LOOK closely at the next Carly Rae Jepsen video and you'll likely see a North Shore face.
Unfortunately, the shot will be far enough away you won't be able to make out the details of the face, but chances are you will be watching Brooke Williamson perform.
"It will be exciting seeing the video, and people will be like, 'Oh, that's Carly Rae Jepsen,' and I'll be like, 'No, that's me," says Williamson of her experience as an on-screen stand-in for the Vancouver pop star.
The video was recently shot in a park in West Vancouver and Williamson stood in when Jepsen had to fly to New Mexico to perform with Justin Bieber. (Jepsen is the opening act for Bieber's latest tour.)
The video was shot on a cliff with a great view, reports Williamson, adding, "It was a really nice place to be. It was sunny out too, so it was actually a really nice day. I couldn't complain at all."
A longtime dancer, Williamson assumed she was going to be a dance stand-in and thought maybe Jepsen didn't know how to dance. She soon realized, however, she would be acting in a wedding scene. As a stand-in, Williamson learned, she would pretend to be Jepsen for back shots and long shots. Luckily, Williamson studied drama during high school and counts it among her many passions so she was up to the task.
It wasn't her only surprise on set, however. In order to look like Jepsen, Williamson had to cut her front bangs short.
Although she was game to do it and doesn't regret it, she admits, "It took me a couple of days to get used to them."
While on set, Williamson met someone who invited her to an invite-only audition for a new Nelly Furtado video that took place not long after the Jepsen video shoot.
The first level of auditions involved about 40 other dancers. Divided into groups of four, they were asked to dance to a song they had never heard before.
"He (the choreographer) just played the music and asked us to dance. No choreography, no steps. Just dance."
Williamson describes the five-minute song as fast tempo, and notes, "We were all sweating at the end of it."
After the first round, the 40 dancers were cut to 10, and Williamson was among the small group moving on to the second round of auditions. They learned choreography for the second round and after performing were cut down again. Unfortunately, Williamson didn't make the third cut, but says of the experience, "It was so cool, and I got to learn the choreography that will be in the video."
It had only been about a month since Williamson made her first foray into the world of music videos, and it's a route she didn't expect to take so soon in her career.
While still a student at Argyle secondary this past June, she saw that a choreographer she knew had posted a notice online that he was looking for dancers for a Mariannas Trench video "Desperate Measures."
Williamson says she always wanted to work on music videos, but didn't know how to get involved, and thought it was something she would only be able to do much later in her dancing career.
But then, "I figured why not give it a shot?" She sent in her resume and photo, and just a couple of days later found out she had booked the job.
"It was an awesome shoot," she says. "It was a long shoot but I learned so much from it."
Williamson was one of four lead dancers in the video who were paired up to dance with members of the band. The shoot started at 1 p.m. and ended at 3 a.m.
"It was hectic but it was so much fun," she notes. "I think everyone fed off of everyone else's energy and everyone was positive, and I hadn't been outside the whole time so I don't think I realized how dark it was, and then all of a sudden I went to look at my phone to tell my mom that I was about to leave and I was like, 'Oh my goodness, it's three in the morning.'"
In June, Williamson graduated from Argyle secondary. She has been dancing since she was seven years old when her older sister introduced her to ballet. Like so many younger siblings, Williamson wanted to do everything
her older sister did, so naturally followed her into dance classes.
By 10 years old, Williamson was serious about ballet and was accepted for a five-week summer school program at Canada's National Ballet School. She was later accepted to the school's full-year program, but wasn't ready to leave home at the age of 11 to attend the school in Toronto.
After that, she broadened her repertoire and took on tap, ballroom, hip-hop, jazz, lyrical and stage. Her favourite kind of dance is contemporary, which she describes as "ballet moves with a contemporary twist."
Williamson spends from two to six hours, six days a week taking classes and rehearsing, and sometimes rehearses seven days a week if she's preparing for a competition.
"It's kind of an escape for me. It's somewhere that I can go that I trust myself dancing and I trust the people around me while I'm dancing. It's kind of a place where I can go and forget about the rest of my problems and everything and just get lost in my movement."
Williamson admits because she spent so much time in dance studios over the past four years, she sometimes felt like she was missing out on regular high school social events. But in the past two years she says she has come to realize it was worth the effort and she didn't miss out on too much.
"Dance has always been what I've always wanted to do. It's my passion and it's what I've spent my whole life doing."
One of her goals is to perform on Broadway and this fall she will be closer to that dream, at least in physical proximity, when she attends Marymount Manhattan College, a liberal arts school in New York, with a $32,000 scholarship.
"I'm so nervous, but so excited. It's going to be a new life," she says.
Despite her years of preparation and recent success, however, there is one dream Williamson will probably never realize.
"I've always also dreamed of being a Rockette, but unfortunately I'm an inch too short," she says with a laugh.
(Dancers must be at least five-feet-six-inches tall to audition for the famous Radio City Music Hall dance troupe.)
But Williamson jokes: "You never know, maybe I'll grow."