Dance star Lockhart Brownlie was in Launceston this week, teaching a new fitness dance class to local students.
The Launceston native was in Hobart visiting his parents, and made a special trip up north on Thursday for the two classes.
The first was at Newstead College, Brownlie’s old school, and he said it felt like he’d “never left.”
“I love coming back to Launceston,” he said.
“I wanted to come back and educate the kids, and let them know that just because we’re here on a small island doesn’t mean we can’t dream big.”
Brownlie has certainly dreamed big.
The 28-year-old has gone on tour with Katy Perry and Taylor Swift, performed in Broadway musicals including Wicked, and appeared on television in shows like Glee and True Blood.
He said he hoped his career path would show the kids at the classes that they too could make it in show business - or any other business for that matter.
“We can follow our dreams, we can make them happen,” he said.
“I think it’s just good for the kids to see someone who has followed their dreams and hopefully I can inspire some of them to do the same.”
Brownlie’s most recent stint was in the stage show of Magic Mike, and now he wants to use his talents to help people get fit. He’s been developing a series of exercise dance classes and hopes to roll out pop-up studios in LA.
The Launceston students, from Newstead College, Kings Meadows High School, Prospect High School, Tapestry Dance Studio, St Patrick’s College, and Dance Fit, had the opportunity to be among the first participants in the classes.
“Some [of the students] are dancers, some are not dancers, and this dance fitness is the best because it brings those who have dance experience, and those who don’t, together to dance to music,” said Brownlie.
“Who doesn’t love that?”
However, just because he’s moving to teaching doesn’t mean his fans will stop being able to see Brownlie on stage. He said he has no plans to stop auditioning for performance opportunities, and ideally his future career will feature “a nice balance of both.”
“Performing is amazing and I feel my best when I’m on stage, but then I also love teaching,” he said.
“To be able to work with kids and put my knowledge and see them soak it all in, and see their faces light up when they get the routines or get the steps or feel good doing it – it’s a good feeling.”
Newstead College dance teacher Christine Gilmour, who taught dance to Brownlie when he was at Newstead, said Brownlie was a great role model for the kids.
“He’s a beautiful human being,” she said.
“He’ll go over, introduce himself, talk to the girls - there are a few girls here who have done workshops with him before and he remembers them.
“He shows them that you can start out as a three year old dancing in Launceston and then end up on Broadway and on a world tour with someone like Katy Perry. It’s a lot about hard work, staying humble, never forgetting where you come from and giving back to your community.”
Brownlie also has a YouTube channel, and over 85,000 followers on Instagram - which is roughly the population of Launceston.
He has lived in Los Angeles for the past eight years.
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