Rachel Carscadden – Running an Online Fitness Collective
We recently caught up with Rachel Carscadden who graduated in 2017 to find out about her dance, performance and fitness career so far…
Where did your dance journey start?
“Before I trained at DFA College, I spent many years training with Matthew Dance Academy in Milnathort in Perth and Kinross. I decided to turn my passion into a career and my dance teacher recommended Dance For All College. When I was twenty I gained a BATD Associate Stage Dance Diploma and, after a successful audition, then began training at DFA.”
How did your training at DFA prepare you for life and work as a professional dancer and dance teacher?
“At DFA I learnt that kindness and patience will help to carve your pathway. That the industry is tough, but it will welcome you with a smile. Working as a professional dancer/teacher is filled with so much passion, commitment and is seriously rewarding.
“DFA set me up to be a perfectly well-rounded dancer, full of experience in different styles. I love the character of the studio and how many fun stories I have been able to share with new friends and colleagues over the years. I remember laughing a lot and feeling inspired to chase my dreams!“
After graduating you moved to Vancouver, Canada?
“Yes. Within three months, I secured my first music video gig and found work in a local dance store. Not long after, I began working at Barre Fitness North Shore and undertook further training to become a BCRPA Group Fitness Instructor. I then completed the PhysicalMind Institution Pilates Mat, Standing & Pre/Postnatal courses with Marta Hernandez.
Performance-wise, I’ve been a back-up dancer and created a show with artists Sophia Danai and Catherine Aria, opened shows including for Raveena at The Biltmore and The Boom Booms at The Commodore Theatre, performed as a Group Dancer in ‘Uche Uche Kad’ (Babbal Rai) and Principle Dancer in ‘Pure Imagination’ (Edward Chang), and performed at Rifflandia and Safe&Sound festivals in Vancouver.”
How did you feel when you got the news of your first job
“At first I was very stunned. I was in my pajamas having responded to a Facebook ad looking for Hip Hop dancers…not quite how I imagined landing my first gig! From there I’ve had nothing but excitement for every opportunity that has presented itself. It’s important to celebrate in those moments!”
What have been your career highlights or favourite moments so far?
“I have to shine a bright light on all of the people I have worked with over the past five years. Every person in the Vancouver dance, fitness and music industry has been kind, inspiring and extremely passionate about what they do. I have learnt a lot from those around me. Without them I wouldn’t be able to say that I have performed at The Commodore Ballroom…that’s huge!”
“Now, I’m working as Communications Director and Guest Teacher at Driftwood Dance Academy (DDA) in North Vancouver, as well as running my own fitness company, The Basement Collective, where I teach Homebody classes online and host pop-up studio classes.”
What is a typical day like for you?
“Busy – but I love it! I don’t dance as much as I used to, but instead I get to be a role model for young dancers and guide them through the industry. The dancers at DDA are so special and burst with kindness. My role includes: Reception, Marketing, Events, Operations, the recital MC and so much more.
“Running my own business fits around my full time job at DDA and I have learnt a lot over the past three years. Growing a heart warming community and sharing a passion for movement with friends from all over the world is extremely rewarding, so it’s easy to keep pushing and growing!”
Do you have some audition tips for our full-time students about to graduate DFA College and embark on their own dance and teaching careers…?
“Try not to let your nerves get in the way and enjoy yourself. Treat it like a dance class and allow yourself to have fun! I am an anxious person deep down and it has gotten the better of me at times, but if you can ride above it and be positive with your actions you’ll end up leaving the audition feeling so proud of yourself no matter what.”
We’d love to hear what advice you would give dancers who are auditioning for dance college?
“You’re never too old to start and hard work pays off. I joined DFA when I was 20 with little technique compared to many other dancers in my year, (Ballet was an interesting learning experience for me, Tracy and I had a good laugh at a wedding about this many years later!!). But with determination and a willingness to learn I got to where I am today, and so can you!”
After graduating from Dance For All in 2017, Rachel Carscadden moved to North Vancouver BC, in Canada, where she has pursued a career of performance work, dance and fitness instruction. Currently, she works for Driftwood Dance Academy as the Communications Director alongside running her own fitness company, The Basement Collective. Rachel has featured in a number of music videos, festivals and theatres alongside well known Vancouver artists and has been nominated for multiple fitness and business awards including the 2023 Youth Entrepreneur of the Year and Impact Magazine’s Canada’s Top Fitness Instructor (2022 & 2021). In December 2022 Rachel became a Citizen of Canada and is proud to call North Vancouver her home from home. To learn about her choreography credits, the artists she has worked with and more you can check out her website: thebasementcollective.com.
Photographers: Mihaela Bodlovic, Adam Ramsay, Tim, Drake Alexander.