After studying a BTEC in Dance at Lewisham Southwark College, Shanara Edwards was offered a place at the Institute of the Arts in Barcelona studying Musical Theatre. She then got her current job as a Parade Performer and Dancer for Disney.
Shanara took time out of her busy schedule to speak to our Alumni Team about making it as a professional performer and her dreams of being on a West End stage.
“I always knew I wanted to perform and Lewisham Southwark College helped me further my dance training,” said Shanara. “I had never heard on the Institute of the Arts Barcelona which is where I did my degree until I learnt about it at college. I also learned a variety of other dance styles and was given extra singing lessons so I kept up those skills too.
“I graduated from university with a degree in musical theatre from the IAB and left with not only a degree but two job offers and an agent,” she said. “I am currently a Parade Performer in Disney Paris. This mostly consists of day rehearsals and performing in the afternoon or evening.
“The greatest challenge of my career so far has been making job decisions. But ultimately it’s important to go with whatever you feel and make the right choice for you in the moment. If it is the wrong decision learn from it and move on,” she said.
“Eventually I want to work on the west end. I have not yet reached that goal as I have only just graduated, but I have auditions coming up and am hopeful for the future. I would also like to try out for working on a cruise ship in the next five years.
“My advice to other people hoping to work in the performance and dance industry is that if you can see your self doing something else then do something else,” said Shanara. “If you can’t, then go for it with everything you’ve got!”