Meet the Young Dancer Challenging You to Step Up Your Moves | Marielle Caldwell
06.28 / MISSBISHES
Marielle Caldwell is a prime example of how age is just a number. Not even 18 yet, she's signed with a major talent agency and is one of the extra fly - and insanely talented - kid-dancers who backed up Justin Bieber on his Purpose Tour. However, being young and in the industry doesn't make it any easier. Marielle knows what it's like first-hand to not make the cut, but her resilience and hard work from such an early age are what have led her to success. We chatted with Marielle about the ups and downs of dancing, inspirational choreographers, and what she has her eyes set on next.
How did you get your start in dance and when did you decide that you wanted to pursue it seriously?
I got my start in dance when I was only 2-years-old when my mother signed me up for a ballet and tap trial class. From there, I fell in love with it. I decided to pursue dance more seriously after my first solo when I was 9-years-old. It was a jazz solo and it was the first time I had ever been on stage by myself. I remember being so nervous but when the music came on, I felt something that I can't even explain. After that, I asked my parents to take me to a dance agency audition and I didn’t make the cut. But, there was another audition a couple of months later for MSA and I made it. I was so happy!
What’s your favorite style of dance and why?
I love and have trained in all styles of dance like ballet, contemporary, jazz, and tap. But my favorite style is hip-hop because there's so much freedom with every movement. It allows me to combine all of the different styles that I have trained in. Also, hip-hop is considered commercial and most of the auditions that I go to are in hip-hop.
Can you tell us about a favorite performance or video that you’ve done?
My favorite performance by far is when I danced with Justin Bieber on The Purpose Tour. OMG, first off, Justin Bieber is a big deal. Second, there were so many people in the crowd and that energy made me feel like I could do anything. And most importantly, it let me know that I belong in this industry. I can't wait to turn 18 so I can go on tour with some big artists.
What’s the most difficult part about dancing for you and how do you overcome it?
The most difficult part about dance is remembering all of the choreography because most of the time, we only have about an hour to get all of the steps and then we have to perform it in front of a camera. The way I overcame it was by training more in those kinds of classes, and sometimes I would go to class late just to challenge myself to pick up the choreography.
Who is a dancer or choreographer that you look up to?
How much time do you have? There are so many dancers and choreographers that I look up to! For choreographers, I would have to say Ian Eastwood, Galen Hooks, Tricia Maranda, and Kolanie Marks just to name a few. As for dancers I look up to, Deja Carter, Taylor Edgen, and China Taylor are some of the best dancers in the world.
“The dance world is very hard and if you don’t have the right mindset, it could get to you and make you feel like you are not good enough. But you are, just keep at it."
What advice do you have for other kids who want to try and dance professionally?
The best advice I can give to other kids is to not give up. If you’re in a class and the choreography is hard, don’t give up and keep trying until you get it, even if you have to do it at home on your own. Also, if you don’t make the cut on your first audition, keep going until you make the cut. The dance world is very hard and if you don’t have the right mindset, it could get to you and make you feel like you are not good enough. But you are, just keep at it.
Any hobbies that you have outside of dancing?
I absolutely love going to amusement parks like Six Flags, and my all time favorite, Disneyland. I also love finding new music before anyone else, and I love shoes.
How do you balance dance, acting, school, and making time to hang out with friends?
Balancing dance, school, and my personal life is very difficult. Sometimes I have to do homework in the car, stay up late to get homework done, and sometimes I can't hang out with my friends because I have dance classes or jobs. But I wouldn’t trade it for anything in the world because I'm working towards my future.
Any future goals that you’ve set for yourself with your career in entertainment that you can tell us about?
My biggest future goal is to dance with a huge artist on tour, I also host and have a YouTube show called Marielle Mondays where I interview young people in the entertainment business, so I would like to be a host. Acting is something that I love doing, so that is something I would like to go into as well.
What does MISSBISH mean to you?
Two words: Girl Power.
Who’s your MISSBISH? Tell us who she is and why she’s an inspiration to you.
There are so many women that inspire me including my mom, Rowan Blanchard, Yara Shahidi, Zendaya, and Janelle Monae because they all stand for something and are all beautiful at the same time. Most of all, they are the definition of women empowerment.
Photos by: Christina Choi