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Each of us is unique on this planet. And there is nothing more exciting for me than to understand what is hiding behind this uniqueness. We all are grown kids, with our past, habits, beliefs, the ways we act and react in different situations. We are also full of stories that make our lives one-of-a-kind. Interviews have to reveal these stories, so others can get inspired and make their lives better.

In this episode of Badass Show on LiveMe streets, I talked to Daniel Vanadam, a professional dancer that built his career in the show crews of such celebrities like Michael Jackson, Bruno Mars, Rihanna, Usher, The Weekend and many more. After his successful dancing career, Daniel opened a bar in London and now creates mouthwatering desserts and cocktails. Let’s get behind the scenes of such a transition and his life overall.

Queen Badass (LiveMe ID: 257798298):

  • Hey, Daniel. So how a professional dancer like you had an idea to open a bar?

Daniel Vanadam (LiveMe ID: 102203129):

  • I already knew how to cook. It’s like everything I do. I jump into the deep end and see if I can swim. That’s kind of how I am as a person. I enjoyed cooking. So why not? That’s, that’s my attitude. Why not give it a go? If you fail, you fail.

Queen:

  • Same way as you decided that you wanted to be a dancer many years ago and be part of celebrity shows? How to be brave and bold, be open to the change?

Daniel:

  • It’s hard. Because it’s not about not being afraid of committing to something new, I think it’s more about embracing that fear and accepting that it’s there. And it’s always going to be there because the best things in life are scary. They are scary for a reason, but those are the best things. So just frame yourself in, just go for it, commit to it 100%. Just don’t be afraid of failing, because failing isn’t a bad thing. If you think of some of the most successful people in this world, they failed more than they’ve succeeded. So just go for it.

Queen:

  • I was pretty impressed when you told me you traveled with stars around the world to dance with their shows for sixteen years. I couldn’t stop thinking that you were dancing with Michael. I just can’t let it go. I mean, those shows were massive! Did he choose each of the dancers, or how does it work usually? Well, not only with Michael but with other celebrities too.

Daniel:

  • Michael was different. He was very involved in picking up the dancers and the choreography. I mean, Jackson was the man. He didn’t have a choreographer. He did all of it himself. Other artists have choreographers that they use, and they do all the work. Justin Timberlake, for example. He has one chord, and he does everything for him in terms of the routines, picking up the dancers, things like that. But Michael was very involved. So, which I respect.

Queen:

  • How did he pick you?

Daniel:

  • I think he saw a video of the dance competition. And he said to his team, “Can you get this guy to come to audition?” And they did. I think there were probably about eight hundred dancers in the first audition.

Queen:

  • And in the end? How many did he pick?

Daniel: 

  • Twenty.

Queen:

  • So you were among those twenty from eight hundred?

Daniel:

  • Yes. 

Queen:

  • Damn! So one day, you’ve got a call and heard that Michael Jackson wants you to come to his audition?

Daniel:

  • It was pretty surreal; it was a surreal moment. I thought, “Is someone joking, taking a piss of me?”, you know. It can’t be real. It was no doubt that I was going.

Queen:

  • How many auditions did you go through before you were selected?

Daniel:

  • About five or six. They cut pretty a lot from every group.

Queen:

  • That was pretty fast! So they were spotting the best of the best from the very beginning?

Daniel:

  • Yeah. I think dancing has taught me a lot of life lessons because you get rejected a lot as a dancer. You know you go to audition, and you have to learn to deal with that, and you have to learn to come back stronger from it. You’ve got to learn a lot from failure. Why didn’t it work? How do I make sure that it doesn’t happen next?

Queen:

  • So how was it to experience dancing in Michael’s shows? 

Daniel:

  • Unfortunately, I didn’t have a chance to experience that as he passed away before the tour. 

Queen:

  • Oh wow. Life! 

Daniel:

  • Yes. Once dancing also saved my life. I wanted to commit suicide, and I was on edge. Then I saw this girl in the building in front. She was dancing her heart out. And that stopped me. 

