Alli’s talents as a choreographer are wide-reaching across the world from the West End to lecturing in Australia to panto. She is drawn to those with passion and that you must never stop learning.
Alli is European Cast Director on the current tour of ‘Walking With Dinosaurs – The Arena Spectacular’. Prior to this, she completed the first UK tour of ‘Jersey Boys’ as Resident Director, following her role as Associate Director on ‘Dirty Dancing’ (UK Tour/West End).
Other work includes Assistant Director/Choreographer for ‘Cry of the Celts’ (Royal Albert Hall), 7 x ‘CBeebies Live’ Arena Tours (BBC Worldwide), ‘The Tweenies’ (UK/Hong Kong), ‘Bob the Builder’ (World Tour), ‘Fun Song Factory’ (UK Tour), ‘How The Lion Became King’ (UK Tour), ‘Nunsense’ (Nuffield Theatre), ‘Gypsy’ (Wycombe Swan), ‘I Love You, You’re Perfect, Now Change’ (Milton Keynes), countless pantomimes (Imagine Theatre/Evolution/UK Productions) plus pop videos, musicals, galas and fashion shows.
A Fellow of the International Dance Teachers Association, Alli has lectured and workshopped as far afield as Australia and Indonesia and is part of the organizing team behind Miss Dance of Great Britain/Dance Master UK.
Welcome to the Leadership Interview, Alli.
How do you start your day?
By hitting the snooze button… several times!
What was your first job and what is the worst job you’ve ever done?
My first job was teaching dance and drama at the college at which I was studying on a 3 year vocational course.
My worst job was as a dancer in the Algarve immediately after college…I certainly wouldn’t stand for the terms and conditions we worked under now!
What advice would you give to others about furthering their careers?
To never stop learning…and if what you learn on one particular day you realise you already knew, then great! You’ve still learned something!
Who inspires you and why?
So many people, from so many different walks of life. Anyone who is passionate about what they do, who uses their talents to help others, who works to make the world a better place…but at the same time doesn’t need to shout ‘look at me’!
Do you think a talent to lead is nature or nurture?
I believe it’s nature, but most people need nurture to develop and hone it.
How can a leader fail? Do you have a personal example?
There are many ways, from not understanding the market/ business concept, not planning/structuring properly, not being open to, or fear of, change and challenges, not listening, not communicating, not being accountable…one I see more than I’d like is lack of respect for co-workers.
If co-workers don’t feel appreciated and respected they will walk eventually.
What are your greatest strengths and the weaknesses?
Strengths – I’ve been told it’s my perceptiveness but I think it’s also resilience.
Weaknesses – I always like to look at an issue from every angle before making a decision – which can be a strength in some ways, but sometimes there isn’t time and you should just go with your gut…I’m working on that.
What do you find most challenging about being a leader?
I think I’m quite a collaborative leader. I very much believe everyone should have a voice – my job is to listen and steer the ship using the information given.
However, just the act of asking others their opinion is often viewed as a weakness, my challenge is to spread the word it’s not.
What are you most proud of?
Still being in the business, doing a job I love (and therefore it’s often difficult to call work) after 30 years or more.
What’s your biggest self-indulgence?
Chocolate. That’s an easy one!
You can follow Alli on LinkedIn