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Meet James Deane

Today we’d like to introduce you to James Deane.

James, let’s start with your story. We’d love to hear how you got started and how the journey has been so far.
I am a professional dancer from the Land Down Under (Australia) and was raised in the small, beach town of Byron Bay. My love for dance began when I was four years old. I used to watch a popular Australian children’s TV show called The Wiggles. I loved dancing around to their music and would play it on my Walkman with cassette tapes. Seeing how much I loved to dance, my mum decided to take me to some dance classes.

When I was 13 years old, my dance teacher started training me to be her understudy. She showed me the art of teaching and arranged for me to begin teaching dance classes. She also saw my potential as a performer and began booking me for live shows. I didn’t realize at the time that the transition to paid work and professional gigs meant I was now a professional dancer. In my mind, I was just dancing because I loved it. I hadn’t thought about the future or a career. Earning money was just an added bonus to doing what I loved. My parents saw how much I loved dancing and said they would help me pursue a career in dance. I ecstatically replied, “I can do this as a job?” From there, I set my sights on making dance my career.

Over the years, I have grown as a dancer and performer and I am eternally grateful to my parents for their suggestion that I pursue dance as my vocation. I love having the opportunities to perform on stage with amazing artists and being part of a creative vision. I also love the fact that I get to tour the world as a professional dancer and get to see so many beautiful places I’ve never seen before. Dance has allowed me to meet interesting people and experience cultures that I may not have ever experienced if it wasn’t for dance. I love the energy I get from entertaining others when I perform on the stage. I love seeing the smiles on people’s faces when I dance. It makes me so happy to know that what I do brings so much joy to others.

We’re always bombarded by how great it is to pursue your passion, etc – but we’ve spoken with enough people to know that it’s not always easy. Overall, would you say things have been easy for you?
The hardest thing for me was the lack of dance opportunities around my local area. To find more opportunities I packed up and moved to Brisbane and then finally to Sydney.

In my 15 years of dancing, I have been blessed enough to work alongside some of the best international choreographers, dancers as well as phenomenal artists. I am so thankful for every opportunity and will always do my best for every rehearsal and performance.

We’d love to hear more about your work and what you are currently focused on. What else should we know?
I am a professional dancer. I have extensive experience performing both nationally and internationally. I have danced with international artists such as Willow Smith, Jaden Smith, Terry Crews, Henry Fong and many more.

As a professional dancer my work includes backup dancing for recording artist’s live shows, music videos and tours. I have performed in the Solomon Islands on several occasions over the years for different tours and each time it’s an amazing experience.

I have also created the choreography for artists live shows and music videos such as DJ Katch, Elly Oh and Cat Thompson. I have judged and mentored at many competitions such as World Supremacy Battlegrounds in Australia and the Solomon Islands, Hip Hop International, K-pop World Festival and Australian Dance Crew Championships.

I have been blessed with opportunities to perform for prestigious clients such as Harley Davidson, Bing Lee, YouTube, Google, Harvey Norman and many more. I have also performed for the opening of the Mercedes-Benz worldwide premiere launch.

I have opened for artists such as American Grammy Award-winning rapper Eve, Billboard’s Hot R&B/Hip-Hop Top-Ten artist Lloyd and Australian dance music group Sneaky Sound System.

I have trained extensively in developing both the physical and mental understanding of dance and share this knowledge with my students during my classes and workshops. I also strive to create a learning environment that is positive, fun and encouraging.

A highlight for me was being selected to perform as a featured dancer in Bollywood/Punjabi film Sardaar Ji 2. I danced alongside Bollywood superstar Diljit Dosanjh. He is a famous recording artist and actor in the Indian music industry and it was amazing to be part of his film. I also performed as a featured dancer in his music video for the movie’s soundtrack Desi Daru. It truly was a great experience to work alongside award-winning Indian film director Rohit Jugraj.

What were you like growing up?
Growing up, my mum and dad would drive me to dance classes and even drive me to workshops that were over 4 hours away. To improve my dance skills, I would watch dance movies on videotapes and learn all the moves by rewinding the videos and watching them over and over again. I would even teach myself how to do tutting and break dancing from YouTube videos. Because we had a lack of classes in my area, at the age of 16, I organized for international choreographers like Tony Tzar to come to Byron Bay to teach workshops for the community.

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Image Credit:

Gez Xavier Mansfield Photography, Chris Harrison, Tim Woolf Photography

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