Listen: Alicia Banit, one of the stars of Dance Academy, chats to Laura and Duncan.
Professional dancing isn’t the dreamy, glamorous profession of fairytales.
It’s an exceptionally hard industry to break into, and much like acting, the journey is one filled with rejection and missed opportunity.
This was Alicia Banit’s experience.
Alicia stars as Kat in the ABC TV teen series Dance Academy and the new feature film spinoff Dance Academy: The Comeback, and she stepped in to the Hope 103.2 studios for a chat with Laura and Duncan.
Although breaking into dance is a tough road, Alicia’s an optimist and has channelled all the rejection and criticism into constructive feedback to help fuel her desire to make it in the industry.
“Staying positive is essential,” she said. “When you do succeed, it’s even better when you’ve gone through obstacles. There’s always going to be obstacles in life.”
Letting Go of Old Dreams
For Alicia, starring as Kat in Dance Academy is like life imitating art. Similar to the movie’s storyline, Alicia grew up with one dream—and ended up having to follow another.
She originally wanted to be a prima ballerina but discovered she didn’t have the body type to make it, so then transitioned into professional dancing.
Then, having gone to a performing arts school to realise that new dream, she came to the hard conclusion that she didn’t have the physical flexibility required. That challenge led her to channel her passion into acting.
The Challenge of Staying Humble
Trying to navigate the profession of acting and social media can be challenging, especially for any young actor trying to navigate the business, Alicia said.
“Self-worth shouldn’t have to be how many likes you get on a photo,” she said. “Or how many followers you have. I’m thankful that I have a great family and friends who help to keep me grounded.”
One of the biggest challenges of the showbiz world is the way the media builds up young stars into the latest and greatest thing—which can create an unhealthy reliance on popularity.
“I’m thankful that I have a great family and friends who help to keep me grounded.”
Having a strong network of supporters helps Alicia helps her to maintain balance and humility, and ensures that she doesn’t get a head too big for her shoulders. She urges young people to look for chances to encourage and build each other up, rather than looking for how they can just achieve their own dreams.
“I want everyone to succeed and be happy,” she said. “When I have friends going through hardships I just want to be there for them. It’s not just about one person, because everyone has their own story.”