Past St Augustine’s student Caitlyn Madden is heading to Universal Studios in Beijing this month to perform full-time in live performances over a 12-month contract.
Caitlyn, 21, has been a part of Allstars Performing Arts in Forest Lake since she was three years old and now also works at the studio, mentoring and encouraging local young dancers to achieve their performance goals.
Caitlyn said growing up with Allstars was one of the greatest factors in influencing her decision to pursue a career in performing arts.
“Mum put me in dance classes because I was such an active little girl … I really loved it, and then eisteddfods started and I was like ‘I really like the performance aspect of this’,” she said.
“Then I found out you can actually get jobs doing that, and I was like, ‘sign me up – I want to do this!’”
Over her time at Allstars, Caitlyn has been involved in the eisteddfod teams, performance teams in America, and featured in various roles in their musical theatre productions.
After high school, she completed a full-time advanced diploma in musical theatre and commercial dance at the Queensland College of Dance in 2020. She also did a specialty course featuring hoops, stilts and fire twirling, which enabled her to perform these skills professionally at corporate events.
Allstars Performing Arts owner-manager Katrina Spencer said Caitlyn’s success was inspiring for other local dancers.
“We are so sad to see her go, but know that this is her lifelong dream turned to reality,” Katrina said.
“She has the most amazing attitude, and is motivated and driven to succeed.”
Dream coming true
Caitlyn’s journey is one of hard work and perseverance, but she said landing the Universal contract made it all worth it.
“Getting a contract definitely isn’t easy – you go through so many ‘no’s’ and ‘you’re not the right one’ … when you do get the contract, it makes it so much more rewarding,” she said.
Caitlyn encouraged other people striving to work professionally in dance and performing to continue persevering towards their goals.
“Keep going … It’s the way that you push past those [obstacles and hardships] that really makes you the performer.
“Don’t lose that passion!”
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