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Meet Nicole Capobianco

Today we’d like to introduce you to Nicole Capobianco.

So, before we jump into specific questions, why don’t you give us some details about you and your story.
No exaggeration I have been dancing from the day I learned to walk. My mother was a ballet teacher and continues to dance and train to this day. Growing up, my childhood dance studio became my second home and my fellow dancers and teachers felt like family.

Born and raised in Northern California in the Bay Area, I was fortunate enough to be in a place with a vibrant dance community. I was able to train at a professional ballet school, compete nationally with a dance team and perform at events all around the Bay Area. I went to college in San Francisco and was a member of two dance teams with the school. After graduation, I moved back to my home town and continued to train at adult dance studios and began doing some modeling on the side.

Dancing professionally was always my dream and goal. Post-graduation life was interesting because I tried to balance working a ‘traditional’ job with continuing to train and get booked for dance opportunities. At the end of the day, one of the biggest obstacles I was facing was that the Bay Area did not have all of the industry opportunities that I dreamt of doing. From and early age, I knew I wanted to be in music videos and performing on stage with artists. I knew if I really wanted to dance seriously and professionally, I would have to move to Los Angeles. In July of 2019, I transferred offices with my job to an office in Hollywood and made the big move.

Since my move, I have been fortunate enough to have been able to train with top professionals and choreographers in my industry. Despite only living in LA for a couple of months, I am humbled to have worked on many dance projects, music videos and photoshoots. I am excited to continue building connections and expanding my horizons in this city of opportunity!

Has it been a smooth road?
Working in an artistic industry of course presents a multitude of challenges and difficulty. It is a world full of ‘nos’ and sometimes even when you get the ‘yes’, the job isn’t always as advertised. To be candid, one of the biggest influences that prompted my move to LA was getting rejected from a job I really trained and worked hard for months in the Bay Area. I walked away from that audition feeling as though I did everything right and danced with the precision, technique, and personality the job asked for. After not getting booked, I sat myself down and had a really honest conversation with myself: what did I actually want to dance for?

Two days after that audition, I was sitting and watching an award show on my couch. As silly as it sounds, Ariana Grande came on the TV and performed one of her songs accompanied by 30 badass female dancers. In that moment, I was reminded of my childhood dream: preforming with artists, either live on stage or on camera. In that moment, I aligned everything in my life to moving to LA to make that happen for myself. I continued to dance and train, I got a new job that enabled me to transfer to other offices, and I saved all my money I made so I could put it toward my move. Once an opportunity arose for me to transfer jobs and move, I took it and was ready.

I am of course incredibly grateful for every ‘yes’ I receive; however, sometimes I am almost more grateful for the ‘nos’. For example, if I had gotten booked for that job in the Bay Area, I would not have moved to LA. I would not be the dancer I am today, I would not have had the same opportunities to train and grow under the choreographers I train with on a daily basis. I may have had those opportunities eventually, but it would have been in maybe a year or two years from now. With every no, I learn about myself and fix what needs to be fixed so I can be better and more prepared for the next opportunity.

At the end of the day, dance is still a business. I have to remind myself of this with every audition I have and control what I can, and let go of what I cannot. Dance is incredibly competitive and it requires you to be realistic about who you are. Sometimes, even though it hurts, you have to tell yourself that you might not be right for the job no matter how bad you might want it or think you deserve it. I have not been booked for things for reasons as small as having the wrong hair color. Working in an artistic field really can take a lot out of you emotionally. Honestly, I have good days and bad days; on the (rare) bad days, I try to take myself back to the moment when I was on my couch watching the award show on TV. Last year, I dreamed of moving to LA to dance. Today, I woke up in this city of opportunity and I do not want to let my own negative thoughts get in the way of my success.

We’d love to hear more about your work and what you are currently focused on. What else should we know?
With my background in ballet, I am fortunate enough to have the foundation to do almost any dance style. As I briefly mentioned, I am very comfortable in front of the camera both as a dancer and a model. I feel like dance has helped me in modeling because I am comfortable moving my body and in-tune with what looks and feels good. At the moment, I mostly train in heels, jazz funk, and hip hop. Most of the dance jobs I have been booked for so far are for jazz funk or heels. In terms of what I am most proud of – I would say I am most proud of my positive attitude and ability to quickly think on my feet. For example, I was booked for a music video as an extra in a party scene. The director decided on set that he wanted to have a couple of dance features. I moved myself to the front of the crowd and was able to freestyle and get more on-camera time.

I would say something that sets me apart from others is my versatility! Having a technical dance background has enabled me to feel comfortable performing in almost every dance style I would get asked to do. Not only do I dance, but I also have experience choreographing my own pieces. This is great in situations like I just mentioned where I might have to come up with choreo on the fly or come up with a cohesive piece for a group of dancers.

Let’s touch on your thoughts about our city – what do you like the most and least?
The main reason why I wanted to move to LA because I truly feel like no matter what industry you are in, there is something for everyone. Obviously for me as a dancer, there is an abundance of performance opportunities from live stage performance to events to on-camera work to TV/film. From my experience in LA so far, I have been exposed to occupations that I never knew existed: such as being a professional hula hooper and training goats for parties and events.

However, with all of that opportunity comes a great deal of competition and favoritism. I have auditioned for jobs and gigs where the talent chosen were friends of the choreographer. Being in a place with so much competition can have its benefits because you can learn from your competition and peers around you. However, as I mentioned, working in an artistic field can take an emotional toll because you are constantly surrounded by competition.

Contact Info:

  • Email: nicolemariecapo@gmail.com
  • Instagram: @nicolemcapo

Image Credit:
IAF Compound, Julian D’Rozario

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