A Day in the Life of a Professional Dancer: from Tampa to Los Angeles
February 26, 2018
For most teenagers in Tampa, the idea of moving to Los Angeles to pursue a lifelong dream is just that: a dream. For 18 year old Abby Melnick, this dream became a reality in 2017. After attending Corbett Preparatory School of IDS and Cambridge Christian High School, Melnick continued to perfect her dancing craft as a magnet student at Howard W. Blake High School near downtown Tampa.
We sat down with Melnick to discuss her transition to the west coast and a recent project with rapper Post Malone.
Q: When did you move to LA and what motivated the decision?
A: “I moved June of 2017 after finishing my junior year at Howard W. Blake High School. I decided that it was the right time for me to pursue my passion of professional dancing, and my family supported me.”
Q: What was the biggest change you experienced when you moved?
A: “Being fully online for school. Because I am registered as a student in Florida, the time difference sometimes makes it hard for me to work with my teachers. However, coming from a performing arts magnet school, the teachers are familiar with students who move to pursue creative careers full time.”
Q: How did you begin to get noticed and book jobs?
A: “Last year, I was signed with a talent agency in Los Angeles. Because I was still living in Florida at the time, it was harder for me to be booked. Once I officially moved, the agency submitted me for more auditions and my manager began booking me jobs. I also have found it is so important to always network with people, keep an updated presence on social media, and constantly attend dance classes between jobs.”
Q: How did the Dynamite Dylan ft. Post Malone video opportunity come about?
A: “My manager direct booked me for the job after the video production was looking for dancers. I was able to do the shoot with some of my friends which made it that much more exciting.”
Q: How did you prepare for the video?
A: “My friend Nat was the choreographer, so she led us in a four hour practice the day before the shoot.”
Q: What was the day of the shoot like?
A: “The dancers showed up to the location in our own clothes, but got to work with hair stylists and makeup artists to achieve the desired, uniform look for the video. We then met Dylan and Post Malone right before shooting the scene. They were both extremely nice. Post Malone was interested in getting to know everyone on set which created a great environment. Our scene was shot last because water was needed on the ground to create the desired reflective look. We ran through the choreography a few times to get the shots just right before wrapping around 3 a.m.”
Q: A year ago, living as a typical high schooler in Tampa, did you ever imagine dancing for artists like Post Malone?
A: “I knew that it was possible, but I wasn’t sure exactly how I would get there. The support of my family, and their willingness to move across the country, made all of this possible. I am so grateful for the connections and choreographers I have met because they have helped me to create a name for myself in a city with so much talent.”