Girl On Fire

Jan 10, 2013 No Comments

Ericka Hunter’s childhood was anything but normal. While her peers were spending their free time going to movies and hanging out at the mall, Hunter was in the dance studio. The former Rockette and Broadway star started dancing at the age of three. By the time she was a teenager, Hunter’s once-a-week classes had transformed into a thrice-a-day regimen. Her interest in performance led her to audition for a coveted placement in a highly selective arts high school in her native Ottowa. Hunter was accepted into the school’s vocal and dance program but opted to enroll in the vocal program to help balance out her activities: In the meantime, she was still dancing every day.

Hunter tells that her career “snowballed” when she started auditioning for shows in Toronto. At age 17, she began making the four-hour drive for auditions, and her motivation paid off. The light-footed dancer’s very first job was as one of the world famous Radio City Rockette’s. “Everything was singing and dancing for me,” Hunter says. “I loved it so much, so it was a natural progression to get into that profession.

In the meantime, Hunter’s career has continued to grow. When she was offered the role of understudy to the lead in “Rock of Ages” on Broadway, Hunter never expected to actually have a chance to perform. “When I finally got to perform that role, that was a huge accomplishment for me,” Hunter says. In the end, she performed the role over 50 times, a feat that she characterizes as a personal victory. “That was really exciting, leading a show on Broadway.”

Hunter offers encouragement to others hoping to enter the performing arts industry. “It’s hard not to take it personally when you’re rejected (for a role),” she says. “It can really affect how you view yourself as a performer.” She notes that once she granted herself her own approval, she was alleviated of the burden of needing approval from others.  “When I started really valuing my own uniqueness as a performer is when I really stopped caring what other people thought.”

The actress and crooner, who has already gained considerable success and recognition, continues to amplify her presence in the industry, as she has been writing music for other performers while laying down her own tracks in the recording studio.

While there appear to be no roadblocks in her future, Hunter is undeterred by obstacles she may face. “You have to fall down to get up,” she tells
Written by: Mary Ronau


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