Joanne Liebenberg is a Professional Dance Artist from South Africa and her career has taken her around the world. This dance phenom says that she has Dance to thank for it all. Liebenberg’s passion became her career and her career has since taken her around the globe. In an interview, this extraordinary Artist, opens up and answers questions about how ‘Dancing’ has given her the opportunity to travel the world.
Your career has taken you all over the world. Do you enjoy the travel aspect of your work and performing in so many different countries?
Definitely! I have always wanted to travel our beautiful world and growing up I quickly built up a list of so many places I just had to visit. I have Dance to thank for all my world travels, which include more than 20 countries and many cities. I am blessed to have worked with many international choreographers and have gained many international friends along my journey, who all share the same passion. By travelling to all these different countries, this has opened up many more dance opportunities for me and I have also gained a broader knowledge of dance as well. I have a great deal of love and respect for my craft!
Tell us about your contracts with the world’s largest and best cruise ship company in the world, Royal Caribbean International?
This is a dream dance job! I have just completed my second contract performing as a Featured Dancer with the company travelling and performing for audiences around the globe. I was the only South African to have been offered a contract when I auditioned for them whilst when I was dancing in NYC. On ‘Radiance of the Seas’ and ‘Voyager of the Seas’, I have performed in countries and cities such as Miami, Japan, Singapore, Hong Kong, China, Malaysia, Thailand, Vietnam, Philippines, Alaska, Canada, Hawaii, Australia, French Polynesia, New Caledonia, Vanuatu, and New Zealand. Hawaii has been my favourite place to visit so far, I had dreamed of venturing there for many years and my job made that a reality for me. There’s no bigger entertainment operation in the world than Royal Caribbean, on land or sea and I feel privileged to be a part of this elite company, dancing with the best talent from around the world.
What performances were you featured in before you started working with Royal Caribbean International?
Before my incredible journey with Royal Caribbean International, I performed in the show ’Another Day’ as Lead Dancer at the Kalk Bay Theatre in South Africa with Followspot Productions. This show was very special to be a part of, especially seeing my face on posters advertised all over Cape Town for the show. My ‘office’ had a view of the sea and the theatre was situated in the heart of Kalk Bay. This was a beautiful change of scenery for me as right before this I was dancing in the hustle and bustle of New York City. In NYC, I performed on the Alvin Ailey Citigroup Theater with Broadway Dance Center. I also became BDC’s ‘poster girl’ in NYC.
You’ve also earned many international awards. Do those awards change your view of your dance abilities in any way?
Before Dance became my career, I represented my country, South Africa, internationally for 5 consecutive years. I’ve been to Germany for the World Showdance Championships, Poland for the World Ballet, Jazz and Modern Championships, Portugal for The World Dance Week and USA for the American Dance Awards. By achieving Gold, Silver and Bronze medals for my country, it has proven my extraordinary ability for Dance and boosted my confidence in my dance ability. Dance has just taken me everywhere!
How do you like to stay in practice when you’re in between tours and performances?
Dance is such an exciting career as you never know what audition is coming up next. You always have to be ready and need to stay on top of your game. In between big dance contracts and tours, I Perform, Choreograph and Teach with different companies in South Africa such as Vole Ballet School and DS Dance. Due to the global pandemic, it’s been a struggle for Artists, but I have had the privilege to take international classes online as well as teach and perform virtually.
Where do you hope your dance career will take you next in the world?
I already have two future dance contracts lined up for me in America which I am extremely excited about. I have been offered to be the ‘Dance Specialist’ at the internationally renowned, Chace Dance Company in Orlando Florida where I will demonstrate choreography for the company and perform as a Soloist at company exhibits, showcases, classes and workshops. I have also been offered a contract with the well-established dance and performing arts facility, Center for Performing Arts Methuen in Massachusetts as the company’s ‘Dance Demonstrator’ where besides demonstrating choreography in all genres, I will perform as a soloist in classes at the studio as well as workshops and as a Lead Dancer at future end of term showcases around Massachusetts area, live as well as virtually.
What other interests do you have besides Travel and Dance?
Besides singing and acting which all play a part in the performing world, I recently became a certified and registered Yoga Instructor and certified Nutritionist. These certifications and experiences have opened up new doors for me. They also expand what I am able to offer as an artist. This was the case when I ran the social media division for a magazine-style website called iDiveblue during the Covid-19 lockdown in South Africa. iDiveblue provides quality content covering travel, adventure sport, and marine conservation. Furthermore, I also love the ocean, swimming, reading books, baking vegan desserts, photography, videography, and anything adventurous in nature. It doesn’t end there – I am a qualified PADI Scuba Diver, and I enjoy playing my ukulele which has never left my side during my worldwide travels.
What is your advice you would like to share with aspiring dancers?
My advice is that your dreams and goals will present themselves to you – trust in that process, what is meant for you will come. Your heart will whet your appetite for the goals that you need to work towards. Never stop believing that you can achieve them. Stay humble and work relentlessly with all your passion to back you up. Most importantly, enjoy the journey as it’s all part of the growth that will get you to where you are meant to be.
Joanne Liebenberg is proof that you can maintain a top-tier Dance career and still travel the world. Artists and Athletes, with the correct self-discipline, can be inspired and follow by example. Proving to be the talented Artist that she is, Liebenberg’s determination has carved out a highly successful career for her and fulfilling her desire to travel and experience the world. It is obvious that her humility, drive, and talent will keep propelling her to new heights!
Source: Dance Roots Media
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