Career blossoms on ocean cruises

Lauren Denysek is headed back to the sea aboard a cruise ship continuing her career as a dancer.

Denysek, who grew up in Yorkton, spent the summer rehabbing an injury suffered on her last cruise ship tour. She was performing on a raised area of the stage, when the accident occurred.

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“I fell about 12-feet while performing,” she said, adding the result was “I fractured my heel.”

The injury is all part of being a dancer, said Denysek who has had injuries including torn meniscus in both of her knees.

With her latest injury there was 10-weeks in a cast, followed by six-weeks of physiotherapy, and no actual dance training.

“It was a chance to indulge my other interests to try to keep busy,” said Denysek.

But as summer drew to an end Denysek was back on the dance floor getting herself ready for a new show, one which will again take her around the world on a cruise ship.

“It feels amazing to be back in my element,” Denysek said before heading to Florida for rehearsals. “To dance again felt so good.”

The new show, a 10-month contact, will be on the MS Symphony of the Seas, an Oasis-class cruise ship owned and operated by Royal Caribbean International.  As of June 9, 2017, she is the largest passenger ship in the world.

The new show will be new ground for Denysek as a dancer as it will take place in an aqua theatre, which will mean aspects of the show are in water.

“It’s a whole new element,” she said, adding she will need to perform dives into the water, and then there will be getting used to performing while soaking wet.

Denysek said she of course knows how to swim, but it has never been a favoured activity.

“I wouldn’t say I swim on a regular basis, but I’m excited. It will be a new challenge,” she said. “… When I do a show I want it to challenge me.”

Denysek, 23, said she has always been up for new challenges, from the earliest days learning her profession at Dance Innovations in Yorkton.

“I knew then I wanted to continue with dance, to make it a career,” she said.

That desire took Denysek to Vancouver after high school in Yorkton, where an agent first connected her with an opportunity on a cruise ship, Ovation of the Seas. The initial tour took the young dancers to ports in Australia, China, Japan, Singapore and more.

“The itinerary was amazing,” she said, adding there is not a lot of time for performers to sightsee when in a port, “but it gives you a taste.”

Most of the time for dancers is taken up with rehearsals and shows which Denysek admitted at times can become tedious as a tour can extend out seven months with shows almost every day, her last contract encompassing 212 performances.

“It’s two shows a night, six shows a week,” she said, adding it becomes as much mental training as physical. “… You definitely need to get creative mentally. The mental aspect is to challenge yourself every show.”

Away from the stage Denysek said being part of a show on a cruise ship has other challenges, including living in what is essentially an apartment complex with the rest of the performers. It means finding activities where she can get away from her career.

In Denysek’s case she likes shooting photos when in port.

“When I get in my cabin I edit the photos,” she said.

And of course there are personality conflicts which arise given the near constant contact with other performers.

“You definitely get to know who you want to spend time with and who you just want to work with,” she said.

Denysek said she would love to eventually land a live performance spot on a show someplace like Vegas, but the cruise ships contracts let her see the world, and perform which is a double win for her.

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