Queen:

  • Wow, what happened to you? Why did you want to do that?

Daniel:

  • Well, I’ve lost my Mom very early. I was kind of lost by that time. Life didn’t make sense to me.

Queen:

  • When did you start dancing?

Daniel:

  • I’ve started pretty late when I was nineteen. But I remember how Mom took me to watch the street dancers when I was little. I’m a stubborn one, so I’ve decided to go all the way to the top.

Queen:

  • So how is it to work with celebrities? Any exciting memories, facts?

Daniel:

  • Well, mostly you can’t talk about any aspects of work or celebrity’s life. It’s forbidden and noted in the contract. One of the memories is when we went out with Rihanna after the show. It was cool!

Queen:

  • So you are well-traveled? Where have you been with the shows?

Daniel:

  • I’ve been on pretty much every continent. So I’ve done shows in Korea, Japan, all over Europe, South America. I’ve done a couple of shows in Africa, but not many. It doesn’t tend to be the place where you do a lot of shows. My favorite place is Fiji. It’s beautiful, people are amazing. The country is incredible, and I just love it.

Queen:

  • And I like the attitude. And then you decided to open a bar! Another adventure. So how many people work for you now?

Daniel:

  • So we have, I think, twenty-two staff. 

Queen:

  • Do you work together with them?

Daniel: 

  • Yeah, I tend to work about fifty to sixty hours a week on average.

Queen:

  • Ok, so you were all the time there, and you were also cooking and serving?

Daniel:

  • Yeah. I mean, I am a very artistic person, and that’s why I enjoy cooking because it allows you to be inventive and creative. 

Queen:

  • Not many bar or restaurant owners work together with their employees. Many of them just tell their staff what and how to do it.

Daniel:

  • You know, sometimes employees think, “You wouldn’t do it, so why should I?” So my attitude now is I would never ask anyone to do anything that I wouldn’t do myself. So that when I do ask them, they know that because it needs to be done. That’s kind of how I am in terms of the way I run things.

Queen:

  • And I respect that. What is happening now with the pandemic in the UK and London?

Daniel:

  • It’s surreal. London is something else out of like a film like The Walking Dead or something. It’s just a ghost town. It’s crazy. And, you know, from what I hear, it could be another three or four months before this is over. 

Queen:

  • Do police stop people in the street?

Daniel:

  • Nobody stopped me yet. But I know people that have been stopped. Police asked them where they were going and what they were doing outside, etcetera. Give it another two or three weeks and when the sun comes out. I think it’s going to be different because everyone’s going to want to go out and enjoy the sun.

Queen:

  • What are you saying to your staff? Is the government to allocate some funds to people who can’t work now? 

Daniel:

  • Yeah, so what they’re doing is they’re paying 80% of wages to staff up to two and a half thousand pounds. So that’s the most you can get, up to 80%. That’s pretty good.

Queen:

  • That’s pretty good, yes. 

Daniel:

  • 80% probably puts you about where you were because when you’re earning the full hundred percent, you’re still paying out a certain amount to travel to work, so actually, it’s pretty much the same. But I don’t know for how long will they be able to pay it.

Queen:

  • What is your opinion on what is going on with the world and where we are all heading?

Daniel:

  • That’s an impossible question to answer!

Queen:

  • Well, that’s why I am good at what I do!

Daniel:

  • I mean, I can answer, but it’s going to be a guess. Because our generation never had something like this before. Not like this. The closest thing was a Spanish flu, which was in 1912.

Queen:

  • So what do you think is going to happen?

Daniel:

  • You are going to do everything to get me to answer, are you?

Queen:

  • Of course.

Daniel:

  • I think it will run its natural course. And I think we’ll develop herd immunity. That’s the only way I can see it. I can’t see a vaccine anytime soon. That’s what’s going to happen. It probably, makes me very cynical, but, well.

Queen:

  • Is there anything else you’d like to add today? 

Daniel:

  • Like, follow, and share the broadcast. This woman is amazing, follow her. And see you later!