To be a leader in the Australian dance industry, James Deane knows that it takes a tremendous amount of talent and hard work. Even when he isn’t working on a specific job, he is always training and exercising, knowing that just like any artist, it is key to take care of his instrument; in a dancer’s case, this is his body. Dancing can be extremely demanding on the body and dancers can become injured quite easily if they don’t warm up and stretch before every rehearsal, and practice as much as possible to stay in the very best shape. This also means eating healthy foods and drinking lots of water to stay hydrated. In this sense, rather than being your typical “full time” job, dancing is a 24/7 job, which takes the utmost dedication to excel. For Deane, this comes easily, as it was the only thing he was ever truly passionate about.
Deane has been dancing since he was only four years of age, and now is a powerhouse in the Australian entertainment industry and internationally. He has worked all over the world, like in The Solomon Islands touring with singer Cat Thompson, and in Australia alongside famed choreographer Lyle Beniga. Deane was selected by Beniga to perform the dance piece that would be featured in the music video “Hat Trick” for Chinese pop singer Wei Chen. Clearly, Deane’s dancing talents have touched many countries around the world, and as a proud Australian who has even performed for members of the Australian Government at Parliament House with famed YouTuber Jayden Rodrigues, he is honored to continuously represent his country each and every day.
“My average day varies depending on what projects and gigs I have been hired for. Some days I have training and rehearsals, a tech run then I’ll perform on stage for a live show. Other days I will be on set dancing in a music video, film or commercial. I also teach dance classes at Sydney Dance Company, which gives me the opportunity to share my dance knowledge and experience with others. When I’m not performing or teaching, I choreograph dance pieces for upcoming classes, music videos or shows. In my down time I make sure to stretch and release my muscles to ensure my body is kept at an optimum level. This part is important because it helps prevent injury and will ensure my body is fit and able to handle dancing for many years to come,” said Deane.
One of Deane’s more prolific projects was dancing and acting in a commercial for Wasabi Doritos with Australian Idol’s Lee Harding. Deane was eager to take part in the commercial having grown up eating Doritos, and the popular chip brand is known for their iconic and comedic commercial campaigns. It was a great opportunity to work with an iconic brand that was launching a new product while doing what he loved.
“I grew up eating Doritos so being in a commercial for them was such an amazing feeling,” he said.
At the time, Deane was working with Sydney based Dance Studio 101, which provides talent for corporate events as well as film and commercials. Maya Sheridan, the director of Dance Studio 101 was aware of Deane’s dance skills and contacted him for the opportunity to feature in the commercial. He immediately impressed Doritos, who cast him as the only dancer to have a speaking role in the commercial.
the commercial was a fun experience for Deane. It involved dancing in punk
style costumes to Harding’s music, showing the audience that eating Wasabi
Doritos is a whole new experience if you can handle the spice.
“I loved meeting Lee Harding as I remember seeing him on Australian Idol and watching his career grow as he successfully released his music. I love working as a professional dancer because it gives me the chance to play different characters and to dress in crazy outfits that I wouldn’t otherwise have the opportunity to wear. Working on the Wasabi Doritos commercial was a great experience,” said Deane.
The commercial was a hit in Australia and an instant success for Doritos, who saw a great interest in the new Wasabi flavor they were releasing. Deane is proud to have contributed to the success of both the commercial and the brand itself. He is happy that he was able to have fun while still working hard, something he always aims for on every project he takes on.
At the end of the day, Deane maintains that his continued success comes from taking care of his physical and mental health, which he says is vital for any dancer. For those looking to follow in his footsteps, he offers some wise words:
“Always look after yourself as best you can to make sure your body is capable of running at 100%. Fix small injuries as soon as possible. Unchecked niggles and pains can lead to bigger, long term injuries if not addressed sooner. Eat well, sleep well, train hard, have fun and be safe. You may not land every audition and that’s okay. If you get a knock back just pick yourself up, dust yourself off and keep dancing and auditioning,” he advised.
Photo by Chris Harrison