Hi. I’m Siân Dakin, and I am a Dance Captain, Dancer, Gymnast, Aerialist and Aerial Coordinator for Royal Caribbean International. And yes, I hold all of those positions at the same time! It may sound like a whole circus in one position, but I think it is s the best job in the world especially since we launched the Centrum Wow experience.
The Centrum Wow events occur on Brilliance, Serenade, Legend, Splendour, Grandeur, Rhapsody and Vision of the Seas. The Centrum is our iconic, multi-level atrium, which we transformed into a vertical theater spectacular. As guests relax in the Centrum on decks 4 through 10 they may see aerialists tumbling from the sky, women pouring champagne from flying chandeliers and live singers and dancers on the floor.
I am proud to be a part of these new entertainment experiences and I also enjoy performing in the full length production show but it took me a long time and plenty of training to get here. I joined Royal Caribbean in 2007 as a gymnast and dancer onboard Freedom of the Seas. I have experience in competitive gymnastics which helped me secure an aerialist position and I have been happily flying around for the past 6 years.
I quickly realized that aerial work takes strength and muscles that I never knew I had, even with my gymnastic experience. On my first contract I was in a harness for all of the flying. However that doesn’t mean it was easy as it took great core strength and control. Shortly thereafter I was part of the Independence of the Seas inaugural cast, and for this I was whisked off to Las Vegas for intense aerial training. At the time I could not manage even one pull up by myself. I’m proud to share that six months later I worked my way up to ten pull ups without assistance. I continue to work on aerial strength and technique and worked hard with my show director until finally I was strong enough to tackle the Centrum aerial challenge.
But the Centrum aerial work is unlike any of the aerial work I have performed in theaters onboard. The main difference is that I am 62 feet above a marble floor where guests are sitting. For one act I had to load onto an apparatus from deck 10 of the Centrum, and balance on a small metal bar, all the time looking down onto the tops of guests heads below me. Of course the guests were unaware that in a moment’s time there would be a beautiful aerial vignette appearing right above them. There is no need for you to worry as we always use a safety line and work closely with a very knowledgeable rigging technical team.
One of my favorite and most difficult acts in the Centrum is our bungee routines. The routines consist of aerialists bouncing from a trapeze on deck 8 down to deck 4 and back up again. I’m amazed when guests consistently ask me if they can try “bouncing around” on the bungees.
Believe me, it is not as easy as it seems. In fact, it is possibly the most difficult aerial apparatus I have worked with, especially since we get such a long bounce in the Centrum. Every time we want to bounce back up to our trapeze we must carry out a full pull up with our arms and engage all of our core muscles. This routine leaves us with exhausted stomachs, forearms, backs and biceps, but the impact it gives makes it totally worth it.
Soon I will leave Vision of the Seas and head to a studio in Chicago to learn and train for some more Centrum Wow! Shows, which will be performed onboard Vision starting in November, so even if you’ve seen one of our Centrum Wow shows, please know that we are almost ready to add new shows. I always hope all our guests enjoy watching the Centrum WOW shows as much as I enjoy performing them.