this includes the dried cherries and dark chocolate.
Scoop or spoon out 14 small portions onto a baking tray – I like to use a small ice cream scoop.
Bake for 20 – 30 minutes or until golden.
Remove and cool.
Drizzle dark chocolate crosses on top if you like.
Enjoy.
Makes 14

Nutrition per bun:
Protein: 5.7 g
Carbs: 10 g
Total fat: 17.7 g
Saturated: 2.2 g
Fibre: 2.3 g
Calories: 218
kilojoules: 912

NOTES:
These last for 5 days in an airtight container.
Makes a delicious power snack.


Recipe credit to Teresa Cutter - The Healthy Chef www.thehealthychef.com

Rising stars: Energetiks Talks with Jacob Speakman and Joshua Arkey

Energetiks talks with:EnergetiksComment
Dancer Jacob Speakman                                                                                Image: Jordan Matter Photography, Dancers After Dark

Dancer Jacob Speakman                                                                                Image: Jordan Matter Photography, Dancers After Dark

www.dancersafterdark.com

If you're a fan of photographer Jordan Matter's breathtaking 'Dancers Among Us' series, and follow-up 'Dancers After Dark', then you've most likely admired a photo or two featuring talented American dancer Jacob Speakman, or his equally gifted best friend, Australian dancer Joshua Arkey.

Both boys are accomplished performers with a string of major roles in Musical Theatre and classical performances, as well as minor television appearances already under their belt. Jacob and Joshua took time out of their busy schedules to chat with us about dance, future goals and Dancers Among Us, read on!

Dawn Gilmore Photography

Dawn Gilmore Photography

Jacob Speakman

Jacob Speakman is currently a sophomore at the Pennsylvania Leadership Charter School and Center for Performing and Fine Arts. He received his jazz and contemporary dance training from Gina Veith at Dance Fusion Performance Center and his classical training under the direction of Denis Gronostayskiy and Anastasia Babayeva at The Academy of International Ballet and their professional dance company International Ballet Classique.  Most recently, he attended the Bolshoi Ballet Academy Summer Intensive in NYC on partial scholarship. Jacob also enjoys performing in musical theater with Center Stage Productions, including performances in Annie, Fame and Sweeney Todd: The Demon Barber of Fleet Street.

Joshua Arkey

Joshua was born in Sydney, Australia, and just recently finished his High School Certificate (HSC) and moved to Perth after being accepted into WAAPA, The Western Australian Academy Of Performing Arts, to complete a Bachelor of Arts (Dance). Joshua has danced for 15 years and has toured overseas, including America, performing at Downtown Disney, Universal Studios and on The Enchantment Of The Seas, and appearing in Jordan Matter's Dancers Among Us Project whilst in the States. He has also toured Singapore and Australia performing in various shows and appeared as an extra in the Channel 7 Television series Home and Away and Australia, The Story of Us

Energetiks:  Hi Jacob, Hi Joshua! So first off, what got you both started with dance, is anyone else in your family a dancer?

Jake: I have only been dancing for about 3 years.  Prior to dancing I was a gymnast.  I just started training to compete and both of my shoulders started to dislocate from the rings and high bar.  The orthopedic surgeon said that if I didn’t stop gymnastics now, by the time I was 16, I would need both of my shoulders fused.  So my gymnastics career was short lived.  A few years later I decided to try something new and I auditioned for the local middle school play.  The choreographer, Gina Veith owner of Dance Fusion Performance Center and an international dancer, saw something in me that I didn’t know was there.  She invited me to come to one of her dance classes and I have been dancing ever since.  As far as family members, my Grandfather had a cousin who was one of the Rockettes at Radio City Music Hall in the 1940’s.  My mom always says all my talent came from her side of the family.

Josh: I started dancing when I was 3 years old under the direction of Edward Rooke. My uncle started dance classes and I thought it would be awesome if I could do it also, so I joined up. No one else in my family are dancers but my parents were both athletes when they were younger.

Jacob shortly after starting dance as a teenager.

Jacob shortly after starting dance as a teenager.

Josh as an enthusiastic young dancer.

