Remember Why You Dance: Exclusive With Australia’s Neale Whittaker
For comedic and commercial performer Neale Whittaker, love is the reason he dances every day.
Rewind your mind back to when you first danced in a classroom. How did you feel? How big was your smile? How high did you jump? That feeling is the essence of your passion for dance—the whole reason you decided to dance in the first place.
Neale graduated from his full-time dance training at Ev & Bow in 2008, where he learned from Australian renowned choreographer Sarah Boulter. He has the support of his soon-to-be wife Aimee who is always cheering him on from the wings. “Aimee was the one who convinced me to audition for Ev & Bow almost 10 years ago. So if it wasn’t for her, I wouldn’t be dancing,” he said. “Having her support is the reason why I have the confidence to always be pushing forward into one of the hardest careers you can face. She’s the reason for it all.”
Neale has been fortunate with his dance career to be a pioneer in dance creation. He is co-creator with James Barry of a dance comedy entertainment group known as Phly Crew that had the opportunity to perform in the grand final of television show Australia’s Got Talent. “It was an extremely humbling experience…certainly validated how the Australian public viewed Phly Crew,” Neale said. Phly Crew is still in operation performing for people across Australia.
Alongside Phly Crew, Neale is also a pivotal dancer in Australia’s first commercial dance company, Dream Company, founded by Marko Panzic. Well-known for high-quality and high-end performances, The Dream Co. is kicking goals and making a grand impression on the dance industry here in Australia. Neale has expressed his privilege for being a player in this journey.
For Neale, dance is not only about pushing boundaries in the industry, but it is about clarity of the self. “When I dance, everything makes a lot of sense,” he explained. “All of the things that confuse or challenge me suddenly becomes less important—it is a true escape for my mind.” Neale’s escape starts with the connection to the song, feeling the rhythm and connecting song with movement.
If all you wonderful dancers take Neale’s class, he suggests to be patient and be excellent listeners. “I like my teaching to be a personal experience,” he added.