Connecting Generations: SYTYCD


It was so refreshing to see J.T. Church and Robert Roldan’s jazz performance to “Stand In The Light” by Jordan Smith on last night So You Think You Can Dance: Next Generation!

There was a depth of emotion and maturity emanating from the youngest contestant who stood on the shoulders of his dancer mentor Robert and jumped in tandem. It was touching to experience the strength behind mentoring the next generation in support and encouragement to share their gifts and be who they are.

Connecting with someone younger or older than you can grant you a unique perspective that inspires you to grow. The beautiful relationship between all-star and contestant was highlighted in the acceptance of doing life together with the exchange of power and blessings.

I am so thankful for my mentors who have given me wings to fly and are leaving me a legacy of wisdom to help grow my character. Who can you mentor or what generation do you need to reach out and connect with?

For more dancing and great partnerships tune in to Mondays on Fox at 8pm.

These are the opening lyrics to “Stand In the Light”
Didn’t I tell you I hear what you say
Never look back as you’re walking away
Carry the music the memories and keep them inside
You laugh everyday
Don’t stop those tears from falling down

This is who I am inside
This is who I am I’m not gonna hide
Cause the greatest risk we’ll ever take is by far
To stand in the light and be seen as we are
So stand in the light and be seen as we are

With courage and kindness hold on to your faith
You get what you give and it’s never to late
To reach for the branch and climb up leaving sadness behind
You fight hard for love
We can never give enough

Have an awesome rest of the week where you can share and be yourself! Encourage someone to own who they are!


Don’t Walk Dance!

dontwalkdanceI am thrilled that the choreography category was included in the live telecast of the Emmy’s last night.  Congratulations to Derek Hough!

I liked how this dance incorporated the television shows and how it was a collaborative effort between the nominees.  The quick changes added some cool flair!

Shaping Sound Tour-Artistry in Motion

“You know that place between sleep and awake, the place where you can still remember dreaming? That’s where I’ll always love you.  That’s where I’ll be waiting.” –J.M. Barrie

Shaping Sound’s live dancing tour kicked off this past weekend in Los Angeles.  The company emerges from the visions of Travis Wall, Nick Lazzarini, Teddy Forance and Kyle Robinson who may seem familiar from appearances on “So You Think You Can Dance,” “Dancing With the Stars” and the reality TV show based on them “All the Right Moves.”  The company has quickly become known for their fierce and fresh artistry intermingling contemporary with jazz, modern and hip-hop.

I had the opportunity to attend the red carpet premiere performance in Los Angeles.  It was nice to see the dance community come out to support them.  Familiar faces in the audience included Adam Shankman, Carrie Ann Inaba, Paula Abdul, Stacey Tookey, Heather Morris, Lance Bass and many SYTYCD dancers.  The cheers and thunderous applause from family, friends and industry professionals made the performance even more special.

The dancers are visual musicians bursting with movement quality that hooks into love existing between being asleep and awake.  The show cleverly sticks to this theme by giving each member of the company a character or title to embody.  For instance Nick is the Wayward, Travis is the Past, Teddy is the One, and Kyle the Beloved.

Travis’s signature dance phrases or sequences of twists, lifts and turns are made even better with the full use of the stage and light direction.  The lights and moveable props add levels that highlight every pulsating tick of the head to the collapsed releases.

Photo by Charley Gallay/Getty Images

The entire show has beauty with seamless transitions.  Jamie Goodwin as the Dreamer truly fulfills her role with the resistance filled extensions and emotion.  The company breathes as one making moments shine for the pure communication with each other and the music.

There are upbeat and powerful songs used such as “Sing, Sing, Sing” or “Bohemian Rhapsody” with more haunting melodies.  The show finds the perfect pacing and story vehicle to take you on their journey.

Executive Producer, Gil Stroming from Break the Floor Productions has delivered explosive entertainment proving why he is a leading dance entrepreneur.

Catch the rest of the tour coming through the United States.  Click here.


International Dance Day

Happy International Dance Day!

I think that just like any sport an art form can require consistent discipline in developing your craft.  Every day is an opportunity to give your imagination a workout or find something that inspires you.

The video of rhythmic gymnastics featuring Boyanka Angelova from Bulgaria that has been shared across social media recently is a reminder of the great potential one can reach with practice within your realm of believability.

Her routine captivated my interest in finding out more about rhythmic gymnastics.  Rebecca Sereda states “it incorporates ballet, gymnastics, and dance, so we have to put all those things together. We train for so many hours, but people think we’re just dancing with ribbons on the carpet.”  To read that interview from buzzfeed click here.

Another blending of “ballet, gymnastics and dance” is showcased in this Macy’s Stars of dance performance on a “Dancing with the Stars” results show.  It seems that a trend in dance is requiring more and more athleticism and physical strength with the lifts and gymnastics being incorporated in.  This dance intertwines the beauty of art starring Tiler Peck, Nuttin’ But Stringz, Travis Wall and many recognizable faces from Shaping Sound and “SYTYCD.”

“The Mission Play”-Respect, Resilience and Resonance

“There’s an energy to places, a resonance. The walls, as they say, have ears.”

-“The Mission Play” 2013, adapted by Jonathan Sailsbury and Nicole Avenia

© Photo by Ron Lim Photography

Originally written in 1911 by John Steven-McGroarty and now adapted for the 21st century, “The Mission Play” tells the tale of the rise of the California mission system charting the relationships between the Franciscan friars, Spanish army and Native American tribes. However, the play is not about clashing communications but connecting community and celebrating culture.

