How did you fall in love with dance?
So I used to have to bring my sister to her lessons every week in school with my mam and I was so excited to start school purely because then I could go to ballet with my sister as I had to be age 5 to join and then there was no stopping me. There was a phase were I decided I didn’t want to do it anymore and my mam was like no you’re not stopping, it’s what your great at and you’re not gonna stop until I tell you. So that was that.
What made you want to take different styles of dance rather than concentrating on one style?
I feel like living here I wasn’t open to a lot of classes and I had taken ballet for such a long time but I didn’t have the perfect body for purely ballet, not many people do, and then I found hip hop, street dance, contemporary and commercial and I just felt like with there was other styles that I was more suited to and there was so many other genres that I also had a passion for and weren’t as strict.
What was your most challenging dance routine? And do you have a favourite one?
It was probably when I worked with a guy called Matt Flint from So You Think You Can Dance from the UK and he choreographed this sequence which was based on Dream Girls the Musical. It was in our summer show at Laine and I was the only 1st year in the piece and I had so much pressure on me but it was amazing, and my favourite routine would be with Barbara Evans who choreographed for the I.S.T.D modern who used to teach at Laine, her Advanced 2 Hat dance haha, would have to be my favourite routine ever because it was incredible.
What inspires you to dance?
When I go see a performance where the dancer is just effortless, they give everything to the audience and you don’t criticize, you just sit and watch and forget about all of your worries and troubles, and you can see at the end when they take their bow or curtsey that they are like everyone else, and after the show you know that they just get on the tube or taxi and go home like everyone else does and they just go back into normal life. When you watch them they are like a god haha but then you realize there just normal humans like you and if they can achieve that then so can you.
If you could go back in time what advice would you give your “younger self” because obviously you’re still so young?
Not to worry about the future or my body or what I couldn’t do and be happier about what I could do and what I achieved at that point and just to enjoy childhood because soon I was having to move away and cook for myself and pay bills and that kind of thing.
What was your reaction and feelings when you found out you got into Laine?
Ok I remember exactly...it was about a week after the audition and we were waiting for the postman, it was like Billy Elliott, every single day and there was nothing, and then one day the post man came in the morning but then he came back again at lunch and me and my mam were pulling up the driveway and I was just like mam...And she just kept saying ‘’oh god, oh god’’ ..so I took the post and I went into the living room, opened the letter I just sat there and said I got into Laine and she was just hysterically crying and my brother ran down the stairs and was like ‘’who died? What’s happened?, what’s happened?’’, and my mam was like “he got into Laine” crying. It was very very emotional.
What are some little known facts about yourself that you would like others to know about?
Emmm, ok that’s a tough question. Well I secretly like to stretch all the time no matter where I am because especially as a boy you can lose it so quickly and I do a lot of Pilates as it’s so important, and I love to party :) my life isn’t just strictly dancing and musical theatre I love to go out and let loose but that does take its toll, if I do go out I’m like a week trying to get back to my full abilities which I know is tough but that’s why I don’t really go out so often :) because it’s hard to get over it.
Ok so what are your goals once you qualify from Laine?
Hopefully to be on a Westend stage or on a UK tour or work for a choreographer like Matthew Bourne or Drew Mc Coney or any upcoming choreography like Stephen Meer, just to have employment and just be happy and thankful.
Do you have a favourite personal quote that you have either heard or made yourself?
YES I do.. Ok, so I’ve got two, “Everything happens for a reason” and “What’s for you won’t pass you” I literally live by them.
If you hadn’t chosen this career what might you been doing?
If I hadn’t chose this career and didn’t have the support from my mam and everything I would probably be doing Art in College, I’ve always been arty and never crazy into Academics, I just wanted to dance and act and sing but I was really into art in school so I probably would went into something like that in interior design or something like that.
What is your earliest memory of dance?
It was when I was 6 and there was an open class and the parents were invited to come and watch the lesson at the end of the term and I was so nervous and I remember I wore this cap and long t-shirt and these like chino trousers and I was doing my ballet in front of my mam and dad in the school hall and I was nearly getting sick, so that was age 6 and I still remember that.
Do you have any advice for dancers who want to make dance their profession?
Yeah I think if you have a plan B you will fall back on it so don’t have a plan B J If dance is something you want to do and you have known from such a young age and it’s not just a sudden thing, do it, pursue it, do anything you have to do to make it happen, I promise it’s so worth it. Go out and take classes and get as much experience as you can here before you go and don’t give up until you do it for yourself, if it’s something you are so serious about don’t let anyone stop you, just do it.
What’s been your most difficult experience in Laine?
Probably having to juggle so many curriculums. Like my average day would consist of going in to college about half 7 and start warming up myself. Classes would then start at 9 and we would have ballet then I could have singing, tap, lunch then contemporary and then I could have Modern coaching from like 2:30pm until 6pm and that’s learning every bit of the syllabus inside out, it has to be drilled to be perfect and get high marks and even after that I could have ballet coaching from 6:30pm until like 9 o clock which would be ballet repertoire, so having to retain all the information on top of your separate college work because it’s all outside things if you want to do exams, so it’s your own time. So it’s quite difficult.
What is your best memory of Laine?
My best memory of Laine would be getting the Lead as Tony in Saturday Night Fever, my favourite Musical. I feel it was my biggest accomplishment because I wasn’t expecting it at all because at Laine they don’t tell you your brilliant and you’re doing really well it’s all about what you’re not good at and what you need to work on, which can be hard because they knock you down but to build you up. So for me getting the Lead was completely unexpected but I worked so hard for it and they knew I did and when I got it , it was just the best feeling in the whole world so that was my best memory to date J
Where do you see yourself in the future?
In future I’d like to be on the WestEnd Stage, maybe a leading man J but just being happy and employed and doing what I love and being able to support myself because it is an expensive profession so if I can be on the stage after 3 years of training doing what I love I’ll be very happy.
Finally, do you see yourself coming back to Ireland?
Yes eventually I want to come home and open a school here, I feel dance isn’t as appreciated here as UK or Broadway, there could be so much money in it here for dancers. So I’d like to open a school in musical theatre so not just strictly dance and try make it a bigger thing especially for boys because it’s so hard for an Irish lad to make it in dance due to bullying and if I didn’t have the support from my family and my dance school I wouldn’t be able to make it, so to be able to help young boys do what I have done is something I want to do. And maybe in ten years time be someone like Brian Friedman and head to LAJ and tour. I mean the world is my oyster and Laine, in the grand scheme of things, is such a small part of my career I don’t know where I could be or end up but if I’m dancing then I’m happy so what more could you want.
- Leah Traynor