Evie Morris: 'Show up, don't show off'
Freelance contemporary dancer, choreographer and teacher
Where are you from?
Where did you undertake your full-time training?
Academy of Music & Performing Arts.
What level of education had you attained before beginning your full-time training?
High School Certificate.
Did you make any unexpected discoveries while undertaking your full-time studies?
I learned that even though my execution of certain styles wasn’t perfect, having those tools in my belt has made me a more interesting, versatile and therefore hireable artist. In short, with complete honestly, I learnt how important hiphop was to my career as a contemporary dancer.
Did you change your mind or have a change of attitude about your career goals while you were studying?
Studying at AMPA certainly fostered my interest and subsequent love of choreographing. I was set on being a performer, but being given the tools and confidence to pursue the creative avenues of our industry was an unanticipated but wonderful gift. My career is now heading in that direction more and more as I take on projects such as music videos, dance films and teaching.
What was one of the main life lessons you gained from full-time studies?
The biggest thing I realised while studying is that you have to show up, not show off. If you show up for yourself, your peers and your teachers honestly and ready to learn, you’re going to move through the world as the best version of yourself possible. And you’ll continue to get better. ‘Showing off’ is an immediate wall you’re building against learning, because you’re saying “look at what I can already do”. It may feel good to attract attention, but that’s not the kind of attention you want. As a teacher and artist who hires dancers now, the ones who show up consistently, without showing off, are the ones I give the jobs to.
What is your best memory of your studies?
My best memory is truly being in performance class and learning repertoire and choreography that were challenging in every aspect. Drilling, refining and finding new ways to perform difficult contemporary phrases. It was so satisfying looking back on the kind of dancer I was when the process started at the beginning of the trimester and how far myself and the class had come by the end.
How quickly did you gain a professional position after graduation?
I was already a working professional dancer when I began my studies at AMPA, but the biggest job I have landed to date was being accepted by Opera Australia for a contract in 2018, and subsequently continuing to work with them for the past three years.
Tell us a little about your present job.
I work with Opera Australia as a dancer and actor, as well as freelancing as a creative on music videos and dance films. However, teaching has become a huge passion of mine, and I share the knowledge I was lucky enough to gain and continue to grow at DUTI Studios (Sydney), teaching open contemporary classes, as well as masterclasses for the Department of Education. I am about to commence my Masters Degree in Arts Education through RAD.
What do you know now that you wish you'd known when you were a student?
Everyone has something important to offer you. Everyone has something they can teach you. Listen closely, and keep showing up.
Evie Morris is featured in our annual pullout Full-Time Studies Guide in Spring (September/October/November) issue - OUT NOW! Buy your copy from your favourite dance shop or online here.