Hailing from South Africa, "Call Me Adam" chats with rising dancer Adrian Bennett about why it's so important for him to be a dancer in the US, touring on Michael Jackson HIStory/This Is It and with Miley Cyrus/"Hannah Montana", and wanting to dance with Lady Gaga.
For more on Adrian follow him on Instagram!
1. Who or what inspired you to become a dancer? My aunt owns her own dance studio in South Africa called Moving Visions and I used to hang around the studio as a little kid and watch dancing day in and day out. I started taking class and fell in love with dance. I have known since I was a little boy that I've wanted to become a professional dancer. My passion in life is dance. It's the driving force behind everything I do. I am just very blessed and grateful that I get to do what I love each and every day.
2. Who haven't you worked with that you would like to? The dream is to perform with Lady Gaga on her world tour. I went to her concert while in South Africa and I turned around to face the audience and in that instant looking at that insane crowd, knew I had to be on stage with her. In saying that, there are so many incredibly talented choreographers and performers I would like work with in the future.
3. You were born in South Africa, what made you want to come to the US to further your dancing career? As beautiful as South Africa is, there is no real market for entertainment and dance. I feel that there is so much more experience to be gained and so much more to learn and coming to the USA has really opened my eyes to that. I have pushed myself further and harder than I ever have in South Africa. I am very blessed to be able to study at Broadway Dance Center for the summer here in NYC. The entertainment industry in the USA is huge and to be a part of it would absolutely make me a better artist and performer.
4. How do you feel working here in the US will be better for you as a dancer? In the US there is a lot more competition which has its negative and positive sides, but with good competition it pushes you to depths and places you never thought possible. That is the reason I want to pursue a career her in the USA. To be pushed and to grow and learn more. As I said before, the entertainment industry here is just so vast and all the different types of opportunities that are available to performers/dancers. In life I guess we never stop learning and for me to grow, the way I want to, I need to be in the USA.
5. You have done so much already in your career at such a young age. You've danced around the world in the Michael Jackson HIStory Tour and Hannah Montana and Miley Cyrus: Best of Both Girls tour, you placed in the top 12 contestants of the South African television show, Dance Dance Dance, and danced at the Miss Italy Pageant. What more do you hope to achieve? I don't feel like I will ever hit a place when I feel I have achieved enough. I don't know if that is a good or bad thing. As each day brings new and wonderful possibilities, the things I hope to achieve will forever be changing. One dream I hold dear to my heart is dancing in a world tour for Lady Gaga to sold out stadiums. I hope to be the best that I can be in my field!!! To be at the top of my game and live with integrity and love. Be performing with world famous stars.
6. What did you learn from being on the Michael Jackson HIStory Tour? This tour was with Kenny Wizz the world's No.1 Michael Jackson impersonator from Las Vegas. Working on the tour was incredible. I learned so many things from him, being professional, to having such passion for what you do, and leaving your heart on that stage after every performance. We danced in sold out arenas, and to be dancing for thousands of screaming fans was an out of body experience. Truly a dream come true.
7. From your accomplishments, how do you hope to serve as an inspiration to the youth of South Africa? I hope that I get to inspire the Youth of South Africa by showing them that dreams do come true if you believe in yourself and you put the hard work in. I've had to overcome many obstacles during this path that I have chosen, and actually going after your dream may be the most difficult thing you'll do but do it anyway!!! I want to become a motivational speaker and go to schools and dance studios back home to give classes and just talk to the kids about believing that anything is possible. I believe that if just one person believes in you anything is possible. In this world, most people will put you down, tell you that you are not good enough, and if I can be the one person who tells a young child that's dreaming of achieving something great, YOU CAN DO THIS, I've succeeded.
8. What's the best advice you've ever received? To believe that anything is possible!! And if your dreams don't scare you you're not dreaming big enough.
9. What have you learned about yourself from being a dancer? Dance has taught me commitment, determination, drive, passion, love, hope, and happiness. There are days when my body is aching from taking so many classes, but as a dancer you need to get yourself out of bed and get back into class. It has shown me that you need to be committed to achieve something great. You need to be determined and focused on what you want to achieve and never give up no matter how many times you are put down. And on the other hand dance is my escape. I transport to a different world when I dance. I have no thoughts and I honestly experience pure love!
10. If you could have any super power which one would you choose? To go back in time!
11. Favorite way to stay in shape (besides dance)? Yoga, pilates, and I do enjoy going to gym.
12. Boxers or Briefs? Briefs.
13. If could you be any original lifesaver flavor, which one would you choose? Cherry.
14. How do you want to be remembered? I want to be remembered as the person who made everyone laugh and feel loved. People these days are so career driven and only care about themselves. Each person I come into contact with, I want to make smile and feel good about themselves. I also want to be remembered for being the boy from South Africa who had big dreams of making it in the US, and through believing in himself and handwork, he made it happen.
Adrian Bennett's passion and love for dance began at the age of 8. In just a few years he studied modern, jazz, contemporary and ballet. By the age of 12, he was training for competitive dance in all disciplines, often being featured as a soloist, in a duet, or as part of a small group. Adrian has also choreographed award winning small group performances.
In 2002, Adrian was awarded a Protea Colours for Dance. He has represented South Africa for the past 9 years in the I.D.O World Dance Championships: Riesa, Germany (2002, 2004, 2005, 2007, 2008, 2009, 2010) and Ljubljana, Slovenia (2003).
Adrian placed 2nd in the Jazz Championships held in Mikolajik Poland in 2009 and as of 2010, he's ranked 3rd in the world.
He also took part in the South African television show Dance Dance Dance and was placed in the top 12.
2010 was the start of a new path for Adrian. He started working closely with corporate companies and took up several contracts, which took me all over the world. His career highlights so far has been performing in the Michael Jackson HIStory/This Is It WORLD tour.
Adrian has received Honors with Distinction (80% or higher) for all A.I.D.T.A modern exams and is currently in the International Student Visa Program at Broadway Dance Center in NYC.