The start of Chloe Paix’s professional dancing career has been far from smooth sailing, but she is persevering, having found a new and rewarding role close to home.
Having danced since the age of three, the 18-year-old had planned to perform on cruise ships after training full time at Conroy Performing Arts in Brisbane from 2019 to 2020.
Cruises are a popular entry into the industry for young dancers, but they have been put on hold due to COVID-19.
Ms Paix says the pandemic has been difficult for her after dedicating most of her life to dancing.
“After doing full-time training, cruise ship entertainment was supposed to be the first stop in a lengthy and established career in dance and the performing arts,” Ms Paix says.
“In the initial stages of lockdown, it was fun to do your 12-hour training days in the living room where you could just walk to the fridge for a snack and return
“But as the weeks turned into months, I started to question whether all the time was worth it if there was nothing to return to.
“It’s hard to keep wanting something that currently doesn’t exist.
“I have trained for this career since I was three, so for it to then collapse and watch it sink, after working for a job for 16 years, to say it’s hard is an understatement.”
However, the job crisis has a silver lining with Ms Paix teaming up with her mother Leanne to teach Jazzercise at Nambour and Cooroy.
Ms Paix says working for her mum has been her saviour during the career pause.
“My saving grace in all of this has been Jazzercise as it has kept me moving and surrounded me with the most amazing and inspiring women ever, but also my creative works.”
Leanne Paix says her daughter is one of many dancers currently forced to look for other work options.
“A lot of dancers are out of work and they are all going into do fitness because it is the next best thing for them,” she says.
“The dance world is populated with teachers, so it can be hard to find somewhere to work.”
As well as working for her mum in the mornings, Ms Paix has been lucky enough to secure a job teaching at Studio 2 Dance in Nambour in the afternoons and says she is looking forward to auditioning for dance roles again in the near future.