By Emily Yewell Volin of Dance Informa.
Dancing at a theme park seems like a lot of fun, but what is it really like? Here Dance Informa speaks to theme park performers about life at some of the world’s happiest places.
What performance skills do you need as a dancer in theme park productions?
Michael van Doorn
Worked at both Tokyo Disney Resort and Universal Studios Japan
Like any stage production, you need an abundance of performance and technical skill. Being incredibly versatile is a great attribute as you will usually get to be a part of special event performances throughout the year, plus perform in the show you were originally cast in.
Worked at Disney’s Animal Kingdom, Disney’s Magic Kingdom, Disney’s Hollywood Studios, and Epcot, Florida
It is essential to have a moderate to strong dance background, as well as acting skills. There are many parts to play and different shows and parades to be a part of. As a performer you want to match roles as close as possible, whether it is how the character may talk or any key mannerisms they may have.
Worked as a dancer at Luna Park, Sydney Australia
You need to be able to interact with the audience and involve them in the experience. This involves having a strong character and performing with larger than life expression and enthusiasm. Technique needs to be strong and unwavering as you are performing the same routines again and again in a varying environment (it could be boiling hot one day and raining the next).
Currently at Busch Gardens Williamsburg, Virginia
Theme park shows can vary greatly in terms of style and content. At Busch Gardens alone, we have many styles including ballroom, hip hop, tap, and even burlesque-influenced jazz and go-go dance. It helps greatly to be a versatile dancer and to always be energetic and passionate on stage, no matter what choreography you are handed.
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