Josh as an enthusiastic young dancer.

Where did you grow up?

Jake: I grew up in Upper Chichester, which is a suburb of Philadelphia, Pennsylvania in the USA.

Josh: I grew up in Sydney Australia and have recently moved to Western Australia to study at WAAPA.


At what point did you realise that you wanted to pursue dance as a career?

Jake: I knew I wanted to dance from the time I took my very first dance class. 

Josh: As soon as I started dance classes at the age of three I knew that this is exactly what I wanted to do.

What has been the biggest challenge for you to overcome so far in pursuing dance, and what keeps you motivated?

Jake: My biggest challenge so far in dancing I would have to say would be the financial aspect of it.  Everyone who dances knows that dance lessons and training are not cheap.  Last summer my Instructors at The Academy of International Ballet, Anastasia Babayeva and Denis Gronostayskiy, who were trained at The Bolshoi Ballet in Russia encouraged me to audition for The Bolshoi Ballet Summer Intensive in New York City.  I decided to go just so I could get audition experience.  Since I have only been dancing for 2 years at that point I really didn’t think I would get in and I knew there was no way I could afford it.  However, to my surprise not only did I get in but I also received a 60% scholarship.  If there were not scholarship offers out there, there is no way I would have been able to attend such a prestigious program.  What keeps me motivated is just knowing that if there was something out there that I want to do, if I wanted it bad enough, things will fall into place one way or another.

Josh: One of the biggest challenges for me would be the financial side of dancing. As a lot of dancers know dance classes and tuition is immensely expensive. I was lucky enough to be given numerous Scholarships to help me pursue my career in dance. I’m thankful for being given numerous scholarships from Edward Rooke, National Institute Of Performing Arts and Loredo Malcolm. I’m a big fan of quotes (if you follow me on instagram you would know haha!) I find quotes really helpful to keep me motivated and to stay sane! Haha! 

Josh for Dancers Among Us.                                                                                                                 Image: Jordan Matter Photography

Josh for Dancers Among Us.                                                                                                                 Image: Jordan Matter Photography

www.dancersamongus.com

Josh, you had the amazing opportunity of playing the role of 'Benji' in the original cast of Priscilla, Queen Of The Desert The Musical, what was the audition process like and how did you find the whole experience?

Josh: This is quite a funny story actually. The day of the audition I actually was invited to a birthday party and being an 8 year old guy, the party was obviously the more important alternative. Lucky enough my dad made me go to the audition instead of the birthday party. I turned up to the audition nervous as ever because all I could really think of was my friend’s birthday party. The first part of my audition was a song of our own choice that was accompanied by a pianist. I sang the song Karma Chameleon by Culture Club. The next part was the acting, I sat down with the producer and had to say lines from the script such as “Look Tick, that’s the pool, that’s my room, mums room and that’s where you and your boyfriend are going to live.”  Pointing at the Lego house that sat in front of me. We then had to improvise some dance moves which came quite naturally to me. After the audition had concluded, there was still enough time to go to my friends birthday party, there’s always enough time to fit everything in!  2 weeks later I came home from school and walked in through the front door to see a big sign that read “ GET READY TO HOP ON THE PRISCILLA BUS!” My parents threw me a surprise party and I literally ran up and down the street for 10 minutes because I was so overwhelmed. Rehearsals started a few weeks later and then onto the big stage I went. Walking out onto the stage every night to thousands of people to later hearing the sound of applause is seriously the best feeling ever! The whole cast was so friendly and loving towards the 4 Benji’s and to share a stage with them is something I will cherish forever.

Josh and his fellow Priscilla cast-mates.

Josh and his fellow Priscilla cast-mates.

Do you still keep in touch with any of your cast mates?

Josh: YES! Social media is such a wonderful thing. I’m able to stay in contact with a lot of the cast mates from Priscilla and even sometimes go out with them if they are in Perth in another show. It’s so great to know that even 10 years later, I am able to keep the relationship that I shared with a lot of the cast of Priscilla.

Jake, you’ve also been in several musical theater productions, which has been the most enjoyable production for you so far?

