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Interested in a career in dance? Careers features loads of useful info on studying dance as well as general careers advice.

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Spotlight interview with Andy and Kelly Kainz

Many thanks for all the great questions you sent in for Latin American dancers, Andy and Kelly Kainz. They had great fun answering them and I'm sure we would all like to thank them for taking time out from a very busy schedule to do so.

They picked the following question as the winner of the Spotlight competition, so congratulations to Rachel Angus, age 13, from Bradford who won the fantastic prize of 60 minutes of private tuition with the couple.

Were you always the best in your class and if not is there any hope for people who start late or are not the best?
Rachel Angus, Bradford, age 13

When I went to stage school I was never actually aware of being the best or the worst in my class, but I was quietly confident in myself and my ability and always worked hard and achieved good grades in my exams. Starting to dance from an early age is the ideal situation as with anything you learn and absorb a lot more when you are young but the most important quality to have is determination and work hard along with it. If you possess both, even if you start later in life, then success is definitely still possible the question is how much do you want it? It’s not necessary how good you are. The best natural dancers don't always become the best and most successful dancers in the end.
Andy for example started when he was 16 years old after a successful football career.

And here are all your other questions...

What type of dance should I start with if I want to be a backup dancer for pop stars such as Stevie Brock, Aaron Carter, Jamie Lee Hoffman or even Greg Raposso? I do hip hop now. I have performed in talent show finals at the state fairs and county fairs and I just love performing. It would be an honor to meet you and I am determined and won’t give up on my dreams!
Courtney Comes Flying

To follow your dreams of becoming a backup dancer you have started out along the right lines. You will benefit from taking as many classes in a school to give you a wide scope on your talents as a dancer. In London, for instance, Pineapple studios would be a great place as they also have regular auditions and produce a lot of successful dancers. If you are not in school then you will have to find a school that caters along the same lines to give yourself a chance of being taught by the best people. They only thing I would say is - don't limit yourself or your possibilities by narrowing what you want to be just to be a backup dancer. Become a dancer first and see where it takes you. People might have to be backup dancers for you. Good luck!

Are you a real couple out of dancing?
Name not provided

Yes we are married and have been together for over 8 years. It is hard when you spend your lives together 24 7. When you argue in practice you can't bring it home or it just would not work. We have a good relationship, which is very strong outside dancing and that means there is a good foundation to enable us to cope with the stresses and constant workloads of our dance life together.

How did you become dancers? Because I want to be a dancer, got any tips for me please.
Preena Shah, London, age 15

Kelly started when her mum took her to a toddlers dance class when she was 3 years old. She continued through her teens, changing style along the way but feels that all the styles of dance she has learnt have helped her to become the dancer she is today. Andy started when he was 16 years old when his mother sent him to learn to dance for his end of school ball. He liked it very much and continued and the more he got involved the less time he had for his football career, which eventually he gave up but never regretted his decision. You need to find a good school, which has good teachers and learn as much as possible. Practice as much as possible and believe in yourself but you must be able to take criticism as there is quite a lot and you have to accept it and make it drive you on more.

What is the most embarrassing thing that has happened to you as dancers?
Kim Novak, London

When we danced at the Open British Championships in Blackpool Kelly's bust cup came loose and fell onto the dance floor so she thought she would kick it off the floor underneath some seats but when she kicked it she missed and kicked fresh air. On her second attempt the cup took off right into the face of a judge.

Who introduced you to each other and what made to want to stay dance partners?
Melanie Short,
Hampshire, age 14

Our one thing in common was a dance teacher called Margaret Redmond. She was Kelly's teacher and Andy's teacher in Austria. Kelly was without a partner at the time and she suggested we should give it a go together. So Kelly moved to Austria when she was only 18 years old without even having a try out or knowing Andy. It is crazy really but I trusted my dance teacher and she did not let me down. We got on very well and never looked back since. It was the best decision we both made.

When you were young did you think dancing would take you this far?
Shantel

Kelly says:
No idea. I just love dancing. I did it all the time at home, in school and after in dance schools. It was in my blood like a bug. Looking back I would have thought I would stay dancing in a stage school and then honestly I had not thought of it. When I started Latin American it was the same story. I enjoyed doing it but still did not know it would be something I would end up doing professionally. It was just a natural progression and it only started to become more serious as I was an amateur doing very well did I think - Yes I could become a professional.

Andy says:
No not at all. It started off as a bit of a laugh in dance school. But as I got more successful I became more determined.

And here are a few questions from us at young-dancers.org…

What Latin American couples did you admire when you were younger?

Nicola Cranshaw with Chris Johnston, as they were in my school and a bit older and Shirley Ballas as she is also from Liverpool (Kelly). I used to like Paul Killick when I started off (Andy).

(For Kelly) How many competition outfits do you own?

I have a complete show wardrobe, which consists of 5 different outfits. The competition outfits are sponsored to us by a company called Danscouture London-Moscow and I have a new outfit for every big competition, which would be anything from 5 to 10 dresses a year. I have to sell the outfits afterwards so I normally wear the dress once and then sell it so I don't have all of them at home in my wardrobes.

What is your exercise regime to keep you fit for dancing?

We go to the gym 4 times a week doing different circuits for strenght and stamina and we both swim. We realise that it is a very important part of dancing to be fit and bodily strong, which creates a healthy mind.

We hope you enjoyed this Spotlight Interview. Many thanks to Andy and Kelly and all the people that emailed their questions.

ISTD ONLINE

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