From April 5-April 7 audiences can watch as history unfolds in the re-imagined version of the play at the San Gabriel Mission Playhouse. The play was originally performed in 1912-1932 to be seen by over 2.5 million people at the playhouse.

I am honored to play, Sue, one of the four modern teens that break out in a hip-hop dance at the beginning of the play to later be swept back in time to go on a journey to learn about respect, resilience and resonance.
The four teens are additions to the newly adapted version that are present throughout the whole show to help connect the 21st century to the classic tale.
The terms respect, resilience and resonance are applicable both to this play and any actor’s career.

© Photo by Ron Lim Photography

Respect: It is helpful to respect yourself as an actor and the other professionals you get to work with. Respect can translate into learning the “lines” as written, respecting what everyone brings to the table, props, wardrobe or respecting the time you commit to the rehearsal process.
“Mission Play”: The play touches on valuing time whether it be the past (ancestors and own memories), present (change) or future possibilities. Just like respect should be given to every professional working on a show, the teens learn that respect should be given to anyone who may have opposing viewpoints or culture anchors.

Resilience: I recognize that artists face a lot of rejection, possible disappointment or negativity surrounding their craft and lifestyle. It might be helpful to do a litmus test to understand how you personally react to situations and develop a glass half full type attitude. I think it is important to have a full life where acting is not the only you thing you do and to know who truly loves you. What audience do you live to please? I live for an audience of one.
“Mission Play”: Numerous characters remain faithful to their personal mission and vision despite numerous setbacks. The theater itself was built in 1927 to house the production and has remained standing through earthquakes and time. In addition, the show spans about sixty years showing how different groups of people survived.

Resonance: Choose projects that inspire you and that you connect with. Whenever I read scripts I get so excited when I read someone’s life off the page that resonates with me. There is a physical and emotional connection that flips the switch.
“Mission Play”: The theater space is breathtaking and walking into a place with so much history sends ripples of electrifying energy through my system. Certain places evoke different emotions and trigger the five senses into action. I am blessed to go to work and play with my fellow ensemble members here.

© Photo by Ron Lim Photography

Come experience the theater’s rich history and learn along with my character Sue how respect, resilience and resonance can impact history with love and forgiveness. Check-out the radiant theater and see what resonates with you.  Click here to buy tickets.

I look forward to entering tech week for the show and celebrating Easter where history is HIS story! Happy Easter!

“It’s not about being right or wrong-it’s about finding common ground—seeking to see the other person’s point of view, finding peace and seeing God in the very darkest corners and the most shimmering fields.”-Ubaldo, Act Three “Mission Play”

The play features members from the Gaberlino Tongva tribe, Spanish, Chinese and hip-hop dancers and singers that reflect the history of the city of San Gabriel.  Teh’Hoveet! (means “great” in the Gaberlino Tongva language)

“Dancing With the Stars” Premiere

Dancing With the Stars” is back tonight with a brand new set of celebrities paired with pros competing for the mirror-ball trophy on abc at 8 p.m..

I am excited to see a new crop of dance hopefuls enter the ballroom.  It will be fun to look for the new partnering dynamics, the improvement over the season and how each celebrity enjoys the process.

The professional dancers that draw me in are the ones that move with purpose, power and precision.

Purpose: Knowing what story your body is meant to tell in response to moving with a partner and music.

Power: Controlled power and fluidity to create resistance in extensions which can turn a simple walk into a defining movement.

Precision: Hitting or accenting certain moves to create lovely pictures from the relaxed hand to the pointed toe.

Every professional is brilliant with Derek Hough, Mark Ballas and Peta Murgatroyd being standouts for me.  This season I am looking for new pro, Lindsay Arnold and a new troop member, Whitney Carson from “So You Think You Can Dance.”

However, having purpose, power and precision isn’t everything.  The rehearsal footage and interviews show celebrities as real people.  I am looking for passion, personality, and persistence.

Passion: Someone who is willing to invest emotions into dance and is willing to be vulnerable.

Personality: Bringing playfulness to the dance floor with a carefree abandonment that is unique to them.

Persistence: Striving to continue to take constructive criticism and be open to growth.

I am looking out for Zendaya, Dorothy Hamill, Kelli Pickler, Jacoby Jones, and Aly Raisman.

In addition there are the evolving partnerships where I look for physicality, patience, and the process.

Physicality: How two bodies move as one and relate to each other.

Patience: Needed from both pro and celebrity as they grow as a team and in ability.

Process: The journey the two people go on during rehearsal and on taping nights.

Acting can be like ballroom dancing where your “scene partner” is your fellow dancer.  I love to respond off what my fellow actor is giving me in that moment.  The focus is not on you but on the relationship and trust needed to move forward even if it is in an unexpected direction.

Overall, it can be the emotion, the fun, the chemistry and willingness to learn and entertain that people respond to the most.  I think the show excels at showcasing entertainment which trumps technical ability or dance knowledge.

DWTS certainly has created the right formula for magic with professionals moving with power, people (judges and hosts included) with panache and partnerships primed for playful performances.  I am looking forward to all of that tonight.

For great information and videos check out the website Pure dwts. To watch the performances immediately (sometimes even before the show airs California time) check out

Other things to watch out for this season: The new added dance styles such as contemporary, the costumes, choreography, the theme nights and the results shows performances.