Jake: My most enjoyable theater production would have to be the role of Rooster in Annie.  It was a difficult role for me to play because I am not used to playing the villain.  However, the choreography was amazing and my dance skills allowed me to shine on the stage.  I will always remember the thunderous applause as we finished dancing and singing to Easy Street.

Jake in the role of Rooster.  Image: C&M Photography

Jake in the role of Rooster.  Image: C&M Photography

Musical theatre is quite a different discipline to ballet, do you find one more challenging than the other, and do you find one more rewarding than the other?

Jake: I actually believe ballet and musical theater are both challenging and both equally rewarding! They are all aspects of performing and I love them both! Ballet is very beautiful, and it is stunning to have a story told only through movement. Musical Theater is amazing because it brings the aspect of expressing yourself through words and through song and dance! I love performing on the stage in any way that I can.  It makes me happy!

Do either of you have any pre-performance rituals or superstitions, and if so what?

Jake: I do have a pre-performance ritual! Before every show I do a muscle relaxing exercise were I lie on the ground and tense every muscle; then relax my whole body. I repeat this 10 times. After doing this I feel relaxed and ready to perform to my best ability! 

Josh: I really love stretching. Whenever I get extremely nervous, I start to stretch. I’ll just throw a leg or even have a quick split.  Just remember that its okay to be nervous, it’s a way the body can prepare itself to perform to the best of its ability.

What are your plans for the future, where do you hope to see yourself in a couple of years time?

Jake: For the next couple of years I would really like to start auditioning for bigger theater companies and dance companies.  I want to start to build my resume and begin an amazing career as a performer.

Josh: In a couple of years time I hope to graduate from the Western Australian Academy Of Performing Arts (WAPPA) and hopefully move over to America (NEW YORK) to audition for musicals or maybe even a dance company.

What do you like to do when you’re not dancing?

Jake: When I am not dancing I am doing many things, as cliché as it sounds I actually spend most of my time stretching. If I’m not stretching then I am spending my time watching YouTube videos for beauty and cosmetology. In late 2015 I hope to save the money to buy a camera and begin a YouTube channel of my own!

Josh: I love exercise. I really love running, swimming, gymnastics and athletics. I’m quite fortunate to have been able to represent the state at Cross Country, High Jump, 800M and Swimming over the past few years. I really just love anything that

Josh, you have spent a fair amount of time overseas, what is your favourite place you’ve travelled to, and which holds the greatest dance memories for you?

Josh: My favorite place I’ve travelled to would definitely be New York City. Some of my greatest dance memories would be performing on “The Enchantment Of The Seas” and at Down Town Disney in Orlando, Florida. 

What style of dance are you most at home doing? What style do you find the most difficult?

Jake: The style I feel at home doing would be Broadway style jazz! I think it is fun to do and it makes me so happy to do it! I feel alive when performing it! A style of dance I find a difficult would be Hip-hop. I don’t know what it is but its almost funny to watch me do Hip-hop, I guess I don’t have swag! Haha!

Josh: I’m by far a ballet head. I really love ballet and Contemporary dance. I definitely find hip hop a challenge because I don’t like using my upper torso… haha!

On a journey: Josh captured for Dancers Among Us waiting for a bus at Port Authority.         Image: Jordan Matter Photography

On a journey: Josh captured for Dancers Among Us waiting for a bus at Port Authority.         Image: Jordan Matter Photography

And Jake, you haven’t been dancing all that long, what do you think was the most difficult part of mastering dance at a much later age than most performers, was it more the flexibility/turnout side of things, learning the technique, or something else?

Jake: In the time that I have started dancing I know there were challenges, but I believe that anything can be overcome with hard work, practice, and loving the challenge.  The only thing that I could even think of as being difficult would be maintaining the mindset and accepting that no one is perfect. No one has perfect hips or legs. Dancing is about expressing how you feel and telling stories. This past year I was diagnosed with depression, I went through a dark time where I began to hate dance and I never thought I would be good enough! Now with the support and love from Friends, Family, and Joshua, I know that I love what I do and I am beyond happy with where I have come as a dancer. 

