What Are The Members Of Hi-5 Really Like?
How many times have Hi-5 come to the rescue and saved your morning? Or made you stop and have a dance with your excited toddler?
My kids love Hi-5 and I always look at them in awe. They work so hard, are always smiling and are never in the gossip mags. They seem professional, kind and passionate.
But what are they really like?
We were lucky enough to catch up with them during their latest Asian tour.
Hi – 5 have been performing for 15 years. (Sorry to make you feel old.)
The latest members are Tanika, Stevie, Dayen, Mary and Ainsley. Stevie is the remaining member of the last wave of Hi-5 performers, joining in 2007.
The others have been in the group from between 2 and 4 years.
Tanika says the cast are all great mates, which helps them on the road when they are touring, “Life is crazy when you're a kids entertainer. We are traveling around the world all the time and we create such amazing memories together. The best part of being in Hi-5 is getting to share those incredible experiences with kids all over the world.”
Stevie, who has been with the group the longest, still feels as though it all started yesterday, “I still pinch myself, it’s the best job ever!”
Dayen loves the pace. There is always a new project or performance to work towards and the group have very little down time. “We are always doing something, whether it may be touring with our stage show or mall show, filming, recording an album, rehearsing and fulfilling our roles as ambassadors for charities. You could say we practically live out of our suitcases!”
Not that anyone is complaining. Being able to tour the world doing what you love is a dream that many performers will never be able to achieve. Although the hours are long, Mary and Ainsley feel lucky and enjoy landing in new countries and meeting kids.
“My favourite is the live shows and tour. I love learning about new cultures and getting to share new adventures with everyone,” she says.
Ainsley agrees and loves the bond that her and the other Hi-5 members share, “We spend more time together as a group than we do with our own families, as a result we know each other very well and we get up to a lot of mischief. We dress up, give each other dares & challenges, play pranks and have secret code words. We are really just big kids…stuck inside adult bodies.”
So what’s the magic formula? Why do kids from all walks of life adore them? “I think the children of the world love Hi-5 because they can relate to us. We are just big kids and we love to play. They see us as friends. It's so special, “ Tanika says.
Mary believes that kids learn through entertainment and fun, “The secret is... IT’S FUN! Kids are learning so much and they don’t even realise it. With all the songs, dances and fun games, Hi-5 teaches every child the crucial fundamentals of child development in a big, colourful, fun way.”
“I think we receive so much love from around the world because of our music. Music is an international language. It speaks to everyone, across the globe because it’s something that can be felt, it communicates with the heart,” says Ainsley.
When meeting new kids in different cities every day and performing for crowds sometimes reaching 50,000 kids, it would be hard to pinpoint a favourite moment, but Tanika loved performing for disadvantaged kids in Myanmar with World Vision last year.
“We met some of the happiest children in the world. All they need is family. Simple as that. I'll never forget it.”
Ainsley also says it was her most memorable experience so far, “It was something that I had never done before, a new side to the job and it taught all of us a lot about what we do and why we do it,” She says. “Each child is very special and deserves a chance to experience the joy, imagination and love, that comes with childhood. The reality however is that not all children around the world have this privilege.”
Stevie enjoys performing for big crowds, but loves to connect with individual fans. “I think my most special experience at a live show was when we invited a young autistic boy in Singapore up on stage to dance with us, we had got to know the child over the years as he had come along to absolutely every show,” Stevie says.
Mary remembers her first day on set like it was yesterday. “On my very first day of filming, I will never forget one boy who came up to me after doing one of the song of the weeks and started tugging at my dress. When I asked him if he wanted to ask me something, he looked at me with amazement and asked "Are you real?" When I replied yes, he then asked "Then how did you get out of my TV?”
Want to make your own Hi-5 memories?
Hi-5 House of Dreams is Touring nationally across Australia from 28th June - 15th July 2015. Visit hi-5world.com for more info and tickets!
See part two of our Hi-5 interview next week.