I’m Eloise Harpas and I’m a 24 year old professional performing artist. Having trained my whole life in dance, I wouldn’t trade it for the world. I finished my fulltime training at Ettingshausens PRO in 2015, and since then I’ve had many opportunities to expand and develop myself as a professional performer. What you’re going to do after fulltime can be a scary thought for everyone, so I hope this article sheds some light on the possibilities and paths you can take after completing your year/s of training.
My story after fulltime saw me booking commercial jobs for both International and Australian artists. I was a resident dancer on the hit TV show X Factor for three seasons under the creative direction of Squared Division. I was also a resident dancer at one of Sydney’s most iconic nightclubs - PACHA IVY - on a one year contract. I would go from dancing all day to dancing all night - a milestone for me at that time - pushing my body to its limits and being able to move every day.
My most interesting booking would have to be dancing for the Prince of Saudi Arabia in Azerbaijan, Baku at the 4th Islamic solidarity games. This job required me to dye my hair a different colour and follow directions completely differently to any job I’ve done before. In the same year I travelled to the United States to further my training at Broadway Dance Center in NYC. I completed 3 months of training with some of the worlds best choreographers and experienced so much about dance in another country. After the 3 months at BDCNYC I decided to head to LA to attend classes and work as a dancer. Much to my surprise I was signed by a talent agency not long after arriving in LA - something I'm truly grateful for. This also means I am represented in both Australia and the United States professionally.
My most recent (and also some of my most exciting) bookings include international artists, such as Dua Lipa, Sam Smith and Katy Perry. Completing contracts for artists like these only makes me want to push more and work harder. Some of these artists songs have been my biggest inspiration as a dancer and dancing alongside them is a feeling I will never forget. Adding them to my resume is just a bonus.
With all of that being said, we are so lucky as dancers to experience such exhilarating moments in life - the above are just a handful of my own and I’ll do almost anything to keep that feeling of accomplishment and happiness that comes along with it. I really do think dancers should be classified as adrenaline seekers, we hear about opportunities and we put ourselves through so much to get them. As a dancer you have to put so much on the line to even be considered for that one contract that might only last a day, week or season. Some people would say it isn’t worth it but if it is your passion and you really want it, you will find a way to get there. I’ve had so many ups and down throughout my career - especially straight out of fulltime - where the ball didn’t start rolling as quick as I thought it would. This moment can make you re-think your whole training, but if you push through and keep yourself motivated, you’ll be able to find opportunities opening themselves up to you.
One of my most difficult yet fulfilling times was when I travelled overseas to train at BDC. Networking is key in the dance industry, and when you enter a new place where you know no one and no one knows you it can be really daunting at times and hard to stay motivated. I had to put aside all of the negative thoughts and believe in myself and my training to get to where I wanted to be. No one is next to you saying “hey, here’s a fast pass to all your dream jobs”. It’s how you deal with the knocks and the criticism that counts and how strong you bounce back. Work ethic is a huge thing in this industry and it can be a decider when it comes to who gets hired for certain jobs. Staying positive, staying hungry, being kind to others, being open minded to a variety of opportunities and not limiting yourself to only one thing in the industry, and of course talent are all things that can make a foundation for a long, fulfilling career
So if you are going into fulltime or just graduating from it and you want to be a successful dancer, look at yourself in the mirror each day and be proud of where you are right now and then get excited about where you could potentially be going in the future. Set goals, have dreams and make sure they happen.
Written by: Eloise Harpas
Find Eloise on Instagram by searching @eloise_harpas
Are you interested in fulltime dance? Find out more about Ettingshausens PRO's 2 Year Diploma of Dance (Elite Performance) on our website and contact us if you have any questions - we can't wait to hear from you!