You’ve both been featured as dancers in photographer Jordan Matter’s stunning ‘Dancers Among Us’ series, how did you get involved with this project?

Jake: This is actually a funny story!

Josh: So on my first trip to America I had seen some of Jordan’s work so I sent him an email asking if he would ever come to Australia (not knowing that I would return to America later that year) I ended up messaging him, letting him know I was coming to America and he said that he would love to shoot with me and that was that!

Jake: …and I’m a part of 'Dancers Among Us' only because of Joshua. He was given the opportunity to work with Jordan, and due to Joshua living with me in the U.S. at the time I came along with him. Being there Jordan asked if I was a dancer too and I respond with a big “Yes!” Jordan then asked if I wanted to take some pictures too and with even more enthusiasm I said “Yes” again. Later that week Jordan and I met and took the photo in the snow.  

Jacob's first shoot with photographer Jordan Matter for Dancers Among Us.                                Image: Jordan Matter Photography

Jacob's first shoot with photographer Jordan Matter for Dancers Among Us.                                Image: Jordan Matter Photography

We also know that you guys are really good friends, how did you meet?

Jake: Joshua and I actually met though Instagram. I know, its sounds crazy but Joshua has become my best friend and he has helped me through many hard moments I have faced in life. This past winter he traveled to the U.S. and spent Christmas and New Years here with me! I am so grateful to know him and I am beyond happy to have him in my life!

Josh: It’s quite hilarious actually because I had never met Jake until I flew across to the other side of the world to go and stay with him! I really believe that sometimes you need to take a step out of your comfort zone and do something that you never thought you were capable of doing. For me, this was the first time I had ever travelled by myself somewhere and it was the longest flight of my entire life!! But hey, it was all worth it in the end, it was one of the best experiences of my life and I can’t wait to be reunited with Jake on my return to America.

 Was shooting with Jordan fun?

Jake: Shooting with Jordan was a stunning experience! His spontaneity makes for lots of laughs and he can create such amazing photos by using the dancers abilities, his creative eye, and both of your love for the work! I am proud to be a part of such an amazing project!

It must be hard keeping in touch with the time difference and the distance between you guys, any plans for another trip to America Josh, or a trip to Australia Jake?

Jake: The time difference and distance is a little hard but we do what we can to make it work for us by chatting when we can! It has been difficult because sometimes we didn’t get to chat for a few days…

Josh: …But it’s got a lot easier now that I’m in Perth. We are exactly 12 hours different from each other and I try my best to face time Jake almost everyday. I mean it gets hard when your best friend lives on the other side of the world... but anything is possible as long as your committed! YES! I’m planning to go back to America at the end of this year again, I may even go and look at other parts of the world like Europe and Asia.

Jake: And I would really love to go to Australia to spend some time with him. I would love to go and meet his family and spend time where Josh grew up! I am trying to save what I can to get there or even help Josh come back to America!  

Do your families come to see you dance very often?

Jake: My family has been beyond supportive to my dancing and me. They almost never miss a performance!

Josh: Well, I don’t live with my parents any more since I’ve recently moved to Perth to study at WAAPA so its quite difficult to see my parents as they live on the East Coast.

Who inspires you?

Jake: Someone that truly inspires me everyday is honestly Joshua! He has been through many things in his life and no matter how tough or hard things get; he can always find something positive! He is the one person in any situation I know will find a light!

Josh: I’m inspired by life. I believe everyone has something to offer in this world and everyday someone and something new inspires me to be better then I already am.

Joshua with fellow dancer Jenna Turner in Times Square earlier this year for this gorgeous photoshoot. Image copyright of Photography by Leandra

Joshua with fellow dancer Jenna Turner in Times Square earlier this year for this gorgeous photoshoot. Image copyright of Photography by Leandra

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What career would you pick if you didn’t dance?

Jake: If I did not dance I would be a makeup artist or an esthetician! I have grown fond of make up techniques and skin care over the year and I think it would be good for me to have an actual education in them.

Josh: If I wasn’t a dancer, I would most likely be a gymnast since I love acrobatics!

