Sandrine Mattei is a classically-trained ballerina, but these days you'll find her doing everything from hip hop to aerial dance in the Cirque du Soleil show The Beatles LOVE. Sandrine, who grew up in the south of France and trained at the National Conservatory of Dance in Nice, joined the cast as an on-call dancer and had to be ready to jump into any dance role at a moment's notice. Three years later, she's a permanent, full-time dancer and the show's dance captain, a role that demands additional responsibilities beyond her busy 10-show-a-week schedule.
As dance captain, Sandrine acts as a liaison between LOVE's 20 dancers and the stage management and technical crew. "I'm the voice of the dancer cast," she says. On performance days, Sandrine collaborates with the show's dance coach to create the lineups, deciding who will perform each dance role (the show also features a slew of talented character performers and acrobats). Sandrine also organizes the cast's training schedule--they have hour-long rehearsals about two to three times a week--and works with the dancers to make sure the choreography stays clean.
"At first, I was nervous," Sandrine says. She worried about striking the right balance between leader and peer. "Luckily, I work with great people, so they understand my position."
LOVE plays at The Mirage in Las Vegas, but you can see Sandrine and some of her castmates perform on the "America's Got Talent" finale on September 15.
Photo of Sandrine Mattei (top) in LOVE by Jeff Speer.