the boy done... WEL
PUBLISHED: 11:23 15 November 2010 | UPDATED: 18:10 20 February 2013
Hainault's Michael Downing tells WEL about going on tour with Take That and opening The Stadium Theatre School for young students
Who are you and what do you do?
I am Micheal Downing, a professional dancer and freelance dance teacher.
How did you get started?
When I was 17 I went to dance classes with my best friend Lauren. My teachers said I had a lot of potential and should audition for dance colleges. After auditioning I received a scholarship place at the Performers College, Corringham, Essex.
What do you love about your job?
I love performing for live audiences and get a huge rush when I see people enjoying what Im doing. I also love teaching its incredibly rewarding and its a great joy to see a student improve.
What is the secret of your success?
To be myself and be comfortable, as there can be many knockbacks in my business.
Do you have a claim to fame?
I toured with Take That on their sell-out The Circus tour and met many artists like James Morrison, The Saturdays and Lady Gaga. I am also in the music video of Olly Murs single, Please dont let me go, and have worked with Lesley Joseph, who played Dorien Green in the 90s sitcom Birds of a Feather.
What has been the proudest moment in your career so far?
When I was on tour with Take That. I was on stage at Wembley Stadium and in the 90,000-strong audience, I could see my Mum and best friend Lauren enjoying the show so much. It gave me such an amazing feeling of achievement and gratitude.
Where do you see yourself in five years time?
I see myself still teaching at The Stadium Theatre School but with many successful students. I also hope to be choreographing corporate events and tours.
What are you listening to on your iPod?
I have an eclectic mix of music; I listen to RnB, indie, musicals, electro and I love film soundtracks.
Where do you live and what do you like about it?
I live in Hainault and like that its very accessible to London, since Im up there almost every day teaching at the Pineapple Dance Studios. I hate pollution so its great that there is plenty of greenery nearby.
What are you driving at the moment?
I drive a VW Polo and I love it. In other terms, Im driving the Stadium school!
Which is your favourite local restaurant and why?
Zizzi: they do great pizzas and calzones.
Where do you go for a night out?
Central London. I dont go out till late and most of the bars stay open later there.
What are your hobbies?
Im a very sporty person and when Im not dancing I love swimming or cycling. Im also a bit of a Jamie Oliver in the kitchen and love cooking. I make a mean chocolate brownie!
Football or rugby?
I have three older brothers and none of us has an interest in football or rugby. After the poor show at the last World cup Im quickly losing interest again: up your game lads!
Is personal grooming important to you? If so, can you give us a top tip?
In my business how you look is important. My tip would be to put eye cream on the top of the check bone and let the skin draw up the cream to the eye, so that the weight of the cream doesnt pull the bags down.
Do you have a favourite hairdresser?
My hair is very important to me. Its a bit of a trademark, and I have modelled for Schwarzkopf and Wella International in Berlin and Portugal. A friend recommended Gian Franco of Galliano Hairdressers (Finchley). He is a perfectionist and always does a great job.