It's not all Jazz Hands!
The second installment of the jobs in the arts series that I'm curating introduces us to Ricky Rojas.
What is your job?
I’m a musical theatre performer and have been in several musicals internationally both in the West End and Broadway, New York. Buddy the musical, Fame, Grease, Joseph, Flashdance, Burn the Floor, Sister Act, Moulin Rouge to name a few.
What is your dance background
I didn’t actually train in dance although coming from a Latin background I always had rhythm. I was in a Chilean folk dancing group which taught me how to dance in an ensemble and spacing. Later when I was went into musical theatre I took classes at the Sydney Dance Company in Australia.
Did you want to be a dancer when you grew up?
I was more interested in being a singer and performer but of course all of this goes hand in hand with dance.
What training did you do for it?
I did my A level equivalent in Drama in Australia and also took some classes at they Australian Theatre for Young People (ATYP) which worked on all aspects of theatre as well as physical awareness and dance
What are the best and worst things about your job?
The worst thing about my job now used to be the best thing... the travel. I’ve been lucky to see many places around the world.
Would you recommend your job to aspiring dancers?
Absolutely.. but just know that it is a tough ride... and you have to put in the hard work and be willing to diversify (voice/acting) if you want to make a career of it as you get older. The acting isn’t generally too hard for dancers as when you dance you have to act (or should be) to get the best interpretation from a set piece.
Who is your dance inspiration?
I love to watch strong dancers ... when I was in the folk group I was really inspired by Joaquin Cortes the Spanish flamenco dancer. From a musical theatre view... there’s no one better than Gene Kelly... ahead of his time.