The Rule Breakers: Nicola Collie

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If there’s one thing we can agree on, it’s that inspiration can spark from anywhere. It’s the movers and shakers that bring ideas to life, introduce new opportunities and make a lasting impact in communities. In our Rule Breakers series, we’re spotlighting individuals who aren’t afraid to pursue their passion and create their own path. Read on to learn more about dancer, Nicola Collie.
"When I’m dancing there’s nowhere else my mind goes to, no distractions, nowhere else I’d rather be." 
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When did you first discover a passion for modern and ballet dancing?
Mum put me in ballet classes when I was 7, after much pleading from me and using the oven rail as a barre.  I moved into contemporary dance when I was 19. I ended up deferring my Political Science and English Literature degree after 2 years, going back to dance after a short hiatus, working my butt off and auditioning for The Victorian College of the Arts conservatory program 9 months later in Melbourne, Australia. I was 1 of 24 people accepted and that’s when I really fell in love with the freedom and possibilities of contemporary, which I majored in when I got my Bachelor of Dance.
How has your love for movement of the body kept you motivated during Covid-19?
I think motivation is a byproduct of really adoring the practice of your medium. It’s a real relief turning to physicality in times of mental unrest. There’s something all-consuming about it. When I’m dancing there’s nowhere else my mind goes to, no distractions, nowhere else I’d rather be. It’s the best example of being present I’ve ever experienced. I know that’s such a catchphrase now, but it’s an act that encompasses your mind and body and takes you outside of yourself in a lot of ways. That’s the beauty and escapism of it. It’s ephemeral.
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You had the opportunity to test-drive our new Uni Fit High Rise Skinny Jean that was made with comfort and versatility in mind. What are your thoughts on the fit and how does it fit into your lifestyle?
The fit is epic! It still feels like the ideal jean that hugs you in the right places, but the versatility of movement in the Uni Fit is so useful for what I do. In a lot of the dance work I do, I’m not often dancing in a traditional dance setting or in a traditional dance outfit (i.e. studio and leotard/activewear). I much prefer the look and feel of dancing in unique places in everyday clothing like jeans and a jacket. Constraints really are the mother of creativity—they force you to be more inventive with your physicality and work. But I will say the Uni Fit makes it super comfortable. They still look like a jean but without the movement restriction of regular denim. And I’m not one to overlook comfort.
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Do you have any exciting projects you’re working on that you can give us the inside scoop for?
I do! I’m currently acting in a short film as we speak. (Day 1 of 4) I'm playing an American so I've been putting in the hours with the dialect training, as I’m from New Zealand. There’s something so wonderfully freeing about playing a character who’s completely different. Then next week I’m directing, producing and choreographing a music video for a friend of mine, Eliza Bennett. She’s a fantastic actor and musician and boy can she dance! When she sent me her first official single I was blown away. I’m thrilled she wanted to work together on the project and to utilize the Mojave Desert environment where I usually reside. She’s such a hard worker and a real do-er. I love collaborating with artists like that. Being on the other side of the camera is a neat balance. And my husband Todd is DP-ing so we’re excited for that to come to fruition!
What’s a personal motto you live by?
Ask for forgiveness not permission. And in general, I really value good manners and hard work very very much.
Keep up with Nicola on Instagram: @niccollie
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