Halimah Kyrgios is working her way towards the West End.
Talent runs in her family – she's the sister of Canberra tennis sensation Nick Kyrgios, and she's worked as a theatre dancer and entertainer since finishing university.
And while Nick Kyrgios might be a red-hot local hope for the Australian Open, his sister reveals he's also got plenty of moves off the court.
"As a young child he did go to jazz class which nobody knows – Mum put him through that. He definitely can sing on pitch but it's been pretty hard for him to come and see the things I'm doing because his schedule is all over the place," she said.
Halimah Kyrgios' love of dance comes from her Malaysian-born mum, Norlaila. "My mother really wanted to do it as a child but she never got a chance," she said.
So little Halimah started ballet classes at four and was in the musical Carousel aged just five. "Ever since then [Mum's] been pretty persistent with it and luckily I loved it too. So it's been non-stop really," she said.
Halimah studied in Sydney and went to university in Singapore to do a degree in musical theatre. And her little brother Nick would always turn up to her student productions when he was in town, in between tennis matches at ITF tournaments.
Shewas offered a dance job straight out of university. "And then I just got contract after contract, it was very lucky for me," she said.
Since then the model, actress and dancer has worked across Asia and spent time in London trying to break into the theatre scene. "My ultimate goal would be to be on the West End, I just came back from the UK doing auditions. But I don't like to leave too many months without accepting a contract. It's very tough out there but I'm willing to keep my head up and keep things positive and keep working hard," she said.
And in February she's heading back overseas, to perform for a year at Universal Studios in Japan. "So no tennis for me this year unfortunately."
Before she leaves, Kyrgios will be teaching a special workshop on January 17, working with three other dancers to tutor students in hip-hop, jazz and other dance styles.
"I have a lot of private students ... They really like to be mentored by someone who's actually in the industry and working. We've got three other teachers based in Sydney who are coming down for the workshop and we're doing a bit of a collaboration."
Halimah Kyrgios will teach at the Capital Dance Studios' Summer Workshop on Saturday, January 17. capitaldancestudios.com.au
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