Diverse skills help LSC dancers take on any role
At the close of 2016 we caught up with LSC alumni Jasmine Takacs who spent her festive period dancing in BBC's Strictly Come Dancing for the 4th year running.
Jasmine (left side) dancing with Jay McGuiness on Strictly Come Dancing (2015)
Jasmine has built a well-developed career working all around the world in theatres and arena tours, as well as appearing in music videos, commercials and some of the UK's biggest TV shows; including The X Factor (ITV), Britain’s Got Talent (BBC), Dancing On Ice (ITV), Let’s Dance (ITV), Splash (ITV), The Brit Awards (ITV) and MTV Europe Music Awards (MTV). She started her career working mostly as a commercial dancer dancing behind stars such as Justin Bieber, Blue, Taylor Swift, Jessie J, Gary Barlow, One Direction, Steps, Pet Shop Boys, Fat Boy Slim, Katy Perry, Pink, Kelly Clarkson, Florence and The Machine and Olly Murs to name a few.
Jasmine backstage with Anton du Beke
In 2013 Jasmine’s career took a change of direction into a whole other platform of dance when Jasmine joined the cast of Craig Revel Horwood’s Strictly Confidential UK tour. Since then, Jasmine has been a part of the Strictly Come Dancing family; working as a troupe dancer and dance assistant on the live TV shows every year since. She has also danced in Pasha Kovalev UK tour (2014), as a dancer and aerialist on Strictly Come Dancing arena tour (2015 & 2016), The People's Strictly (2015), Keep Dancing (2016), represented Strictly Come Dancing for BBC Worldwide and even travelled to LA to appear in Dancing with the Stars (CNN).
We caught up with Jasmine to find out more about how she side stepped her way into the world of Ballroom dance using her diverse and transferable skills developed during her time at London Studio Centre:
LSC: What have you enjoyed most about your latest contract dancing on Strictly Come Dancing?
Jasmine: Strictly Come Dancing, really is a dream contract, the costumes, the make-up, the choreography, every day, every minute is enjoyable and inspiring. However, I have to admit that performing at the O2 Arena in front of thousands of screaming people all who love dance is a pretty insane feeling and when you realise how many people are actually watching at home on a Saturday night. It’s a huge moment of feeling proud! To have achieved such dream job in one of the biggest shows in the UK.
Jasmine Takacs on Strictly Come Dancing - photography by Fiona Whyte
LSC: What skills did you have from your training at LSC that has helped you with your role in the show?
Jasmine: My skills as a versatile dancer with the ability to look at a movement and style and to pick it up and copy it onto my body has been a massive skill I have used while working with Strictly Come Dancing. I did not train in Latin and Ballroom, although SCD choreographer Jason Gilkison calls me a "natural", this is because of the training I received at London Studio Centre. I would never get the job if I wasn't so versatile and able to switch from Commercial to Latin and Ballet to Ballroom.
LSC: What new skills did you need to learn and develop whilst in this new position?
Jasmine: After being introduced to the Strictly Come Dancing world I quickly realised it was a world I was fascinated by. I wanted to have my own dance partner and be able to execute the Latin and Ballroom dance styles as well as possible, so I started to take private Latin and Ballroom classes, going out to Salsa clubs to learn social dance styles such as Salsa, Batchata and Kizomba to become comfortable being lead and practicing social dancing. I also learned how to do aerial silks for the Strictly Live tour in 2015 and aerial hoop for the Live tour 2016. Many people thought I was an acrobat previously, however I had a minimal amount of training to pick up and develop these skills. The strength in my upper body that I have developed during many years of committed weight training in the gym helped me learn quickly because I already had the strength. Many people say I am crazy but to succeed in this industry you have to be able to offer more than others to get the work, diverse training, core strength and technique really helps!
Jasmine Takacs performing aerial silks on Strictly Come Dancing - photography Fiona Whyte
LSC: How would you describe an LSC performer?
Jasmine: An LSC performer has great style and does very well in the commercial world. Great technique and stage presence.
LSC: What advice do you have for performing arts students following in your footsteps?
Jasmine: Don't be afraid to try something new, remember that all dance styles are steps at the end of the day which anyone can learn, even your Grandad! However, it’s the style that makes the performance, you have to pay extra attention to the fine details, analyse how exactly a move is being executed by the teacher or choreographer and adapt it on to your body. Be willing to always go the extra mile, that is when you learn more and develop as an artist, learn new skills and styles, grow as a dancer and where the choreographer remembers they will book you again!
Well it is certainly a 10 from us at LSC! It was great to catch up with Jasmine and hear all about her progression into the world of Ballroom and Latin dance. Follow this link to learn more about the BA Hons course at London Studio Centre, designed to give students specialist training with added versitility.