Nikki Chalas

20120912-214641.jpg

What are you currently working on?

I am currently the Production Manager, Stage Manager and Creative Supervisor of The Aluminum Show.

Where are you based out of?

New York City

When did you decide you wanted to be a dancer?

Boston Summer Dance Festival. I took classes with Lynn Simonson, Molly Molloy, Kitty Daniels, Lyn Taylor-Corbett, Chet Walker, Danny Buraczeski, Wayne Cilento, Donna McKechnie, Tony Stevens, and Mimi Quillin to name a few… These are the teachers and performing artists who inspired me at a young age. After studying with them and hearing their life stories, I knew that I wanted to do what they did. I wanted to be a dancer.

What was your first professional job as a dancer?

I was fortunate to grow up at dancing at the Jeannette Neill Dance Studio in Boston, MA, where there is a professional entertainment company, ACE Entertainment, run out of the studio. The company’s directors used to hire me to dance in industrials and to do gigs when I was only in high school… I booked my first “big job” when I was in college as a dancer in a tour called Get Up ‘N Dance. We toured parts of the United States and Canada with disco artists including KC and the Sunshine Band, Thelma Houston, The Pointer Sisters, and more–it was a BLAST!

Who were your mentors and what roles did they play in your growth as an artist?

All of my teachers at the Jeannette Neill Dance Studio have always been extraordinary mentors to me in many ways. Larry Keigwin is also definitely one of my most influential mentors. Larry is one of the few choreographers I know who has who has been majorly successful in concert dance, commercial dance and musical theater. We share many of the same artistic preferences and have had similar career goals. I worked with Larry and his company on several projects when I first moved to New York City, and he helped advise me on the industry in general. I owe much of my early success in NYC to Larry.

What’s your favorite memory on stage?

Performing an excerpt from JARADOA Theater Company’s Shafrika, The White Girl on stage in collaboration with some cast members from In The Heights and Avenue Q, for Broadway’s Gypsy of the Year at the Palace Theater was pretty cool! I also loved performing Doug Varone’s Sacre (Rite of Spring) with BalletMET.

What is your favorite place you have ever performed?

My favorite place that I have performed was in Madrid, Spain for six weeks with The Aluminum Show…The theater, the city, the people–I loved everything about my life there.

Was there a particular performance that changed your life or changed you as a dancer?

When I was thirteen years old I saw FOSSE at the Wang Center in Boston. This was one of the first moments that I knew I wanted to be a dancer. I wanted to do that. I proceeded to see FOSSE over twenty-five times on Broadway; I couldn’t get enough.

Do you have a pre-show ritual or superstition?

I always take about 5-10 minutes before a show to meditate. When I meditate, I set a goal for myself in that performance–sometimes it’s a new acting-motivation, sometimes it may be to focus on a specific correction… and then sometimes (like if it’s that 8th show of the week) the goal is to just get through it! …Oh yeah, and coffee too.. I always have coffee before a show.

What inspires you to keep going?

My peers. The artist-community in NYC is an extraordinary inspiration and support-system. It is always inspiring for me to see the people that I work with, audition with, and take class with book jobs and GROW from them. When I see everyone in the community riding the same roller coaster of successes, struggles and all coming across a few surprises too, it reminds me that we are all in this together–and that encourages me to keep going!

What are your goals outside of dance?

Dance is a part of every aspect of my life, it always has been; so, I don’t have too many goals that do not include dance in some way, shape or form! I love working in every part of this industry: performance, production, management, teaching…theater, film, television.. I want to keep working and to keep learning more.

Do you have any advice to give to other dancers whether they are just starting or in the thick of it?

I encourage all dancers to study as many styles and techniques as possible. The industry is always evolving and dancers today need to know how to do EVERYTHING. Take vocal lessons. Learn to tumble. You need to be versatile. You also need to develop elephant skin, because you will receive a lot of personal criticism in this field. You have to love it; you have to be hungry for it and you have to want to succeed more than anything else. So if you want it, go for it–and don’t give up!

What music are you listening to right now?

“Beautiful People”, Chris Brown featuring Benny Benassi

List five inspirations.

My family. My successful friends. New York City. Mia Michaels choreography. The Devil Wears Prada.

Nikki Chalas Bio

Nikki Chalas is originally from Boston, Massachusetts where she began her dance training at the Jeannette Neill Dance Studio as a part of Boston Youth Moves, under the direction of Jim Viera. Nikki then graduated Magna Cum Laude from The Ohio State University with her BFA in Dance and minor in Theater. She has been fortunate to dance professionally with Keigwin and Company, Doug Varone (Sacre at BalletMET), Luis Salgado/R.Evolucion Latina, Jeff Shade Dance, and Norwegian Cruise Lines. National/International TOURS: Get Up ‘N Dance; The Aluminum Show. She can also be seen as a featured dancer in The Ruse’s music video Collide choreographed by George Nieves. Nikki is currently the Production Manager and Creative Supervisor of The Aluminum Show.

http://www.NikkiChalas.com

20120912-214632.jpg

20120912-214647.jpg

One thought on “Nikki Chalas

  1. Wow wow nice blog and have the beautiful pictures you added in the blog its great.I really say its great to real and sea the picture in the blog. Thanks buddy to share these with us.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s