We had the good fortune of connecting with Abigail Oliver and we’ve shared our conversation below.
Hi Abigail, is there something that you feel is most responsible for your success?
For me, unequivocally, it was being relentless and unwavering in the pursuit of what I wanted to do. I think so many of us view success as this elusive, undefinable goal – I just knew if I continued working hard and never gave up I would get there in some shape or form. My goals have changed over time, and success doesn’t look exactly the way I thought it would when I was a 16 year old dancer in college – but most importantly, I have never once let doubt get in the way. I have had so many personal and professional failures, dealt with life challenges, Covid 19 and everything in between – if you have a dream let NOTHING stop you. Small daily strides over years WILL lead to growth, I truly believe that.
Let’s talk shop? Tell us more about your career, what can you share with our community?
I’m a choreographer based in Hollywood, Los Angeles, CA! I choreograph for artists, live bands and dance shows. I was a professional dancer in the United Kingdom, and realized that if I really wanted to choreograph full time – Los Angeles would be the place to be! I moved with 2 suitcases, $2000 and no job, car or place to live, only a dream and a large amount of faith! When I first moved to Los Angeles, I immersed myself into the dance industry – I took all the classes I could, said yes to free shows, free jobs and anything you could think of. This was really integral in help me meet fellow dancers/choreographers and get to know the world I had just arrived into! I struggled immensely in the first few years – I had no money, I was working as much as possible to try and have some stable housing, and trying to get acquainted with a new city. But I continued to dedicate myself to my craft, and slowly but surely I was able to get some choreography jobs with smaller unsigned artists – as time progressed the jobs got bigger, I became more known and I was finally able to sustain myself as a creative artist.
I believe what sets me apart is my willingness to adapt – I work with so many different clients (from a rock band, to a pop signer, to a finance manager who just wants to dance for fun). I treat each area of my work as individual and unique, and I’m never too proud to try something new or admit that I need guidance. I think the more ‘human’ you are, the more you realize that failures are just helping you learn for next time. I’ve learned through my years of working as a choreographer, that some jobs are just not meant for you – some opportunities are meant for others and that’s OK! No one path is the same – hone in on what you’re good at, be confident in your skill set, and keep pushing forward.
Let’s say your best friend was visiting the area and you wanted to show them the best time ever. Where would you take them? Give us a little itinerary – say it was a week long trip, where would you eat, drink, visit, hang out, etc.
The first place I would take them is for a day at the Roosevelt Poolside – it has such an iconic Los Angeles feel and the best service in the city. We would enjoy a cocktail and some lunch, then head over to the Hollywood Strip for some tourist activities and to see the stars. The following day would be Universal Studios – check out the rides and the studio tour, followed by sushi at Sushi Stop. A Malibu beach day at El Matador is essential for the waves and the photo ops, plus an ocean front dinner in Nobu (if we can make reservations!)
Shoutout is all about shouting out others who you feel deserve additional recognition and exposure. Who would you like to shoutout?
I want to dedicate my shoutout to Movement Lifestyle – the most incredible collective of people who gave me a sense of home when I first arrived to LA, challenged me, allowed me to grow and develop into the person and artist I am today!