Childhood fantasy on hold for Nanango aerial dancer
CHELSEA Bowden was living out her childhood fantasy of a lifetime dancing for Disneyworld in Paris when coronavirus hit, and restrictions and imminent lockdown meant she needed to return to her hometown of Nanango to safely continue training.
After three months in Paris, 19-year-old Chelsea flew home on March 14 and she is now living with her mum – she’s planning a return to France and continuing to dream big for her future in the arts.
She said the impacts of coronavirus while she was overseas became “quite scary, quite quickly”.
“Within a week, the park went from cancelling parades to completely shutting the gates.”
Chelsea said this week she had been performing at Disneyland on an open-ended contract and was “friends with Mickey and Minnie Mouse, along with many other VIP characters”.
In the future, she hopes to perform with Wendy Darling from Peter Pan – a prestigious role that she is looking forward to.
“It has been the most incredible experience. I can actually call myself a professional dancer now who is working in the industry.
“I’ve achieved one of my biggest goals and dreams in life.”
Chelsea said that seeing the Eiffel Tower was also an adventure she had longed for as a child.
“Experiencing the culture, the food and learning to speaking French have all been a very surreal and incredible experience,” she said.
“Everything there is really pretty and everyone is really nice – you feel like you’re living in a movie.
“Some of the food is like nothing I’ve ever tasted and their patisseries are just divine.”
Chelsea said she “loved her job” in Paris.
“Getting paid to do something that is your passion makes you want to continue doing it.”
Next, Chelsea said, she would be keen to sail the world on cruise ships and perform as an aerial soloist.
“I’m very passionate about cirque and I have my own silks and hoop rigged up here to train on every day.
“My ultimately life goal would be to be part of Cirque du Soleil.”
Currently, Chelsea trains for 1.5 hours a day of aerial and strength and she works on her acrobatic skills for another 1.5 hours as well as her dancing.
“You have to be really persistent and motivated and have a high pain tolerance!
“I get bruised all the time – the hoop is made of metal so when you’re moving around and twisting and turning your body you can get a lot of bruises on your back.
“And I get friction burns from the silk.”
As a former dance student with La Crème Dance Academy, which has studios in Nanango and Kingaroy, Chelsea learnt many dance styles as a young student and then went on to focus on her aerial talents at Dynamite Studios on the Gold Coast.
Director of La Crème Dance Academy Bec Stone said this week Chelsea “was always such a hard worker”.
“She was destined for big things. She’s been dancing her whole life.”