Tips From The Pros...
Wil Sabin is an internationally renowned choreographer and creative director based in Sydney. Clients include Jessica Mauboy, Prinnie Stevens, Paulini, Melissa Tkautz, Zoe Badwi, Deni Hines, and Courtney Act. He has also worked locally with international artists: Deborah Cox and Luciana, Melody Thornton and performed alongside 'Sir Elton John' in Hong Kong and toured extensively throughout Japan with international magician ' Cyril'.
As a dancer he performed throughout Australia with Caroline O' Connor, The Presets, Ricki-Lee, Sneaky Sound System and INXS.
Wil was a guest judge and mentor for New Zealand's Next Top Model Cycle 3.
Sabin's international credits as Show Choreographer/Director include the MGM Grand Casino- Macau, The Venitian Casino- Macau, and 'Maxims Dolls' launching the very first casino in Singapore - Resorts World Sentosa.
In 2014 Wil choreographed the stage show “Sydney After Dark” for the Planet Hollywood Casino in Las Vegas.
Sabin looked after the entertainment for “March Into Merivale” producing entertainment across 22 events, Appeared on Season 3 of Asia's Next Top Model which airs globally to 140 million viewers.
Recently worked as Creative Director for the Family Nightclub Entertainment Program in Brisbane creating 15 production shows, launching the Andy Warhol exhibit at the NGVand is creative director for new Sony Artist Natalie Conway.
Wil is also on the faculty of Village On Broadway Performing Arts school, teaching young aspiring performers across various disciplines, including jazz, musical theatre and technique. His students currently hold multiple national titles.
What was the last song you danced to?
Control by Janet Jackson, I am obsessed with 80’s and 90s music at the moment.
What do you look for in a dancer when hiring?
It varies from job to job, someone who understands the brief and dresses appropriately for the casting, someone who listens and is observant during class or a casting. Of course in the commercial industry you need the whole package – so someone who presents them selves well and looks a million bucks!! Quite often I will film castings to show my clients and they need to see exactly what they are going to get on the day.
How much does someone's social media status affect your decision when hiring?
It definitely comes into it to some extent – it is always good to get your work out there and hiring dancers with large followings themselves helps with that. I do know though a lot of hair and make up artists wont get hired now unless they have a certain amount of followers, same for going for leads in some musicals.
Having said that I will always book who ever is BEST for the job, so its not essential to have 20K + followers but it definitely doesn’t hurt ;)
What do you think is lacking in the dance industry?
I think there is a lack of proactive young choreographers creating work for the next generation of dancers, I speak quite often to my choreographer peers about the amount of effort that young choreographers go into to make concept videos and class videos – I always think if they spent that much time creating shows or products to sell to agencies etc there would be a lot more work on offer for younger dancers.
What makes a good performer?
Someone who is versatile, no ego, and is easy to work with. You always know performers who have that special X factor – it comes from another place.
What do you think the main difference is between the Australian and American dance industry?
The amount of work – you can be more specialised in America, as in just be a commercial back up dancer or just be a musical theatre dancer, here you need to be able to do it all as there simply isn’t the work that there used to be. I was lucky when I was at the peak of my career we would be booked out on 3-4 sometimes 7 different gigs a week. It doesn’t happen like that so much now. Also the support – everyone supports each other a lot more in America I feel.
Where do you find your creative streak when it comes to choreography?
Anything and everything- The music generally – If I love a piece of music I blast it in my apartment and just dance. But I love watching youtube videos, old movie musicals, concerts.
Best piece of advise you were given/heard?
Never compare yourself to anyone else – especially in class. You are on your own journey – you only need to be better than you were yesterday – not the person next to you.
What would you say to people trying to make it in the industry?
Get out there, go to as many classes as you can. Network!! A lot of the time its who you know not what you know. Get your instagram happening, get yourself seen!! And NEVER give up.