Dance Academy – Red Carpet Premiere

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DANCE ACADEMY is the feature film based on the incredibly successful two-time Emmy nominated Australian TV series, ‘Dance Academy’, that saw a group of teenagers through the ups-and-downs of elite dance training at the National Academy of Dance. After shooting the cast arriving on the red carpet at the movie’s premiere in Sydney, we talked to two of its stars. Jacqueline Miholos chatted with Alicia Banit and Thomas Lacy about their costumes, their style and their dancing. Photos: Alice Sciberras.

Alicia Banit, you star as effervescent and friendly Kat Karamakov in Dance Academy. How was the premiere? 

It was incredible, it exceeded my expectations! We had so many incredible fans show their support, it was really amazing to see everybody and kind of overwhelming to know that people were excited to see the film and to see us, it was awesome, a lot of fun.

At the Premierre of Dance Academy - Alicia Banit

We loved the playsuit you wore to the Premiere and how it was styled with red earrings and those killer black heels.  Who were the designers?

I was inspired by a playsuit one of my friends wore to an engagement party. When I went into Kookai and saw it, I tried it on and just had to have it. The earrings were also from Kookai, they worked really well together. My shoes were from Alias Mae, initially an accidental order but a happy mistake!

What was your favourite costume during the movie?

I quite liked the vintage burnt orange dress, it was really cute and quite comfortable. I’m all about comfort. Also, I really loved the pyjamas that I got to wear, it was pretty great to be able to wear pyjamas on set and outside jumping into a big pink limo.

How would you describe your everyday street style?

I’m a bit of a tomboy but I also love dressing up. Majority of the time you will find me wearing shorts or jeans rather than dresses and skirts. I’m wearing a skirt today, which has thrown that out the window but I’ve paired it with an Adidas t-shirt to create a comfortable sporty look. At events, I love a pair of killer heels and a little black dress! The playsuit was great; I remember seeing photos and thinking wow, ok I actually like the way I look.

Have your costumes in Dance Academy influenced your personal style? Or vice versa?

Kat’s got a specific style in the film because she’s trying to move away from the childish image of her tween series Belle, she was dressing more grown up. There was a pair of navy boots with a clear heel that Kat wore which I really loved!

Stars at the Premiere of Dance Academy

The movie is all about your dancing careers, with many beautiful dance scenes. What’s your background in dance?

I started dancing when I was about four years old, enrolled in a modelling agency with my brother and started doing acting auditions. My mum took me to her dance school from when she was younger so it was a lovely experience for her full of memories from her childhood, I loved it and continued ever since then. My mum was so proud to see me on the big screen at the Premiere after supporting me from such a young age.

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Thomas Lacey, you starred as talented and driven Ben Tickle. First of all Thomas, how did you enjoy the premiere? 

It was a lot of fun and a big day. I was in bed asleep by 9pm! We had a great turn out of fans, I think the movie was really well received by them. It was a really enjoyable hot day. We started nice and early and got all dolled up which was good.

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You looked very dapper in your navy suit at the Premiere, who was the designer?

It’s Daniel Hechter, a Paris brand. A good friend of mine Peter Thompson owns Expedition Apparel in Melbourne, they represent Daniel Hechter from Paris so I got all dolled up in a nice navy suit which is my favourite colour for a suit with brown boots. The pocket square also matched the shirt which I’m a fan of wearing.

What was your favourite costume during the movie?

We got to wear some really cool unitards and ballet wear made by a couple from the Australian Ballet, they were really breathable and comfortable.

How would you describe your everyday street style?

Walking down the street, you’d find me in black jeans and a polo top. Quite different from Ben, who wore a lot of oversized cardigans which were specific to his situation in the movie.

Have your costumes in Dance Academy influenced your personal style? Or vice-versa?

I occasionally take influence from Ben but I really enjoy dressing up, especially in the suit for the Premiere. Any chance I can, I’m always happy to wear a suit.

What’s your dancing background?

I started dancing when I was two years old doing Ballet, Tap and Jazz and I did my first professional theatre show when I was seven. I did eight shows as a child, including Jazz, Hip Hop, Music Theatre, and I actually learned Flamenco for Strictly Ballroom The Musical which was a show that I did last year. I can basically say that I’ve done most styles including Ballroom dancing, competitively for six years. I’d like to tick Irish Dancing off the list next. Any type of dance is always going to be a part of my life but tap dancing would have to be my favourite. I was lucky enough to join The Tap Pack for the Edinburgh Fringe Festival last year. I love acting as well as dancing, it’s really a dream come true.

Stars on the Red Carpet for the premiere of Dance AcademyDance_Academy_15

Thomas Lacey, one of the stars of Dance Academy

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Fans at the Dance Academy Premiere

Interview: Jacqueline Miholos

Photos: Alice Sciberras

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