O n l i n e I n t e r v i e w S e r i e s !
16 PROFESSIONAL DANCERS, CHOREOGRAPHERS & AGENTS SHARE THEIR INSIGHTS AND ADVICE ON HOW TO ‘MAKE IT’ IN DANCE!
With our April dance tours postponed, we wanted to find a way to bring a slice of our tours to YOU as you isolate at home. And what a perfect time to be inspired to go for your dreams than in a time of major change and reflection!
We are excited to announce our Interview Series called ‘The Empowered Dancer’ hosted by our very own Kim Davey!
The Interview Series features top dance experts who talk honestly and openly about their experience as professionals in the dance industry and how YOU can create a successful career in dance!
Grab a pen and paper – time to get inspired!
One interview per day, coming to your inbox when you sign up!
M e e t t h e e x p e r t s !
Sarah ‘SMAC’ McCreanor
Sarah McCreanor, affectionately known as SMAC, is an Australian actress, dancer and artist based in Los Angeles. Her versatility has landed her numerous accomplishments in LA from acting in guest star roles to touring internationally as a leading actress and stuntwoman, dancing in an extensive list of music videos and projects as well as booking over 30 commercials. SMAC is also a published photographer, choreographer and aspiring creative director. She is known for her comedic and retro flair, referred to as “the modern day Lucille Ball”!
San Diego native Grandison M. Phelps IV was raised in the theatre and grew up performing Shakespeare as well as other dramatic arts, including dance, all over the city. G studied and received a B.A. in Broadcast Journalism training for radio, voice over, news writing and on-camera hosting.
With this and dance performance calling him, he began to really soar – performing on tours, music videos and stage shows for artists including J.Lo, Kendrick Lamar, Rihanna, Chaka Khan, Tamar Braxton, Lady Gaga, Che’Nelle and Alicia Keys. G has also performed on many popular TV shows, such as America’s Got Talent, So You Think You Can Dance, The Grammy Awards and the People’s Choice Awards (just to name a few).
With TV hosting still a passion and skill of his, opportunities of hosting live shows, events and TV pilots started to roll in, including online networks like Dance Plug, After Buzz and his own personal creation, Variety City.
Brooke Wendle recently directed and choreographed a new show for Holland America Cruise Line entitled Love Opera, and her choreography will be shown in December at Broadway Dance Lab. She returned to her home state of Texas this summer to choreograph Bloody Bloody Andrew Jackson at Casa Mañana Theater and was nominated for a Broadway World Regional Award for best choreography.
Brooke directed and choreographed Adam Lambert’s Original High World Tour, worked as the associate director and specialty act designer for Franco Dragone’s Taboo at the Hard Rock Hotel in Macau, China and was the supervising choreographer for America’s Got Talent for four seasons. Brooke’s choreography has appeared on Orange Is the New Black, VH1’s Best in Music 2015, American Idol, the Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade 2015, I Am Cait, Best Time Ever with Neil Patrick Harris, East Bound and Down on HBO, Dancing with the Stars, and The Carrie Diaries. Other credits include RENT in Shanghai, China, Rebel Bingo (NY and London), NBA Brooklynettes, Adam Lambert’s Glamnation World Tour, Flashdance the Musical (Dance Associate and Coach).
Uniquely qualified as a leader and motivator; spearhead ambitious projects from concept to launch, effectively collaborating within Cross-Functional Teams, aligning strategy and corporate resources to produce Business and Financial Results. David calls upon significant awareness of changing trends, lifestyles, markets and audience preferences with capability to devise and implement targeted media strategies. Educated and experienced in event production and project management, including planning, coordinating, budgeting and operation.
Broadway: Angels in America, Cats, Finding Neverland, Wicked, Come Fly Away (Resident Director-1st national), Guys and Dolls, The Times They Are A Changin, Movin’ Out and Footloose. He starred in London’s West End production and 1st national tour of Movin’ Out playing the role of Eddie where he received a Helen Hayes Award for Best Actor in a musical.
Off Broadway/Theater: Andrew Lippa’s The Wild Party, Christopher Wheeldon’s Brigadoon, Chess for the Actor’s Fund with Josh Groban, Barrie Manilow’s Copacabana, Spirit, Cinderella, workshops of Something To Dance About- An evening of Jerome Robbins and Hello Dolly. Ron has danced with Twyla Tharp Dance, Complexions Contemporary Ballet, Cedar Lake Contemporary Ballet, Parsons Dance and Mia Michaels RAW.
TV/Film: SNL, The Tony Awards, The VMA’s with Ne-yo, The Today Show, The View and feature film “Winter’s Tale”.
Choreography: “Pride and Prejudice” (Rep Of St. Louis), “Celestia” (currently playing at the Stratosphere Hotel- Best New Show 2019’s Best of Las Vegas Awards), Nate Ruess (music video, Ah-ha!), RWS Entertainment’s Step One Dance Company, Dance Lab NY and Wayne State University. Associate
Choreographer: Seven Brides for Seven Brothers (Lyric Theatre), Celine Dion’s Las Vegas show, “A New Day”.
Ryan has been a NYC resident since 2001. Currently, he works with LDC Artist Representation and is the co-owner of the health/wellness space, The Chi Hive, in upstate New York. Ryan is a BFA graduate from CSU Fullerton and has performed regionally with touring companies on TV and Broadway. As a director and choreographer, he has worked in the U.S. and internationally with Mamma Mia!, Franco Dragone, Royal Caribbean, Dita Von Teese, the Bluebell Girls, Meryl Streep and Alfredo Arias.
Brooke has a long history with the stage. She danced professionally for over 10 years overseas performing in the United States, Europe, South East Asia, Australia and New Zealand. Brooke’s career begun with Maureen Ax in Palmerston North, from 18 she then crafted her dance career in Melbourne at Patrick Studios Australia.
Brooke has been a Singer/ Dancer with Princess Cruises and P&O Australia and Dance Captain at Resorts World Genting’s Casino in Malaysia. She has performed in the Countdown Arena Spectacular, Hairspray movie premiere in Australia and was in the top 100 in Australia’s first season of ‘So You Think You Can Dance’. Other highlights include being a regular extra in the popular Australia TV soaps ‘Home and Away’ and ‘Neighbours’. Brooke has performed in New Zealand-based musicals including ‘Wicked’, ’Chicago’, ‘Rocky Horror Picture Show’, ‘Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat’ and Australian-based musicals – Jerry Herman’s ‘Milk & Honey’ and in Hugh Jackman’s ‘The Boy from Oz’ at the Rod Laver Arena.
Brooke is a dance teacher at Dance Works Studios and Director of Ignite Dance Hub. She currently freelances as a dance tutor/ adjudicator and examiner in the New Zealand dance scene & in schools. She has worked with NZSD, Te Auaha, DanceNZmade, National Youth Drama School, UCOL Performing Arts and SHE SHINES ON Dance tours as their team’s coordinator and an assistant Tour manager in the USA.
Trent Kidd is a New York based director, choreographer and performer who hails from Sydney, