Dancing, beyond its benefits to the human body and soul, paved the way to success for many performing artists including Miss Jane Leynes Roque. She was able to tell the classic story of The Lion King through song and dance on three stages, in three countries, and in three languages.
She’s not only a triple threat in that sense (can sing, act, and dance) but she’s also a vlogger and an uprising influencer. Let’s dive into her story of being a Filipina who dreamt of performing internationally and is now walking the talk.
I am blown away with how everything had fallen into place for our feature performing artist right now, as I go down the memory lane with Jane reliving each moment of her dancing life. You see, Jane and I were trained from the same group which was Whiplash, but I advanced to Hong Kong to pursue an international opportunity to perform when she came to join the group. Later on, we cross paths in Hong Kong and then from then on, this young lady had been unstoppable and I am just so proud of her that I know her story is worth sharing, most especially to fellow Filipinos and fellow artists, on how it is being a dancer.
A strong versatile cast well-defined The Lion King Musical offering their world-class talent, work ethic, and commitment. Their ensemble actors do not settle being extras but they work hard as the leads of the musical. Having ensemble members bring the world of every musical production into life. Their additional voices and their intricate dance roles are what makes it a musical, to begin with.
At 32, Jane is on her way to pursue a role as one of the dancer ensembles of The Lion King (musical) which is one of the most sought after musical shows in the world. Being part of an ensemble is more than just dressing up into the costume. They are what makes a play believable as they populate the world the stage sets.
The biggest break of her career is yet to happen as she gets to be part of the team in London after being part of The Lion King Musical in Shanghai, China and being a principal/chorus dancer and dance captain at her home-kong flying as high as the spirit bird at Hong Kong Disneyland.
I learned that you won’t always be the star, that you won’t always get what you want when working with a group of people, most especially in show business. You have to learn to compromise and know how to respect people you work with. – Jane Leynes Roque
Like a typical Filipino family, a diploma is always important to possess. But Jane is no ordinary gal in earning a bachelor’s degree in Behavioral Science while dancing for the Salinggawi Dance Troupe under Mr Ryan Silva’s mentoring during her time. Performing countless hip hop, cultural dances, and contemporary, on top of competing in cheer dance added into her background skills in classical ballet and jazz. It was cooking into something that waits patiently… her passion that gets built up sturdily.
While the Center for Movement and Music, Philippines had invested the techniques in her, the UST Salinggawi Dance Troupe strengthened it which enhanced her flexibility and maturity. In seeing dance as art, Jane slowly blossomed. It’s in Whiplash that she started to get unleashed as a beast on stage being exposed to a lot more like tap, musicals, and broadway. A strong and committed dancer who expresses each step with truth and takes flight at every leap and lift.
WHAT DOES IT TAKE TO BECOME CHOSEN
What many do not know is that all musical theatre performers should at least possess skills in basic musical theatre jazz. This is for ease in picking up choreography since this is also awarded annually of different international musical recognition events. It’s not a walk in the park to sustain the techniques and strength to carry on with the daily demand of viewers for at least a couple of full 2-hour and 30 minutes show everyday, most especially, and when the competition for a role rises dramatically.
Disney product aims to be family-focused. Despite its running hour of over 2 hours, The Lion King Musical showcases its ensembles as much as its leads to over 100 million spectators worldwide. Each role is significant. Most especially now that social platforms become a way to watch anything ‘LIVE’ on their mobile phones. Therefore, all facial angles should be en pointe. All steps should be in sync, and every move deliberate.
That’s why Jane doesn’t waste any time in becoming the best version of her. She works hard each time, investing in herself more and more classes and experiences. She works out with friends in between shows and remains physically active.
She keeps herself steadily strong and mentally prepared each time.
For challenges like performing The Lion King Shanghai, speaking and singing, in full Mandarin. This was one of the ultimate challenges as it was quite an irony. She exercises, and mentally prepares for the show but what she had to stretch was her linguistic abilities. She had no way of going around this so they were tutored and assisted through the Mandarin classes.
Jane’s mantra goes “If you can see it in your mind, you can hold it in your hands.” This might serve as a guiding principle for you not to doubt your capabilities, or yourself. Because she managed to tell the story in Mandarin and in movement for a couple of years. Not to mention, Cantonese and English also for The Festival of Lion King in Hong Kong.
Moreover, she has to maintain her energy to keep up with the youngsters that audition and work alongside with her. Nonetheless, according to Jane, she continuously gets to discover herself in the process. This way, she finds new ways of staying resilient and motivated.
Jane leaves every aspiring artist out there with the following words of wisdom in terms of:
- Humility – No matter what you achieve and how far you’ve come, always stay humble and grateful.
- Share – There’s nothing more fulfilling in this business than sharing our passion with others.
- Responsibility – Always take responsibility for your own self and others. This journey of mine wouldn’t be possible if not for my workmates from the tech crew towards the public.
- Being yourself. Integrity is what keeps me pushing to always be at my best on stage. Also, when you share the stage with other people, you unknowingly affect them with the energy you emit.
- Personal emotions will always get in the way of work once in a while, but one has to learn to always try to keep it professional.
- It’s important not to take people who support, teach, and love you in the journey for granted. Also, “having a partner that supports me all the way is a blessing in so many ways. If you find one like that, make sure to take them with you in the journey because it’s not easy when you want it so bad and if you dream something big”.
I thank the heavens for having the chance to share a stage with Jane. Because this industry rewards you with people you share the moment with. Will you be as fierce as ever!!! All the best to you!