Who is Kaea Pearce?
You might recognise this 19-year-old babe as a breakout star of choreographer phenomenon Parris Goebel’s dance crew, or maybe you’ve seen her on Maori TV’s new show Grid. Otherwise the chances are that you follow her on Instagram… after all Kaea does boast over 100,000 followers.
Pretty sweet for a young Kiwi girl who still claims her J-Lo backup dancing, Justin Beiber music video featuring life is “normal”, right?
Miss FQ’s Skye Ross caught up with Kaea to find out more about her co-hosting role on Grid, where she works alongside Moorehouse band member Brock Ashby and model Tim Kiriwi, and what the next step in her dance career is.
For people who haven’t watched Grid before, can you tell us what it’s all about?
The dance pieces I perform on Grid are dances that young people can actually do themselves and the same with Tim and Brocks and the pieces they contribute. Anyone can do it if they commit to it and are determined!
I think the most important message is that we are the typical young people who have chosen careers in these areas and loving it, and want others to experience the same. Whether it is dance, music, drama and performing arts if they put their minds to it and work hard and stick at it then anyone can do it regardless of who they are or where they are from.
What advice do you wish someone had given you at 15?
I wish someone had told me to never let people tell me I can’t do anything. At school most of my teachers told me dance was a waste of time and that I couldn’t make a career out of it, that really upset me because I had put so much into it and my family made a lot of sacrifices. But as I got older I realised that those people motivated me to prove them wrong and I guess will always motivate me because now when people tell me I can’t then I make sure I do.
Aside from co-hosting Grid you’re also a dancer at Paris Goebbels’s studio The Palace. What role does dancing have in your life now that you’re also on TV?
Dance is what I do all day every day. We train every day and night, there is always something to do at the studio or prepare for.
You’re super busy! What do you do to chill out?
Ha ha. I dance, go to the movies and hang out with my dance friends. Yeah, there is very little down time which is how I like it – I hate being bored.
You’ve travelled on an international tour with world champion dance crew, The Royal Family, and you’ve also danced for Justin Bieber in his music videos and for Jennifer Lopez at the AMAs. What has been your career highlight so far?
Dancing for Justin Bieber and definitely JLo have been major highlights but I’m excited about working with Parris on her dancing videos for her new album. That’s been really cool and I can’t wait for everyone to see what she’s been working on!
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Which musical icons do you dream about working or dancing with one day?
Beyoncé has always been on my bucket list to dance for; it’s definitely something I would love to do. Being involved with Parris’ music clips and seeing what is involved in the process has been an eye opener and I’ve loved it so I hope dancing for other musical icons is just as fun. It’s lot of hard work but rewarding for sure.
I was stalking you on Instagram earlier and there’s a fan page for you! How has it been going from living a normal Kiwi life to dealing with the fame that comes with your profile now?
Ha ha it’s no different to be honest! There’s no fame and I’m still normal. Most of the fans are from overseas so life here is no different to when it was five years ago. When I do go out some people recognize me and it’s nice, but yeah, I’m definitely not famous.
Now I have to tell you, I love your bold, red hair. Where do you get it done?
I dye it myself. It’s just Paint Box – I got it bleached the first time and then add Paintbox to it every month or when I have a performance or clip. Once every 2-3 months I have to bleach it again but I do the roots myself.
What’s next for you?
So I’m going to America in August for the World Hip Hop Champs to perform in Parris’ show there – I’m very excited about that! We also have stuff happening in Australia after and possibly Switzerland. Then I’m filming the rest of the episodes for Grid which I’m looking forward to.
Watch Grid exclusively on Māori Television at 7pm every Wednesday.