10 minutes with Leroy Dos Santos
Can you talk about your life in dance and how it came to be that you chose this path? (we love hearing from male role models to help inspire young men in the borough to dance)
I’ve always been interested in dance from a young age as Michael Jackson was my greatest inspiration. I would watch all kinds of dance videos for hours and hours, then I would practice with my cousins and showcase all my moves at family parties, competitions at school, which built my confidence.
Your dance group Flawless were propelled to fame by Britains Got Talent. Can you talk about what that experience was like for you and whether you are for or against the trend for reality talent shows?
It was one of the best experiences of my career. We worked so hard and rehearsed every day to give our best performance on show. Each time we performed we wanted to give the audience something new and refreshing. All the hard work paid off when we received such amazing feedback from Simon Cowell, family and friends. I think talent shows are a great platform to showcase your talent to the world.
You are the epitome of someone with a ‘portfolio career’ – a model, dancer, choreographer, singer, mentor. How do you describe yourself and what you do and how (on earth!) do you balance it all?
I believe being in this type of industry is about being creative and as open to other skill sets and opportunities as much as possible. I’ve always had a passion for modelling, music and encouraging young kids through dance. I think it’s important to invest time in other areas that your passionate about. Achieving all these things requires a lot discipline, focus and consistency.
You are part of a dance group –Can you tell us a bit more about how this works and the skills you need to make a success?
Being in a dance group is about working together to make the dream work. It requires everyone to be on the same page with the same objectives and goals to make things happen. Dancing in a group is about commitment to each other, trust, supporting each other and being passionate about what you do. Everyone has to have the same principles and ethos.
How does your role in Flawless differ from the mark you want to make on the world with your own choreography?
With my own choreography, my aim is for my choreographic style to be recognised all over the world through the exploration and experimentation of Hip Hop, Contemporary and Popping.
You are also a social mentor… tell us a bit more about what this involves and why this carries so much importance for you?
I have had some experiences in mentoring young people from all different backgrounds and ethnicities. Young people who have had a difficult upbringing and my job was to encourage and mentor them through physical activities such as dance. This became a great platform and escapism for them. This was so important to me because I know how important it is for young people to have a role model, someone who understands and cares for them. I grew up with similar conditions, so I am grateful that I found dance as my escape.
What advice would you give a young dancer making their way in the world today?
Make the most out of every opportunity you get in dance. Be open to all possibilities in dance wherever it takes you. Believe in yourself and be confident with the gift you have. Surround yourself with the right people who can support your vision and goals. Seek the right counsel from the right people such as dance teachers, choreographers, agencies, parents and friends. Go to classes and train hard, network with other dancers/choreographers and watch dance shows to get inspiration.
We here at Greenwich Dance are setting out to create a dance community of people, of all ages, backgrounds and experiences, who value the place of creativity and dance within their lives regardless of whether it’s something they use to pay the mortgage! Do you have a response to that as an approach and is this a value you also share with us?
I think its brilliant that Greenwich Dance are creating a dance community of people of all ages, backgrounds and experiences, who value the place of creativity and dance within their lives. I think it’s important to have platforms like Greenwich Dance where people can grow in their art field, express themselves creatively and flourish.
Book the Flawless Day with Leroy Dos Santos on Tuesday 19 February here.