Megan joined i-stage Group as a dancer and has developed to become choreographer/assistant show producer. Megan has already produced a number of shows, team building dance events and large scale flash mobs.
We wanted to give you an insight into the person behind the career women.
So Megan, Where did all start for you?
I started dancing from the age of three, beginning in ballet, tap and jazz. I didn't particularly stand out as the most technical dancer in class but I think my teacher saw a passion and drive in me (as I swung upside down from the ballet barre, while everyone else stood in first position). Ha Ha, That’s fantastic. When did you decide you wanted to follow your passion and turn it into a career? I think the moment I realised I wanted to become a professional dancer was when I realised how happy it made me and other people. Hearing the applause was amazing when I stood up at the age of six years old as I danced to 'Is this the way to Amarillo' in front of my whole primary school. From that moment I knew what I wanted to become. For as long as I can remember if I heard a song I liked my brain would go off into a daydream imagining routines that fit the beat. Hope that’s not too cheesy! Ha ha Absolutely not Megan… How old were you when you got your first dancing job? I became a professional dancer at the age of 19. You need tough skin in this industry as every performer knows and there are a lot of no's before the big yes comes. I took a fair few 'confidence knocks’ as I found myself up against extremely strong dancers with a lot more experience. Although I was slightly deflated at times it actually made me work harder so I can now look back and say it helped me more than it hindered my personal growth. (I couldn’t see this at the time however… ha ha)
Sounds like it wasn’t all plain sailing but you overcame some internal fears. Yes, you’re right I did have some self doubt issues, so if anyone is reading this and is experiencing something similar then my message would be to use any negativity to drive you to work even harder. Sometimes you need to asses the situation and think Is it me? Am I not good enough for this role or job? If the answer is 'no I’m not' then go and work harder to become good enough. If the answer is ‘yes I am good enough for this but never got the job’ then move on to the next opportunity with your crown held high! You should always ask for feedback too. You might not know if you’re doing something wrong. Any auditions you go for and don’t get the role use these experiences to learn from and make you stronger and more determined.
So where did I-Stage Group come in?
I was lucky enough to start working as a dancer for I-Stage Group at the age of 20. I was given opportunities to be involved in the most incredible productions as a dancer. Performing in a bespoke i-Stage Group production at the Sunderland Airshow 2017 was a night i'll never forget. 25,000 people watching as we delivered a show with over 20 performers was unbelievable. As the company has grown I have grown along with it gaining confidence on and off stage and as they say…. The Rest is history. I made the leap from dancer at I-Stage Group to Choreographer and Assistant Producer two years ago and haven't looked back. How did you feel going from dancer to Choreographer/Assistant producer?
At first it was very nerve-racking, standing at the front of the studio, all eyes on me! I suddenly found myself working on multiple projects at the same time. I was choreographing large production shows with our I-Stage Group casts, producing flash mobs for our corporate clients and creating Music videos for one of our original artistes Will Jennison. It was a crazy time but its the most rewarding feeling finally seeing your work come to life and watching the final results. My advice to anyone wanting to move from dancer into choreographer is to get past those nerves, grit you teeth and go for it. It is the best decision I have ever made!
Sounds like you had to adapt to the new role… What advice would you give to new choreographers? There are a lot of things to take into consideration when choreographing. Whether you are working towards choreographing a 60 minute production show or a 15 minute show piece it is so important you understand your performers ability. I have been lucky enough to choreograph a flashmob for an incredible group of ladies from The Angel Trust charity who were all of very mixed abilities (i'm sure they won't mind me saying). Therefore there is no point creating a routine too technical when lots of waves, step claps, basic movements are what’s required. Simple yet effective.
Another piece of advice would be to do your research! When you get given a new project always take the time out to listen to the brief and the songs in the show. You need to understand the style of dance required. There's a huge difference between choreographing a number for our' The Greatest show’ production to a number for our Pussy Cat Dollz Tribute act. Both need to be awesome, just in different ways. Another piece of advice would be work out how much time you have. As soon as you get given a project you need to work out exactly how long you have to plan, recruit, create, rehearse and clean it. A lot goes on behind the glitz and glam that not a lot of people see so make sure you work out exactly how long each project will take to ensure you get the best results. Space is another key factor. You need to understand the space you have to work with, the size of the room, size of stage (if there is one), where are your entrances and exits? Consider how many people you will be working with too. I created the routine for Will Jennison's Give It Up music video. This was filmed in a small bar with restricted space and a cast of 20+ people. This was challenging but by taking into consideration the space, time, and ability (Nothing against the Jennison boys.. ha ha) and required outcomes made it easier to achieve the best possible result.
Thanks for that Megan… Any final words?
The most important message I can give is to enjoy what you do. We choose to do this as our jobs because we love it. Therefore when things get a little hard, when you are having ten hour rehearsal sessions, when you're feeling a little overwhelmed with how much you have to do just relax, take a deep breath, count 5, 6, 7, 8, straighten your crown……. and go for it! Megan is currently planning and recruiting for Christmas 2020. If you’d like to apply for up coming dancing jobs or would like any advice on how to get into the industry please email firstname.lastname@example.org