Shivawn started dancing when she was three, and has never stopped. By age twelve she knew she wanted to dance as a career. Shivawn is no stranger to the Dream Dance Company, having danced in Genesis, Secret Society and Untold, but she’s excited to start working on GODDESS for 2019 and take on the challenge of perfecting Caetlyn Watson’s style.
Has it been a challenge to perform such diverse works through your different seasons with DDC?
It’s been challenging doing completely different styles but I’ve definitely loved it. I think Genesis was the hardest for me because it was much more contemporary based, and I do more jazz and urban dance, so being thrown in the deep end with that was a lot. I feel like that’s when the most growth is achieved though, when you’re out of your comfort zone. Everything has been a challenge, nothing is ever easy, but that first season was the hardest.
What is the audition process like?
It’s always nerve-wracking, but I think it’s all about mindset going into it. If I’m suited for the show I’ll be a part of it and if not then it wasn’t for me. When I go into an audition I can only ever give all that is me, and if that’s what they need then everything will align but I can’t take anything too personally if not. I’m so grateful to have had the experiences that I’ve had but if I don’t get to do the next one I don’t put too much pressure on myself. The company is always evolving, shedding layers and bringing new people in, so they have to keep it fresh.
What’s your signature dance style?
Growing up I always loved commercial jazz but in the past couple of years I’ve been trying to train more in urban styles. This year and last year I’ve worked on developing my own artistry, and working out what it is that’s personal to me and authentic to me. Taking elements of everything that I’ve learnt and the styles that I like and just developing that.
What do you love about Caetlyn Watson’s style?
Caetlyn’s style is completely authentic to her and no one else in the world does anything like it. She just moves like water. I’m super excited, and nervous actually, to get into the process of this, because her movement is so specific.
What about working with Marko?
He’s my favourite. He booked me on my first commercial job in 2013, which was The Voice, and he was basically behind my whole career. He saw something in me and he continues to believe in that and fuel that, even at times when I doubt myself. I owe everything that I have in this career to the opportunities that he’s given me. He’s definitely my person!
What are you most excited for in this season of the DDC?
Literally everything! Training in Caetlyn’s style, being surrounded by these people, it’s the most diverse group of people and we’re all going to learn so much from each other. Just sharing the energy and sharing everyone’s talent. And it’s also going to be amazing because it’s the first time we’ve taken the show out of the theatre space, so that’s going to bring a whole new element to it. I think it’s going to feel very immersive, so I’m excited for the way we’re going to engage with the audience. And the whole touring process. Everything!
Finally, what advice do you have for aspiring dancers?
Be kind to yourself. Remember that you come first as a human and you have to look after yourself and be happy with the person that you are, outside of dance. And train as hard as you can, because that determines what you get back. Be grateful and have a good work ethic, and stay really authentic to yourself.