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BACKSTAGE with Matt Lee

How old were you when you started dancing?

“I was 5 years old when I got put into dance.”

Tell us about your training. Where, who with, what styles etc?

“I was trained in every aspect of the performing arts. I studied Jazz, Tap, Ballet, Acrobatics, Singing and Acting. I was lucky enough to be trained by industry greats such as Jacqui Howard, Kelley Abbey, Roy Dudley, Jason Coleman and Linda Nagle.”

What was your first professional job?

“I was really lucky to be given great professional performance opportunities as a kid. My first professional musical was RAGS for the Australian Opera at the age of 13 and then Hot Shoe Shuffle for David Atkins when I was 14.”

What has been a favourite on stage or professional moment?

“Sharing the stage with Hugh Jackman in "The Boy From OZ" was an absolute highlight, as well as choreographing alongside Paula Abdul and Ricky Martin.”

What do you wish you had known as a young dancer that you know now as a professional, or what advice to can you give to young dancers in training?

“I was always so driven as a kid and let nothing distract me from my career goals. I would say to kids of this generation, don’t get distracted or obsessed by what is ‘cool’ and ‘on trend’ because trends come and go.”

What advice would you give to dancers who want to become professional?

“You’re never too important to be nice to people. As you climb the ladder of the industry, people want to work with nice people. Work hard, be polite and be careful not to burn bridges early on in your career. See who is working and booking the jobs and get in front of them as much as you can.”

What does 2019 hold for you?

“This year I’ve taken on the role of Artistic Director of the Certificate and Diploma full time courses at Village Nation. I am really focused on the education of the next generation. I want the students to leave the classroom with more than just steps, but pieces of the puzzle to their future careers.”

Matt has performed/appeared in Mary Poppins, Miss Saigon, We Will Rock You, RENT and choreographed for So You Think You Can Dance Australia, Ricky Martin, Paula Abdul and will teaching at VDF 2019 thanks to Capezio.


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