When she’s not dancing in the Studios, you’ll find Amba Shepherd gracing the stages of music festivals across the globe. She’s worked with some of the biggest names in electronic music, including Tiësto, Armin Van Buuren and Hardwell.
Amidst her busy touring schedule, we sat down with her to chat about her favourite classes at the Studios and how dance complements her music career.
When and how did you start dancing?
I started dancing at Janice Breen Performance Studio at Marsfield and Coogee, from the age of about seven. I also studied a bit with Brent Street and after school I started taking classes on and off at Sydney Dance Company Studios.
What do you love about dance?
Dance and music are very closely intertwined for me. I’m a singer/songwriter but I can say that dance was actually my first love. There is such an important energy in dance. It’s the physical expression of an emotion that, for me, is an essential part of life. Like breathing. Must express & move.
What classes do you attend at Sydney Dance Company Studios?
This year I have been loving the Stretch classes with Brian Carbee. I find this class challenging and I feel so incredible after it, like my entire body has been recalibrated. I also find that it really makes my body stronger, more responsive, and more agile in other dance classes. I also love Jazz with Louie George and Ramon Doringo.
What’s your favourite dance style?
I love Lyrical, Contemporary, JFH, Jazz, and Tap.
What do you enjoy most about classes at Sydney Dance Company?
I love the teachers and all the dancers. The beautiful old wharf is also one of the most magical creative spaces in Sydney.
What has been a valuable piece of advice from a teacher you’ve learned in dance class?
That it’s important not to push your body but to allow it – the nervous system – to let go.
What has been the biggest challenge for you as a dancer?
Some knee and lower back strains from touring and constant travelling put me back at the end of last year which is why I got stuck into Stretch classes this year. It’s helped enormously.
Being a successful singer/songwriter, how does dance complement what you do in your music career?
I jump around a lot on stage – I wouldn’t call it dancing but I actually would love to incorporate choreography into my future performances.
If you weren’t working in music, what would you be?
I feel so incredibly blessed everyday to be living my dream as an artist that I can’t imagine doing anything else.
What are you currently working on and what are your future plans?
Right now I am working on my new singles that will be released this year! And my new live show. I get asked all the time “When can we expect an album Amba?” and I think 2018 is the year.
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