Dancer’s life backstage on international cruise ship
THREE weeks ago Taliah Edwards was trying her best to keep her composure and dance on a cruise ship stage amid the Bahamas most powerful tropical cyclone ever - and now she is enjoying some well deserved time at home at Rockhampton.
Taliah, 19, has just completed a nine month contract with the Royal Carribean, aboard the Navigator of the Seas cruise ship.
The Catherdal College past student began the contract in December last year, spending the first month in rehearsals before going onto the ship and spending another few weeks practising on the ship stage in dry dock.
The ship was docked out of Miami, Florida, and took passengers throughout the Bahamas islands, Jamaica and Mexico. taliah's ship was the first ship to visit the Royal Carribean's new private island, CocoCay.
"You had to turn on the television each day to see what city you were in," Taliah said.
Taliah performed in two shows, a brand new show Showgirls and a rendition of an old show Ballroom Fever II.
A dancer at night, Taliah also had other roles to fill in the days.
She was the costume supervisor, helped spotlight for ice skating shows and demonstrated emergency exits to passengers.
On September 1, the seas became very rough as Hurricane Dorian hit the Bahamas.
It has been recorded as the country's worst natural disaster recorded in history.
The damage was catastrophic, leaving 70,000 people homeless and killing at least 50 people - all while Taliah and the crew were dancing on the stage.
All the ports were closed and the ship was sent to Mexico as it was too dangerous.
Backstage the coathangers were flying off the rails while the dancers were getting changed and the doors were banging and closing - but as always, the show must go on.
The dancers still danced in their high heels with only a few mishaps but they made a blooper reel to make light of the situation.
It's been quite the journey for Taliah who has been dancing since she was five years old.
In her teenage years, she was a student of the Beverley Prange Dance Centre who pushed her that she could take her dancing to the next level.
After graduating school in 2017, Taliah moved to the Gold Coast to study a certificate four in dance at Dynamite Studios dance academy.
She trained an intensive six days a week, 8.30am to 3pm.
When she was offered her position with the international cruise it was Taliah's ticket to proving everyone wrong.
"Being from a regional area in Rockhampton, people don't realise there are so many jobs out there in dance," she said.
She is proud to be a role model for other young local aspiring dancers.
"I was so happy because realised there is actually a world to make money in dance," Taliah said.
Taliah is enjoying some time off for now in Rockhampton before heading to the United Kingdom for a month on a holiday.
She has applied for another cruise ship show and is hoping to perform in an aerials show next year.