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Wednesday 30 Jul 2014

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So You Think You Can Dance: Chris Piper

Chris Piper

Cheeky chappie and life and soul of the party.

Born in October 1983 in Birmingham, Chris grew up in Dorset before finally moving to London to realise his dream to be a dancer.

At an early age Chris trained as a Latin and ballroom dancer but at 14 joined a theatre school, which made him realise he wanted to do more than dance. He received scholarships to various colleges, but chose to study at Bodywork Company Dance Studio in Cambridge between the ages of 18 and 21.

Chris was in the original cast of Celtic Tiger with Michael Flatley, and has appeared in musicals such as Fame, We Will Rock You, Desperately Seeking Susan and Flashdance.

He has also appeared in the film Sylvia starring Gwyneth Paltrow, as well as The Dame Edna Show and various TV commercials.


Favourite song to dance to?

"Hmmm... I like a bit of Lady GaGa."

Greatest dancing fear?

"To break my leg on stage in front of an audience!"

Best physical feature?

"My hair – I grew it myself!"

Worst habit in dance?

"Definitely clicking as I dance. I always do it. And when I'm partnering sometimes I mark time with my mouth – it's very annoying for whoever's dancing with me."

Most embarrassing moment on stage?

"When I was doing Fame in the West End I did partner work and my partner fell on top of me. We were rolling about and she couldn't get off me. She knocked me straight on my back and every time we rolled to get up we both rolled the same way – we were stuck on the floor for what seemed like an eternity."

How did you get into dance?

"My babysitter used to do a dance class when she looked after me and I went with her and sat in the corner. So it was natural that I decided to have a go myself. I was 10 at the time."

Where did you train?

"At Big Little Theatre School in Bournemouth, then at Bodywork Company Dance Studios in Cambridge."

What's your favourite type of dance?

"I like lyrical jazz dancing."

What is it like working on a TV show?

"Amazing. It's nice to do something different because normally I work on stage, which is much more instant, but it's exciting to work with cameras."

Are the judges as scary as they seem?

"No. They know what they're talking about and you take any tough critique with a pinch of salt because they're trying to help you out. They're big softies, really."

What are your future plans?

"I'd like to maybe choreograph my own show or create my own company but in the short term I'd really like to do a big dance film like Step Up or Fame. That would be my ultimate dream, as I act a little bit too."

Why did you enter the competition?

"Because it's a brilliant opportunity to push dancers to the forefront instead of being behind somebody and I was looking forward to working with lots of different choreographers, to really push myself."

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