Dancer and mother: behind the scene of the Moulin Rouge

Being a mother isn’t easy! That’s a statement that Audrey – the dance captain for the French Cancan dancers at the Moulin Rouge – can certainly agree with. A member of the cabaret troupe for 17 years and mother to a little boy, she tells us the details of her daily life spent juggling her career as a passionate artist, her life as a woman and her role as a mother. Her life is a real whirl, both on and off stage!

Tell us about your journey since you arrived at the Moulin Rouge…

 

I first came to the Moulin Rouge in 2006, as a dancer. Two years later, I was made second captain. And in May 2017, I officially became the dance captain for the French Cancan dancers!

What does your role as captain involve? 

My job is to manage my group of dancers on a day-to-day basis. Ensuring that choreographies are maintained by preparing and directing rehearsals, scheduling days off and holidays, daily schedules, etc. I also train new dancers joining the troupe.

 

You’re not only a dancer, you’re a mother too…

Yes! I have a little boy.

 

Can a dual role like that sometimes be stressful?

I don’t generally have to deal with stress, because I plan ahead a great deal and my life is very well organised.

 

What does a typical day look like for you?

 I get up at 7:30am to get my son ready and take him to school. Then I go back to sleep for a while, usually from 9am to 11:30am. Then, until around 3pm, I do shopping and administrative tasks. I also give online video dance classes. Then it’s time to make dinner for my son, before heading off to pick him up from school. I then spend some time with him and help him with his homework. At 6:45pm, my day as a Moulin Rouge dancer begins! The nanny arrives, and I leave home to go to the cabaret. Once there, I start by putting on my make-up, and I go through my warm-up routine. The first performance of the Féerie Revue show is from 9:00pm to 10:35pm. It’s followed by an intermission, which I use to do administrative paperwork, or get the dancers in my line to work on corrections or rehearsals after a quick review of our video presentation. The show starts again at 11:30pm, and the second show ends around 1:10am. Twenty minutes later, I’m leaving the Moulin Rouge after a good shower, and I take the taxi home, arriving at around 2am.

 

Combining your career as a dancer and your role as a mother must be quite a challenge to pull off! How do you manage it?

You get nothing for nothing in this life. At the end of the day, I think I still have more chance to see my son, and spend more time with him, than some parents who have more traditional work schedules. So yes, when it’s the time for rehearsals with the new dancers, it’s hard to go more than three weeks without really seeing each other. But I make sure to catch up the rest of the time!

 

As a dancer, was there a “before” and “after” the birth of your son?

 Well, I sleep a lot less these days, that’s for sure! But most importantly, I see things differently. I realise that the things I used to see as problems are in fact no more than trivial inconveniences. I have a better sense of perspective.

 

What values and lessons have you learned from your experience as a professional dancer that you’d like to pass on to your son?

For me, the most important thing of all is discipline, perseverance, thoroughness and a healthy lifestyle. Those are the values and life choices that I try to pass on to my son.


Has your son ever come to see you on stage?

Yes, of course! He has already come to see the show 4 times. It always makes me very proud to know he’s in the audience.

 

Have you inspired him to become a dancer himself?

Oh, no! Sorry to disappoint you, but my son wants to be a footballer!


This Mother’s Day, let’s celebrate Audrey and mothers everywhere, whose dedication and passion are a source of inspiration.


Happy Mother’s Day to you all!


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