Sitting down to talk all things dance with professional dancer Christopher Politis

Author: Leah Van Lambaart   Date Posted:19 July 2019 

Sitting down to talk all things dance with professional dancer Christopher Politis

This week I sat down to catch up with dancer Christopher Politis, a friend who I met during full-time training.  This strong and powerful dancer has had a massive career so far, within Australia and abroad. Chris has had some amazing opportunities on and off the stage, regularly invited to adjudicate competitions nationally and often a member of audition panels. Currently, Chris is a lead performer in the show ‘Matador The Show’, a nationally touring fusion of dance, burlesque and circus performance. Matador has just finished sold-out shows at the Sydney Opera House and will be visiting Brisbane from July 18-20, followed by Adelaide from August 15-17 (for more details and ticket information follow @mataor_the_show on Instagram or www.facebook.com/matadortheshow

Chris began his interest in dance from a very young age. He reminisced about a time where the love for music and dance saw him busting his best moves in his lounge room, a scene most dancers would relate to! He danced from the living room into his first dance class at the age of 7.  

“I started a Saturday morning jazz class which quickly turned into competitions. From there I went into an elite program at Patrick Studios Australia. That’s where I really fell in love with dance and learnt how hard I had to work to make a career happen. I then furthered and refined my training under Robert Sturrock”.

His favourite style of dance is Theatrical Jazz. This has translated into a diverse range of contracts taking him around the world.  These include Matador The Show, Graeme Murphy’s The Merry Widow, the Rugby World Cup opening ceremony, a dancer and casting Assistant for Norwegian Cruise Line and Le Grade Cirque Adrenalin at the Sydney Opera House, just to name a few.

Throughout his professional career, there have been many highlights for Chris. The most rewarding aspect for Chris is the ability to connect to his audience and how the power of connection gives him some of the fondest memories on stage.

“To me, performance is everything. It gives you individuality and unique opportunity to connect with your audience. We all have the power to affect people and having the ability to elicit emotions through dance is unbelievable”.

Chris’s top tips for gaining the most out of dance classes are based around intention and focus.

“Aim to be open and eager to learn. Leave what you know at the door and step into each class with a willingness to absorb information. This is not only learning from your teacher but your peers as well. I like to think of this as leaving your ego at the door and forgetting what you think you are good at to create space for new skills”.

Dancing for most of his life, Chris has had the opportunity to learn from some incredibly talented and inspiring teachers. He said that his most influential teacher is Robert Sturrock.

“After my technical training, Robert Sturrock brought me back to the basics such as how to simply walk and dance like a man. Style and masculinity is a major aspect of my dancing and it is often something which dancers are not taught”.

We discussed the transition from competitive dancing to a professional career and how the competitive space teaches dancers to work as a team and polish technique. There is a trend towards acrobatic skill and difficulty of tricks which may not necessarily translate into a professional setting. The ability to learn choreography whilst being able to adapt choreography to your body and individual style is vital.

“Being an individual dancer with personality while you dance is so important and something which I feel has progressed my career. Personality and looking like your enjoying yourself is very eye-catching in class, on stage and in an audition”.

Chris also discussed the importance of gratitude. Professionalism and appreciation for other dancers as a wonderful trait to implement into class and performance work.

“In most shows, there is a producer who guides the director. A director who guides a choreographer and a choreographer that guides their dancers. They all need dancers that they can trust and rely on. Your personality, attitude and professionalism is everything. This will make or break how people see you in the industry. There are so many talented dancers in Australia, but at the end of the day everyone just wants to be surrounded by nice people”.

The mentally and physically demanding aspects of dance create a uniquely challenging career choice.  It becomes very important to prepare your body not only for class and performances but for longevity. Chris finds that daily Yoga has become a great way to condition, support and recover. 

“Yoga is a big part of my preparation. Daily practice provides me with more balance throughout my body and helps me to maintain flexibility. The longevity of a dancer is vital for your career and even if it's a simple gig, it becomes so important to warm up and keep things moving, every single day".

A career highlight for Chris is his current role as The Bull in ‘Matador The Show’. He discussed how wonderfully talented the cast is and how privileged he is to be dancing alongside the diverse array of professionals. The show offers a unique artistic line up of acts, who take their audience through a passionate love story. He spoke about a typical day in the life of this incredible show.

“Most days, the cast will meet for a group breakfast. We chat about all things outside the show. From here, we head to the theatre and discuss notes from the previous performance. What went well, what didn't run well and the circus performers run their items. We then do a group warm-up and that leaves us 1.5 hours for hair and make-up, this is always the where the cast has laughs and builds up excitement for the 2.5-hour show. After the show, we wind down for another hour then head to bed to prepare to do it all over again tomorrow!”.

Chris brings a kind and vibrant attitude into the dance industry. His hard work, dedication and gratitude for his teachers and peers have allowed his career to take off. Chris can be found on Instagram @christopherpolitis or see his powerful performance in ‘Matador the show’, touring Australia over 2019.

Hope you enjoyed this chat with Chris and it gives you some inspiration to use your personality every step of the way. Thanks for reading team!

@leahvanlambaart

#lovetotaldance #total_dance_aus

 


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