Are there any other activities you like doing (apart from dance) to keep fit?

Jake: I do not do many other activates other then dance but I do keep a stretching and conditioning routine that I try to follow before classes and days I am not at dance!

Josh: And I really love to run as I said earlier. It really gets my blood rushing and it makes me feel alive.

Young dancers (especially boys) can often cop some slack from their friends and peers, who don’t understand the passion and dedication that dance can inspire. Did either of you experience this when you were younger, and if so how did you deal with it?

Jake: Personally I have never had the problem, starting at an older age I was able to cut myself away from that sort of negativity. I think everyone gets a little bit though. I’ve gotten a few rude comments from people and it’s hard to hear it sometimes but I have an amazing group of friends that really care for me and they help me get though the negativity! I just have to say that I hate hearing of young dancers (especially boys) that end up quitting because of negative people! But I want to tell them all personally to just keep going! If you love it, do it! It doesn’t matter what other people say or think; it is your life! Never give up because someone else says you can’t, or you’re not good enough, or for boys if they say it’s for girls! If you are happy then keep doing it!

Josh: I believe that everyone goes through this at some time in their life and you know what... yes its going to be hard. I was lucky because I went to a Performing arts high school so it wasn’t as bad but to those who may experience it… Remember that you aren’t alone. Don’t let someone who gave up on his or her dreams talk you out of yours.

What was your New Year’s resolution this year?

Jake: This year (2015) my New Year’s resolution is just to grow as not only a dancer but as a human! I want to experience new things and new style! This world is amazing and I want to see it all! I want 2015 to be the start of it!

Josh: I don’t believe in new-year resolutions because I believe that everyday I need to aspire to better then the person I was yesterday. So therefore the new year is just another day that I can be better.

Do you have any special talents or party tricks?

Jake: A special talent I have I would say is my “C” jump, or as my family refers to is as my “O” jump.  It is something that you can see I mastered pretty quickly by the looks of my very first dance photo.  Having the training in gymnastics also helped with my flexibility.

Josh: I can do a back handspring.. Does that count?

Jacob captured mid-'C' jump outside of Jordan Matter's favourite coffee shop in New York.      Image: Jordan Matter Photography

Jacob captured mid-'C' jump outside of Jordan Matter's favourite coffee shop in New York.      Image: Jordan Matter Photography

Definitely!  If you could meet anyone, living or dead who would you choose?

Jake: If I could meet anyone I think I would love to meet Bob Fosse! I would love to learn all about his unique style of movement! He has impacted the Broadway world in such immense ways it would just be amazing to meet him and talk to him about what he has accomplished! 

Josh: I would choose to meet Hugh Jackman.. One day I aspire to be exactly like him.

What always makes you laugh?

Jake: Something or I should say someone that always makes me laugh is Joshua! He always knows how to make me laugh and make me happy! He is a funny guy and it’s really nice to have him in my life!

Josh: My friends make me laugh more then I could ever imagine.

Do you have any pets?

Jake: I have two dogs, Specs and Raven. Raven is a 10 year old black pug and Specs is my 2 year old Chiweenie!

Josh: Nope, no pets.

Song you keep listening to at the moment:

Jake: I have actually been listening to the 2006 cast recording of “A Chorus Line!” It is a beautiful show and I hope to be a part of it one day!

Josh: I really love the song “Corner Of The Sky” from “Pippin”.

Favourite dance movie:

Jake: My favorite dance movie is “Singin’ in the Rain!” When I first started taking interest in dance and theater this was one of the first things I saw and I just fell in love with Gene Kelly and Debbie Reynolds!

Josh: I don’t really have a favorite dance movie because I love everything dance!

What’s your favorite part of class?

Jake: My favorite part of class is actually stretching and warming up! I don’t entirely know why but it is just nice to take time to yourself and relax!

Josh: I really love jumping and adage.

The best advice you’ve ever been given:

Jake: The best advice I have ever been given was “Never give up!” There have been many people that have told me this and it is something that I always keep in the back of my head!

Josh: The best advice I have ever been given is to BE YOU!  

