The Australian, 21-year-old Love is Love dancer, featured in the lead cast, Kira Holland, was chosen out of many incredible dancers to portray a daughter in Dance Editorial’s upcoming show. The tremendously diverse and passionate artist provided amazing insight and inspirational words regarding her excitement for the upcoming production, Love is Love. Here is what she has to say about her background in dance and her feelings about the artistic production, directed by Shannon Hsu.
Favourite dance style to do?
I find it so hard to choose a style of dance to class as a favourite, but contemporary and hip hop seem to be in a strong tie at the moment! My body gravitates naturally towards a fusion of the two! I love a nice gooey and zesty groove mixed with a flowy contemporary feel. But in saying that, I’m still on my journey and am trying to figure myself out in this regard.
Do you have a favourite choreographer? If so, who and why?
Again! AH! So many incredible and influential choreographers that are current, and some from before my time inspire me incredibly. Some innovators and creators I feel defined their genres such as Kelley Abbey and Kate Wormald. They are both strong and powerful, passionate, and incredibly humble women above all else. Taking them all around the globe with careers as both choreographers and performers, these women have world renowned reputations. From humble beginnings originating right here in Australia, who better to look up to, be inspired by and strive toward following?
Others I have had the opportunity to learn from and cross paths with such as Sarah Vai, Neale Whittaker, Rob Mclean, Alice Robinson, Lucy Doherty and Andrew Huynh among many others have shaped and inspired me beyond belief since moving to Sydney.
Who inspires you?
I believe for me it’s not a matter of one single person or thing inspiring me, its a feeling – cliche I know. I feel like someone who pours their heart and soul into something, whether that be through human interaction, dance or music – the raw truth in their actions move me most. Inspires me to be more, to focus on being present and growing to the best of my ability, not the ability of the person standing beside me. I believe in a training environment, the people who have inspired me to want to be the best possible version of myself have been open and honest and true to who they are, supportive and real in their interactions, which makes me want to be the same in myself and that will inspire growth of all kinds. If that makes sense. Even if it doesn’t, that inspires me the most.
When did you start dancing and why?
I started dancing at the age of 7. My first dance studio, Yvonne Brittain Dance Troupe was just around the corner from my childhood house. The boys in my family (along with me for much of my childhood) all rode of road dirtbikes so I figure the reasoning behind starting up dancing was to push me towards a safer childhood hobby.
What 3 words would you choose to describe yourself?
Eccentric, kind and creative.
Why did you audition for Love is Love?
I auditioned for Love is Love because I wanted to push myself. I’ve never had a huge amount of confidence in my ability to perform well in stressful situations like auditions even though I’ve trained for them all my life. So I mainly went in there with a personal goal to push myself to see how well I could control my nerves and perform to my best ability. I definitely didn’t expect to walk out feeling confident.
What was it like auditioning for Love is Love?
It was a ball of fun auditioning for Love is Love! Everyone in the room was so damn good, like wow. The energy was infectious, the support form each and every person when we did select groups in each round was so supportive, it made it feel like far less of an anxiety inducing audition and much more of a hyped up class like environment. The choreography on the day was challenging, but it felt amazing to finally get into the numbered groups and dance for your life essentially. It was a safe environment which in turn made it feel right, that day will always remain special to me for many reasons.
How did you feel when you found out you were picked as our lead cast?
I was sitting with my partner at the time I found out, and I remember just hugging him and crying happy tears mid conversation when I saw the email of offer from Shannon. I was elated of course! Also so proud to be apart of something I really supported.
Are you excited to play the role of Daughter?
YES! Honestly, after shooting promo and spending a day with the lead cast getting to know us as our characters in the show, I got insanely excited. Without giving too much away, I personally really resonate with my character and their journey so I’m excited to see where I can take it.
What do you want to bring to the production? What special flavour do you hope will transcend to the audience?
Storytelling and connection is really important to me, as well as aspects of truth in someones performance. So, I hope to take the audience on a journey, nothing too far from reality. To tell a story and to really connect with at least one audience member during the show would be really rewarding.
What is the most exciting thing about being a part of the show?
Touring! Performing! Stage production! Growth! Working with incredible choreographers and hopefully learning all the ins and outs of learning a show!
What do you hope to gain from being in the show—growth wise?
I hope to gain many aspects of stage presence and performance, movement quality from all these incredibly unique and technical choreographers. I really love being pushed further than I believe I can go. I’m a strong believer in knowing your body, I’m so excited to see how far I can push mine in all aspects.
How do you feel about working with such a great line up of choreographers?
I feel like a kid on Christmas. Honestly, this line up is better than I could have imagined ever working with this early on in my career, some of which I have looked up to and been following for many years now. The magic and content thats going to be created in the show will blow minds. I’m beyond excited to get started!
Do you have any advice for aspiring young performers?
Don’t get comfortable at the back of class.
Don’t sell yourself short
…and for the love of life please don’t doubt yourself or get down about having off days/weeks/months/years. As cliche as it sounds, being self supportive will do wonders for your mind and mental health in this career. Please be kind. As Kelley Abbey once told me, ‘You are more than enough’. Repeat and believe it.
Follow Kira Holland on Instagram @kiraholland_
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