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Interview: Alicia Banit, Dance Academy

Interview: Alicia Banit, Dance Academy

Calling all Dance Academy fans, the wait is finally over, the anticipated film has finally arrived! Even if you aren’t an avid fan, this film should not be missed.

Ray of sunshine, Alicia Banit plays the bubbly, easy going, Kat Karamakov in the series and the movie, she had a chat with us and gave us some insight into the new film, Listen or read below.

Dance Academy was an iconic TV series. For those who aren’t familiar with the show and the film itself, how would you describe Dance Academy as a whole?

I guess there’s all of the universal themes of it being a teen drama with relationships, friendships, heartache, and stuff like that. For me, the show is extremely relatable, I think the fact that it deals with some pretty heavy subjects like death, sexuality, and eating disorders, things that happen to real people in real life makes it great. I think that being able to put such issues on television and make it available to young people is so important. I think that’s why it’s done so well, because it’s so relatable and all oof the characters deal with the same issues that everyday people deal with.

It’s almost been four years since the last episode aired. What was it like reuniting with the cast?

Oh it was so amazing! It was so amazing! They’re basically my family and we also had a lot of the same crew come back from the series.

From series one to series three, we pretty much had the same crew for the entire time, with some exceptions. Coming back to do the movie with everybody was amazing, I had my family back! We’d all definitely seen each other in between filming the series and the movie and maintained our friendships. So, to work together again was pretty special.

In the film Kat is in New York and living a very glamorous life. What was it like to play your character in such a different context? Did you find any aspects challenging?

I think when it comes to Kat, I don’t know if its life imitating art or art imitating life. It’s pretty much been my life story, you know, coming from a dancing background and then going into acting. I think it’s a good story for Kat because dancing wasn’t her own thing, it wasn’t her own dream, she was sort of put into it because her family all did it and so it was something that she did too. For her to find acting, make that her own dream, and to be doing it for her own reasons was really important. Obviously there’s obstacles that she goes through, there’s always going to be heartbreak and there’s a lot of  other issues, but I think it was really fun to find so much of myself in her and to portray that on screen.

What was the strangest thing that happened to you while filming?

The fact that we got to go to New York! I never would have expected in my wildest dreams that we’d end up filming in New York. I had never been there before and I think most of the cast hadn’t been there either.  Xenia (who plays Tara) and I had the most incredible time doing a lot of our scenes together over there! It was just indescribable. The fact that it was the first time I was going there and experiencing all the touristy locations when we were filming made it amazing! We were so lucky and it’s by far the craziest thing, I never expected to ever happen.

The film, similar to the show, tackles a lot of issues about ambition and reaching your goals. Do you have any advice for university students trying to achieve their goals?

Yeah for sure, I suppose when it comes down to it, you’re always going to experience rejection in whatever industry you’re in. As long as it’s something you’re passion about and you actually enjoy doing it, stick with it. You can never stop learning, so you should keep pushing. It’s important to note that dreams change and they evolve, and what you’re doing now might not be what you will be doing in five years’ time, prepare yourself for that to be an option. For example, I wanted to be a prima ballerina when I was younger and that was my dream. As I grew up I figured that’s probably not going to happen and it was heartbreaking. But I think by being a part of the performing industry, I started to fall more and more in love with acting and that’s a dream that completely evolved and changed, and that’s okay. I think that’s a huge part of the movie as well, the characters all have dreams and they’ve changed, they might not have ended up doing what they always wanted to do, but they are still happy about where they are because they’ve put in the work and they’re still doing what they love doing because they found it through their journey.

Do you think there is a possibility for another reboot of Dance Academy, or is this is last of it?

I always think that there is a possibility. The character story lines are left open ended, it’s kind of ‘where could it go from here?’. I think there’s always a possibility. I have no idea if Sam and Joe, the writer and the producer have any plans to continue with it, but I think there is always a possibility for sure.

Rapid fire

Ballet or hip hop?
Oh can I choose both!
TV or movies?
I’m not a good decision maker, can I go both again?
City or country?
Night in or night out?
It depends what mood I’m in but I’m definitely more of a night in kind of girl.
Acting or dancing?

Catch Alicia in Dance Academy The Movie, in cinemas April 6.



About Annie Davidson

Still gets excited by an all day breakfast menu

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