From music and theatre, to a career in policework, to fitness/yoga instructor, back to music.... Ask Me Anything

Tanya Wills
Mar 6, 2018

Hi, I'm Tanya.....

I have always had a love for the arts, dance and music particularly. I have danced since i could walk and spent my youth thinking i would BE a dancer. I did end up in theatre school and thus began my singing career. In my early 20's I zigged and became a police officer for 10 yrs. During that time I found my way into the fitness industry and also back to the world of theatre. I have always loved jazz and blues and have been in that world for the past dozen singing with big bands as well as smaller combos, but never my own group. So now it's time. I am embarking on a path with 3 excellent musicians and collaborating on our debut recording, The Tanya Wills Quartet. Oh, and I have a yoga studio beside my farmhouse, where I love to teach....

www.facebook.com/tanya.abulnar

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Aside from dancing, singing, and your career, what other things do you enjoy doing in your spare time?
Mar 9, 3:44AM EST0

I live on a farm so I enjoy the quiet space, surrounded by woods and spend lots of time gardening in the warmer months. I have a few chickens and felines so there are always critters around. I also really enjoy cooking so time spent in my kitchen is happy time.

Mar 9, 9:43AM EST0
In your opinion, how is yoga different from stretching or other types of fitness?
Mar 9, 12:46AM EST0

I don't think it is all that different, actually. For me, when I am doing any kind of workout, it is very mindful practice and I am present in that space and time. For some people, it is a whole life philosophy, but I think it can be different things for each individual. 

Mar 9, 10:02AM EST0
Is there anyone in the music industry that has inspired you to be the singer you are today? If so, who would that be and why?
Mar 8, 4:27PM EST0

I have loved singing since I was a child and in fact, my grandparents in Germany were both very successful opera singers. That has been a constant influence in my life, but if I had to name another singer, then I would have to say Judy Garland had a large influence on me as well. She was a fantastic story teller with her music and that, beyond anything else, is what I think a good entertainer needs to be.

Mar 9, 10:05AM EST0
How long have you been playing piano for? What's your favourite piece?
Mar 7, 6:35AM EST0

I studied when I was a child and then stopped, but I picked it up again when I was in theatre school and I play well enough to accompany myself....I love to listen to Shostakovich.

Mar 7, 9:23AM EST0
How exactly did you end up changing careers into policework? Is there a story?
Mar 7, 5:11AM EST0

I had decided that a career in theatre would be too nomadic and I was looking for something that would still be interesting as I am not one to sit behind a desk. I knew someone who was going through the hiring process and decided to give it a go. My main motivation after that was to make a difference in society as a law enforcement officer. I learned a lot on the job, but had to find my way back to music and theatre.

Mar 7, 9:25AM EST0
As a police officer, how did you stay calm during stressful situations like domestic situations?
Mar 7, 1:01AM EST0

It's the training that allows an officer to remain calm in a stressful situation....it just kicks in. And I am a good negotiator so that often became my role in a domestic dispute situation.

Mar 7, 9:27AM EST0

That's amazing! Was it an easy transition when you moved from dance, to theatre, fitness and then singing? Or is dance the thread that links all fields?

Mar 6, 8:19PM EST0

I would say its the music that links it all together..... as a dancer, you are one with the music as well. And yes, music is important in the classes that I have taught and continue to teach in fitness...thanks for asking.

Mar 6, 8:34PM EST0
Did you ever star as the lead role for a play in theatre?
Mar 6, 10:22AM EST0

I have had the privilege of playing some great lead parts....Eva Peron in Evita, Peter in Peter Pan ( so much flying, it was awesome), Adelaide (twice) in Guys and Dolls, the Witch in Into The Woods, The Baroness in The Sound of Music.... to name a few. thank you for asking

Mar 6, 11:04AM EST0
Do you know how to play an instrument? Which is your favourite?
Mar 6, 9:50AM EST0

I play piano and am learning guitar.  I would love to play the guitar really well.

Mar 6, 11:05AM EST0
In the jazz or blues genre, there is usually a variety of instruments to choose from, what is your favorite instrument in regards to sound?
Mar 6, 8:34AM EST0

I truly love guitar. There is so much versatility in that instrument.

Mar 6, 11:06AM EST0
How many tours do you want to go on?
Mar 6, 8:15AM EST0

I don't have any expectation so I'll enjoy whatever comes my way in terms of touring.

Mar 6, 11:07AM EST0
Where do you want to see yourself and your band in the next two years?
Mar 6, 6:14AM EST0

Playing. Live. And we are already working on the next record, so we'll see what happens.....

Mar 6, 8:44PM EST0

Being a police officer, have you been in the field of solving crime or just staying in office doing paper works, if in the field of what crimes you have resolved?

Mar 6, 4:21AM EST0

I worked for our Provincial Police force and I was primarily a road Officer. I had to deal with everything from traffic violations, to break and enters to domestic situations - everything. And then I had the paperwork to deal with as well, preparing for court etc. 

Mar 6, 11:09AM EST0
What instruments do your bandmates play?
Mar 5, 5:48PM EST0

In my Quartet there is piano, guitar and bass. In the larger group I work with, there is trombone, trumpet, tuba, guitar, piano, 2 violins, reeds and drums

Mar 6, 11:11AM EST0
How many singles/albums have you released?
Mar 5, 5:27PM EST0

The Tanya Wills Quartet is currently recording a debut record....it will be available on www.tanyawills.ca in the near future. thank you for asking

Mar 6, 11:12AM EST0
What about jazz or the blues do you enjoy most?
Mar 5, 5:14PM EST0

As a vocalist, I love being able to tell the story of the piece and see that I am affecting an audience. And on the other side of that, I love to witness great jazz or blues done by an artist who is authentic and honest in their delivery of a piece of music....

Mar 6, 8:36PM EST0
What is your favorite style of dancing?
Mar 5, 3:53PM EST0

I don't think I could really say that I have a favourite style, but I do love Swing

Mar 6, 8:36PM EST0
Are your songs being uploaded to indie stations like soundcloud?
Mar 5, 1:39PM EST0

We have some live recordings that will be up on Soundcloud shortly, and when our upcoming CD is release, it will be available on various platforms as well....thanks for asking

Mar 6, 8:37PM EST0
Do you have any band merchandise to promote your band? Does fame matter to you?
Mar 5, 12:51PM EST0

At the moment there is no merchandise available and no, fame does not matter to me. I think success however, is measured in a very different way, and I already feel like we are being successful in our endeavours....thank you for asking

Mar 6, 8:39PM EST0
What jazz artists do you listen to? What is your favourite song to sing?
Mar 5, 12:46PM EST0

I love so many of the legends, Etta James, Anita O'day, Billie, Sarah....but I also listen to Susan Tedeschi, I love Eva Cassidy. There are too many to mention. Right now, one of my favourites to sing is Lazy Afternoon. Check it out...my fave version is by Morgana King

Mar 6, 8:41PM EST0
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