My name is Janelle Dawn Hacault and I grew up in Winnipeg until I was about 6 years old, moved to Lynn Lake, back to Winnipeg and finally made my way to Flin Flon, MB until I graduated High School.
Tell us a bit about your childhood involvement in your art form (or when you developed interest).
I took ballet, tap and jazz when I was living in Winnipeg so when my mother and I made our home in Flin Flon, I took whatever dance I could there. Thanks to my best friends’ interest in dance, I followed her footsteps in taking jazz and ballet once a week. I eventually did some ADAPT jazz exams but never knew I could actually make a career in dance. I thought that if I wasn’t a ballerina by age 16, I never would dance as a professional. Thank God I was wrong :)
I actually grew up thinking I’d be an actor. In pursuing acting as my BA, I stumbled into the audition at School of Contemporary Dancers not thinking it’d be my thing and only having done a shift (a modern dance move) once in my life.
I think I’m still figuring out what “my thing” is. It’s always evolving.
What do you love about your art form?
I love that it can incorporate theatre, dance, acting, music, lighting... I love that it is diverse, abstract and gets your imagination going.
What do you enjoy most about teaching?
Witnessing my students’ courage, range and understanding develop. I love seeing students discover the “ah ha” moments within themselves.
Why do you teach at Masterworks?
At first, I needed the money (ha!), but now it’s family. I love my colleagues (who are some of the most talented people out there in Winnipeg), I love my boss (can I even call Kristie that?!), I love mashing up faith and art, I mostly love the students... they are the best! I teach at Masterworks because it’s a good influence on my life and the lives of all who enter our doors.
What else do you do in life?
I create, perform and produce dance. I’m co-founder and General Manager of Nova Dance Collective, I’m co-creator of TheDancePost.org, and I am dance facilitator at Flatlanders Studio.
When not dancing or teaching, you can find me biking, swimming, strolling with friends, playing with my kitty Minou, cooking with my husband Warren, worshiping at Winnipeg Centre Vineyard, taking voice lessons with Melanie Whyte, training to be a barrister for Fools & Horses, or reading.
What is your favourite season and why?
I love spring because it’s the sign of hope for summer and signifies newness, birth and the messiness of change.
What is your favourite healthy snack? Your favourite dessert/treat?
Does popcorn smothered in butter count as a healthy snack?
I love date squares and anything that is gluten-free involving chocolate, caramel and nuts.
What do you like to do to relax?
Other than sleep, I love to sit near my living room window with a blanket, my cat, a cup of hot tea and a good book that makes me laugh.
What was your favourite book/movie as a kid?
I LOVE Jurassic Park and still watch it when I’m sick.
What is your favourite Christian musician/album right now?
The Liturgists. Great podcasts too!
It’s hard for me to say because I believe there are a lot of artists out there proclaiming Good News without labelling themselves “Christian”, probably to spare themselves some of the weird stereotypes that go along with that sort of thing. Hard topic.
What are you famous for making?
Making fun of myself when I’ve had too much caffeine and I’m in the midst of people to entertain.
What kills your creativity? What feeds your creativity?
Kills - expectation and perfectionism
Feeds - time, artist dates, friends who inspire and encourage me
How do you deal with discouragement and/or criticism?
Discouragement - I retreat, journal, talk it through and probably cry. It’s good to go through your emotion and let yourself feel things before healing happens. Sometimes, I think up a new idea or something to do to get my momentum going again.
Criticism - depends who is giving it. I often internally get defensive, and then consider it on my own time. If it’s constructive and given in love... I take it, consider it and mold it to fit who I am. If it’s not constructive, I go back to the truth and declare the words are not my own.
What is a favourite Scripture verse for you?
Only one?! Hmmm, it changes depending the season. Right now, it’s John 10:10, “The thief comes only to kill, steal and destroy. But I have come that you may have life, life to the full” (me paraphrasing it).
What piece of advice would you give to someone pursuing or wanting to pursue their creative dreams?
Go for it even when it’s hard. Go for it even if you’re alone. Go for it and live without regrets. Go for it and watch God at work within it. A little courage goes a long way.