Introducing Joshua Vilim
When a serious foot injury brought an early end to his medal-winning competitive Irish dancing, Joshua Vilim discovered joy in ballet, modern, and contemporary dance techniques as a Dance Major at Cawthra Park Secondary School. After an impressive and hard-working year as a CCDT apprentice, Josh is now dancing as a full company member for the 2020/21 Season.
Describe your history with CCDT.
Last year was my first year at CCDT as a company apprentice. This year is my first year as a company member. My experience here has been immaculate so far! From performing in WinterSong 2019, to learning some of my favourite CCDT works, I am truly happiest dancing here.
What was it like training and dancing from home during the lockdown earlier this year and through the summer? What helped you to stay positive and motivated during the tough times? How does it feel now to be back at the studio?
Training and dancing from home wasn’t as bad as I was expecting! I believe it was a test to see if one really loves to dance, and I found that I truly love it, for the art of it. What helped me stay positive during the tough times was having the time to be able to work on myself as a human being - organization, self confidence, and living a healthier lifestyle. It feels incredible to be back in the studio. Even being able to travel across the floor, my body and myself have been very grateful for the opportunity.
How else did you pass the time during our time apart? Did you develop any new hobbies or skills during your time in lockdown?
During our time apart I had lots of spare time on my hands. For the first two months or so, my family and I stayed at our cottage, which gave us some much needed quality family time. I learned that I love to cook, and I read the entire Twilight series!
This season is going to be very different as we experiment with alternative ways to work together and safely present dance to our audiences. What are you most enjoying and/or looking forward to?
This season has been going great so far. I love how we had the chance to learn different excerpts from different CCDT works, some of my favourites this year, in fact. I am most looking forward to just being able to perform in front of an audience, even if it is virtual! I love to perform, it gives me a sensation that I cannot find anywhere else.
Watch Josh, second from the left, in the creation process for STAR SEED, a new dance film choreographed and directed by Alyssa Martin.
What's a fun fact about you most people don't know?
I used to be a competitive Irish dancer for 6 years, and I only started my ballet and modern technical dance training at my high school 2 years before I joined CCDT. Also, I can wiggle my ears, and I’m on the cover of a book!
What skills do you think your training, performing, and overall experience with CCDT have given you that are transferable to other aspects of your life?
I have developed some amazing skills from CCDT. It has taught me that with hard work, you can obtain almost anything you want in life. It has also taught me how to get up when life puts me down, and how to multitask my priorities.
Are there any choreographers, teachers, guest teachers or guest artists you have worked with at CCDT who have been greatly influential on your training and/or growth as a dancer and artist?
Almost all CCDT faculty and guest teachers/choreographers have made an impact on my growth as a dancer. Most significantly, Rachael Hunt, who was the Program A ballet teacher for SunDance 2019, really kickstarted my ballet technique for what was coming in the years ahead. I believe she did a great job setting my foundations for dance.
Who is someone who regularly inspires you as a dancer/artist/creator/human being?
CCDT's Associate Artistic Director Natasha Poon Woo inspires me in so many different ways. From her eagerness to explore life, to how dedicated she is to get what she wants, there are so many qualities about her that I try to bring into my everyday life.
What are you obsessed with these days?
Lately, I’ve been really obsessed with the book series Twilight. It might sound sound crazy, but I am also obsessed with doing math!
What advice would you give to someone who is thinking about auditioning for CCDT?
Ignore the doubts you have, and just go for it! Don’t let it go to waste, it’s a once in a lifetime opportunity to shine!
Share an inspirational quote that you live by.
“The harder you work for something, the greater you will feel when you achieve it."
Andrew Clifton and Joshua Vilim
Photos by Francesca Chudnoff