Louie Spence, 42-year-old dance expert, choreographer and television personality who is currently the artistic director at the London Pineapple Dance Studios, gave an interview to lifestyle magazine Female First and talked about helping the unstoppable Madonna, find her next tour backing dancer.
He was at the London Pineapple Dance Studios, where the London auditions for the Smirnoff Nightlife Exchange were being held, to bestow his dancing knowledge and give tips to the budding dancers who came through the door, in hope of becoming Madonna’s new backing dancer.
Here’s what he had to say…
They mentioned the word Madonna. And that’s how I got involved! If like its Madonna, yes I’m there!
All they have to do is upload a 60 second video to the Smirnoff.com website and then they get viewed by Madonna and her chorographer from this tour, they’ve got to be 21 though.
Then once they’ve whittled it down, it ends up there is just going to be 10 people from all over the world. Once those 10 finalists are sorted, they get a chance to go to New York, to Smirnoff Nightlife Exchange Project. It’s a one-night event and on that night the person will be chosen who is going to be one of Madonna’s backing dancers.
Actually I’m going to upload my own 60 seconds, I’ve decided. I’m not going to miss this chance. (laughs)
The thing is you see, its 10 semi-finalist from all over the world, so from all over world there are just 10 people. So I’m just hoping that with my expertise, that we’re going to get the right people to upload their videos so they get chosen, so we get more than one British dancer.
This is our big day in London and the kids are coming in and are doing their piece. I will just say to them: I’ve seen five other people just come in and do this, what else can you do? So I’m giving them that opportunity before they upload and maybe look the same.
And also just to inspire them and give them the encouragement they need and just give them my expertise and experience and make them understand that this is an opportunity of a lifetime.
And these 60 seconds could be the most important 60 seconds of their lives. I’m here for inspiration and encouragement.
There has been a couple today which have been pretty spectacular. I think the thing with Madonna is that she normally has a theme and her dancers are not just like good looking, nice body, she has a lot of diversity within her dancers.
So I’ve seen a couple of guys here what have been really quite unique and individual which I think stand a good chance, so I’ve put a tick by their box.
I met Madonna in 1998 at Madison Square Garden’s, it was when I was doing the Spice Girls tour and she had come to see the Spice Girls and I fortunately got to meet her. And she was amazing, just a real presence, I mean tiny, but then so am I!
I have seen her recently at the studio because she comes in here if her daughter does class, so she’ll pick her up or she’ll come and watch her.
Although no one recognises her, she doesn’t make a big deal of it. We know at reception when she’s come in. I have seen her but we don’t go into full-on conversation like: How’s your macrobiotic diet darling?
So what does a dancer need to be able to win this competition?
Confidence, uniqueness and style. Because if you’re auditioning from all over the world and you’re going to be one of maybe maximum 20 dancers, you’ve got to have that special something.
So what would you do if Madonna asked you to be her backing dancer?
Between you and I darling I’m turning 43 in April and although I’m still in good shape and I’ve got a good doctor, who gives me good Botox to keep me looking fresh. I’ve had my day. I’ve done my tours.
This is an opportunity for the younger dancers and I’m just here to try give them a bit of guidance and to encourage them. Making sure they do the best they can and make sure they upload the best 60 seconds they can, so that they get an opportunity of a lifetime. But like I said I might be uploading 60 seconds myself.
My sisters went dancing and I followed what they did, everything they did I did. They went dancing, I went dancing and I just continued dancing.
What career path would you have gone down if you didn’t become a dancer?
There is nothing I would have chosen, I would never have not been a dancer it’s just not a question that would have ever happened. I was born to dance. Once I started that was it. I never stopped.
I think that you can never stop learning, but now unfortunately I’m going to be 43 in April.
When you dance it’s an expression of your life and who you are and I think I’m secure with who I am, so I don’t think there is any more growth to come in my dancing. Maybe in my height will be nice darling, but not in my dancing.
And finally Louie sheds some pearls of wisdom for all you aspiring dancers out there…
Dedication, you have to be dedicated because it’s a hard hard life and you’ll have more rejection than you will acceptances, so you just need to harden up and be dedicated. And if you love what you do than nothing will stop you.
Louie Spence has teamed up with the Smirnoff Nightlife Exchange Project who are searching for Madonna’s next back up dancer.
Anyone over 21 can enter by uploading a 1 minute audition video to www.smirnoff.com by 10th October
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