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Getting Acquainted With A Dancer; Danielle Gardner

Getting Acquainted With A Dancer; Danielle Gardner

Danielle Gardner is only 25 and she’s already a seasoned veteran in the world of dance. This Vancouver-based artist has toured the world and continues to transform as a highly skilled and diverse top dancer. Appearances include Mariana Trench’s music video for “Haven’t Had Enough” and CTV’s “Motive” but she is probably most recognized from SO YOU THINK YOU CAN DANCE CANADA (Season 3) where she danced her way to the Top 4 girls.

Most recently, Danielle appeared in a viral dance video for “Feeling Myself” by Nicki Minaj ft. Beyoncé, choreographed by Christina Schell. This collaboration is sure to put women in the Vancouver dance industry on the map. It already has more than 20,000 views! Check out the fun video below:

 

Danielle took some time out of her busy schedule for 604 Now to give us some insight into her crazy world of dance:

How did you discover your passion for dancing?

I discovered dance at the age of 3 while watching my older sister Gillian in jazz class at a dance studio in Surrey. At that age I had no problem jumping in and taking the class with the older kids, and had no worries as to my skill level. I just knew I loved jumping, turning and hanging out with my sister while making new friends and eventually meeting their skill level.

How did you pursue your passion for dancing to the extent that you have so far?

I began to train across Canada focusing on ballet, modern, jazz and musical theatre. There was no defining moment where I realized dance was for me as it was quite gradual and natural. That being said, I have to thank my high school teachers at Langley Fine Arts for encouraging my talent and letting me express myself:  whether it be early in the mornings before the start of school, during lunch breaks or after school when no one was around. That time to create really set the bar for me and made me who I am today.

Is anything going through your mind while on stage during a number?

In all honesty when I perform my emotions, thoughts and basic mind control is turned off while I dance! It is one of the most freeing experiences a person could have. The anxiety, nerves and lack of breathing that takes place back stage before you go on stage is not a reflection of what happens once you take your first step on stage and the music plays; in my experience. For those that have ever been in an accident and for a few short seconds you almost feel like things are going in slow motion – that is my experience every time I set foot on stage.

What inspires you and gets your creative juices flowing for choreography work?

There are so many things that inspire me in daily life like watching people interact with each other, the weather outside or art featured on our city walls. But one of my biggest inspirations is music! I would be lost without music in my life. I am one of iTunes’ best customers and proud of it.

What is dance to you?

Dance to me is like a child. It needs to be loved, taken care of and given a talking to sometimes. It loves you one minute and hates you the next but at the end of the day it’s the best addition to your life and made you who you are today.

Other than “dancer” what is one word you would use to describe yourself and why?

If I could describe myself with one word I would say “committed”.  My reason being is that I am a very determined being and when I believe in something in life or in my career I stick with it until my last breath. I work hard and will give my everything, always.

Getting Acquainted With A Dancer; Danielle Gardner

What has been your most rewarding dance experience to date?

I have so many!! It’s too hard to choose but I would have to say being the Head Choreographer and Director of Team Canada WEST, a group of highly intelligent dancers which was handpicked by me and the top choreographers in Canada. I created multiple dance numbers to be performed all over Europe the past 3 years by the team. I coached them, loved them and saw them grow not only as amazing artists but also as humans. To know I had a hand in creating that overwhelms me with pride.

What was competing at such a high level on SO YOU THINK YOU CAN DANCE CANADA (Season 3) like for you as a dancer?

Competing on SYTYCD-Canada against dancers of all ages, styles and of the highest caliber was one of the most inspiring and incredible opportunities I could have ever been blessed with. You were expected to get better every week even though you were trying your best every day. At times that mentality brought feelings of doubt into my mind but with the support and love from my cast, whom I am still very close to, I was able to step up and continue my journey to the Top 4 girls in all of Canada.

Do you have any upcoming projects?

2015 is an exciting year for me and I have taken this year to travel and judge around Canada. Most recently I am creating a Dance-On-Film project with David Cooper, a Vancouver based photographer who has worked with the National Ballet of Canada, and Joe McNally of National Geographic. We are teaming up to create an original dance film shedding light on the fact that arts in BC is not supported and many artists (not just dancers) are expected to work under unfair guidelines.

(You can still donate to towards the project at gofundme)

What is one piece of advice you would give to someone who has a passion for dance?

My advice for someone who has a passion for dance is always think for yourself. Many people will tell you what is right or what is wrong; where you should train; or even tell you where you don’t belong but always do what is best for you.

 

 

Check out more about Danielle at www.daniellelgardner.com  and www.impactdanceproductions.com or follow her on Twitter and Instagram.

 

Danielle Gardner Interview by Amar Mirchandani. Follow him on Twitter @amarmirch
Images via David Cooper Photography

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