As a fellow Nevadan, I’m very pleased to be featuring this week’s guest, dancer and choreographer Rebecca de Carteret. Hailing from Gloucestershire, England, Rebecca was attracted to the bright lights of London and moved there at 18 to train at the prestigious London Studio Centre. She graduated with a BA in Theatre Sance and went on to a successful ten-year career in London. Clients included: Tiger Aspect, Channel 5, Justin Lee Collins, Rihanna, M People, Marks & Spencer, Debenhams, Activia, Adidas, Sanrizz, Toni & Guy, Raymond Gubbay, P&O, and Norwegian Cruise Line. It was on her first contract on NCL with Jean Ann Ryan that Rebecca met her now husband. After settling in Las Vegas with him, she gained a spot as the featured dancer in Donn Arden’s Jubilee; after performing there for two years, she went on to join David Saxe productions as the leading ‘Lady Luck’ in Vegas! The Show at Planet Hollywood and a swing at Zombie Burlesque. She performed there for four years before leaving to start her family. Since living in Vegas her credits include: Nicky Minaj, Extra, Extra!, the CW, Fashion Show Mall Holiday Glow, World Team Tennis, Vegas Rollers, Redken, TIGI, Paul Mitchell and more Rebecca is now a successful choreographer, with clients including Benny Benassi, Kaskade, Galantis, Carnage, Tritonal, EC Twins, DJ Vice, DJ Mustard, DJ Khaled, LMFAO, Tao Group Las Vegas, Champagne Creative Group, Wonderland Las Vegas, Linq Las Vegas, and NBP productions. Rebecca is also the owner of City Katz, a group of dancers, singers and musicians available for corporate bookings across the United States and worldwide.
Could you explain what your creative practice is like?
I’m a dancer, choreographer and producer. I have my own girl group (City Katz) and I also produce other shows and events in Las Vegas as well as dancing for agencies in town.
What are important motherhood contexts people should know about you?
My daughter, Arabella is 13 months old and she is my first child, although we also have a cat and dog.
How has your creative life changed since motherhood?
Before motherhood I danced full time in a show on the Strip as well as working three nights a week (into the wee hours) at a popular nightclub where I worked as dance captain and choreographer. I was also resident choreographer for an agency in town; whenever they had corporate events (for conventions, etc.) I would choreograph their entertainment shows. I also choreographed and danced for other agencies, so I was very busy, as well as having a husband, house and pets.
I left the show two weeks before falling pregnant as I wanted a change in my life, although at the time I was unsure what it would be. My husband and I knew we wanted children sooner rather than later, but we were still unsure when we would make the decision. Fortunately, fate made the decision for us and we had no problems getting pregnant.
As a dancer you have to maintain a certain physical appearance. I was able to dance up until I was 5 1/2 months pregnant at the club/gigs and for America’s Got Talent, Live, and then I packed up my shoes and carried on choreographing, unsure if I would ever perform again.
I was choreographing right up until my water broke at 36 weeks, so I kept very busy, although I was still working for other companies.
I took about 4.5 months off and really thought about what I wanted to do and how I would move forward. Again decisions (fate) was sort of made for me and I was able to start my own company. I produced the Halloween show at the Linq hotel and casino and put together my girl group, which performs for corporate functions. I am still dancing, but haven’t gone back into full time shows or contracts. Now I freelance and work from home (as far as my company goes). It’s definitely been a challenge, but one that has been so fulfilling. And I can safely say I did not sleep for the first year of Arabella’s life. At 13 months she still doesn’t sleep through the night, and generally when she goes to bed is when I do a lot of my work, which has included making 13 Halloween costumes.
What has been most challenging about sustaining a creative life in motherhood?
The challenge is definitely childcare. My schedule is so random that it’s hard to offer a babysitter a regular schedule, and we haven’t wanted to opt for daycare. Other difficulties have just been the schedule itself and trying to be creative when I’m physically and mentally drained. The only way I have managed it is to just keep looking to the future goals.
What’s been the best surprise about having a creative life in motherhood?
The best surprise of having a creative life is seeing Arabella’s enjoyment from it. I bring her to the rehearsal studio when I can and she absolutely loves it. She also just loves watching me dance around the living room to music. If the tv is on and there is dancing involved, her head turns automatically and she can’t help but watch. She has dance in her for sure.
What are the particular issues that come up as an artist in your field with children?
I worry that everything is so sexualized these days. Even children at dance competitions are doing highly sexualized movement in sexualized costumes.
What’s been the your most important source of inspiration to continue having a creative life as a mother?
My source of inspiration is definitely the internet. I don’t get out half as much as I did or take classes as much as I did, so I rely heavily on the internet and television. My most important practice is to try and take as many auditions or do as many gigs as possible to stay relevant and keep getting my face seen. This also helps me when choreographing.
Who are other artist-mothers that inspire you?
My dear friend Kirbi Long is an inspiration to me. She is a singer, so has the same schedule as me, but her son has Down syndrome and she is an incredible mother to him. I’m not sure how she finds the time to juggle it all, but she does. Luckily here in Vegas there are a lot of artist mothers, so I am not alone.
To learn more about Rebecca and City Katz, follow her here:
Personal insta: British_becs83