Interview || What it's like to be a dancer on a cruise ship?

As cruise ships get bigger and better and taking a cruise becomes more and more popular it’s inevitable that being a dancer on a cruise ship is one of the jobs that I get asked about the most.

It’s a job that so many dancers want because they know that they can travel the world whilst doing what they love.

As it is such a popular job then the standards are pretty high, it’s not the easiest job to get and of course the experience isn’t for everyone and yes they vary from company to company but if that’s your dream then go for it because the jobs do exist and they sound fantastic!

Heather Parkin in a professional dancer and has danced on cruise ships for years. In fact her first job out of college was on a cruise ship and she soon started to love life at sea.

Here is a clip from my interview with Heather where we talk all about what it’s really like to be a dancer on a cruise ship and what advice Heather would give to her 18 year old self.

You can hear Heather’s interview in full on our forthcoming podcast. To be the first to hear about when it will be launched be sure to sign up for our updates below.

To check out everything that we’re doing to inspire, motivate and support dancers then be sure to check out our website here.

I hope you enjoy the interview and for all you dancers out there wanting to join the cast on board a cruise ship then good luck & bon voyage!



View Time:7:28



I don't think anything prepares who prepares you for us to come well rehearsals where I just I didn't see that coming at all we had I think my first contracts we had six weeks and we learn about eight shows in six weeks and and it was it's a complete blur I've got to be on it like the first day of rehearsals I just didn't know what hit me and we we've got three cats rehearsing together and we were all in in the same show so they're each cast had like 13 cast members so we're all full-on behind each other and I just thought I don't know what is going on and I I was dancing the routines but I thought how am I gonna remember all of this I'd never had to learn so much in such a short space of time and then we've done one show got to the end of the week and I was like great I know it and then seven more shows came along and by the end of it I thought I don't know I don't know what the first show but we got through it and went then obviously when we got on the ship it was just it was brilliant the first day I got on and I was just wandering around I got lost I didn't know where my cabin was at know where the theatre was then my parents hits kind of dropped me off with on with all my luggage and then they were waiting to like wave the ship off and then my cabin mates oh no you should you should go up onto top deck and then you know see if you can see them wave goodbye so I went outside and I was just facing the sea and I got really upset I was like I can't find how do I get to use size just trying to get em to the other side and yeah I saw them yeah I got to wait got to wave goodbye and then yeah that was it and didn't really speak to them for about 2 weeks until we got back to Southampton but by that point I was I was well into it really enjoying and setting up the shows and finally being in the costumes and on the stage and front of an audience so yeah it was just it was manic but it was yea enjoyable at the same time Hardwick but yeah we yeah we were all enjoying ourselves so yeah I always thought of maybe just one or two contracts that might be enough and then nearly eight years later yeah I just kept going really but yeah I've really enjoyed it and you know it's not for everyone and I've I've worked with people who really struggled being away from some friends and family and not being at home things like that but I just loved it I loved and kind of the independence and and living with people that you know share the same passion and hobby and and yeah it was just it was just brilliant obviously it was hard work for the first month or so setting the shows up but then after that we were just doing the shows at night so when we were docking imports you know be a beach day everyday or you know doing all the tourist things in the cities so yeah I really loved it and just the food on board and you know somebody made my bed every day things like that when I came I was like one where's the box right in yourself what would you say no yeah I definitely would have said you know go for it and I don't I don't really regret anything and I just I just wish I knew and when I first started out you know not to kind of compare myself to other to other people and you know everyone's everyone's doing their own thing everyone's gonna have a very different kind of journey and career path and I think that that was quite hard to learn and because dancers are always compare themselves they to to other dances and you know naturally but yeah that and to not you know and to not take rejection personally and because again you know when you if when you first go to auditions and and you get turned down you think oh my goodness I'm not as good as I thought I was and maybe this isn't for me maybe I shouldn't be doing this when in actual fact it's it's good thing to do with your ability sometimes it can just be you know whether you're tall enough for short enough football you've got dark hair or long hair and it it really doesn't always come down to ability so things like that I kind of wish I knew but then again you know it's all like somebody telling you that but until you go through it yourself you don't don't really learn and understand so yeah I guess everything everything kind of was a learning curve and yeah it's just nice to him to have like are there other dancers going through the same thing like when you leave college and you all kind of go into it together but then people drop out and do other things and have complete career changes and but yeah it's nice that most dancers are supportive of each other and and help each other as well like I think it's brilliant when girls are like all have you seen this audition or have you seen this job you know there's nothing worse than especially girls if they're like no not wanting to help or kind of put other people down so yeah most most people are brilliant in in the industry I think

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