Joshua whips out a perfect battement for this fantastic post-festive shot at the beginning of the year! Image: Jordan Matter Photography

Joshua whips out a perfect battement for this fantastic post-festive shot at the beginning of the year! Image: Jordan Matter Photography

Finally, do you have any advice for other aspiring dancers?

Jake: One thing what I want tell any aspiring dancer is truly NEVER GIVE UP!! No matter how hard a class was or if anyone ever tells you that you are not good enough, NEVER GIVE UP! Every single person is stunning in their own way and what you have no one else has. Without you the dance world loses an amazing talent that can’t be replaced! So, anyone who reads this; if you can only take one thing from anything I have said, I want it to be that! Never Give Up!

Josh: The only advice I have for everyone out there is to believe in yourself and do what makes you happy. Anything is possible because no dream is too small and no dream is too big! Live the life you’ve imagined! xxx

Thanks for chatting to us guys :) we’re wishing you all the success and accomplishments you deserve, and we can’t wait to see what you both get up to in the future!

Energetiks

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(Pssst! He's just photographed our Model Ashi Ross too, go have a look!).

For more incredible dance photography be sure to check out Jordan's Facebook as well as the website for his latest project, Dancers After Dark, which captures dancers at their most daring, in photographs that resonate with both power and vulnerability. Beautiful!

DANCERS AFTER DARK





The Australian Ballet farewells Principal Dancer Madeleine Eastoe

NewsEnergetiksComment

The Ballet World will be losing one of it's shining stars this year when The Australian Ballet's Principal artist Madeleine Eastoe retires. The 36 year old beauty will take her final bow after once more performing the role of Giselle, her christening role as a newly promoted principal in 2006. After 18 years of dancing with the Australian Ballet Madeleine will be focusing on spending more time with her family (husband and choreographer Tim Harbour and six year old daughter Ella); “I want to be around more for them. They have been extremely adaptable with my job.”

We wish you all the very best with your new path Madeleine, your presence on stage will be greatly missed!  

Introducing...

Energetiks Dancer of the Month!EnergetiksComment
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Name: Saskia

Age: 14

How did you get into dancing, and how old were you?
When I was 9 I invited my friend over to my house and she taught me the first few steps of her tap dance and I was hooked. I enrolled in the same classes as her.

What do you like about Energetiks Dancewear?
I like the vibrant colours. I think they really stand out against the usual black of most dancewear.

Do you have a favourite style of dance (if so what)?
I thinks its a tie between Jazz and Lyrical. I like the upbeat-ness of Jazz and the sass! And I like the emotion and the gracefulll-ness of Lyrical.

Where do you see yourself in 5 years?
I see myself doing music videos, photos shoots and teaching dance.

What do you like to do when you're not dancing?
I like to read and go shopping with my friends.

All-time favourite dance movie:
Footloose FOR SURE!!!!

Best dance memory/moment:
Coming off stage from my first duo in an eisteddfod and feeling like a different dancer.

Food you can't live without:
SULTANAS!

The person you'd most like to meet (living or dead):
Ashi Ross or JK Rowling.

Favourite saying or advice that inspires you:
I was feeling really self concious at one point and my friends asked me this. 'Do you care about what other people are wearing/doing?' And i said no. And she said 'Then they don't care about what you're wearing/doing.'

Saskia.jpg
 

Congratulations Saskia, you've won an Energetiks Mystery Prize! Please email promotions@energetiks.com.au to receive your prize.

Would you like to be featured as our Energetiks Dancer of the Month?

 

Energetiks Dancer of the Month Questionaire 

Name:
Age:
How did you get into dancing, and how old were you?
What do you like about
 Energetiks?
Do you have a favourite style of dance (if so what)?
Where do you see yourself in 5 years?
What do you like to do when you're not dancing?
All-time favourite dance movie:
Best dance memory/moment:
Food you can't live without:
The person you'd most like to meet
 (living or dead):
Favourite saying or advice that inspires you:
Include a photo of yourself (dance related please)

 

Email your answers to promotions@energetiks.com.au for a chance to be featured!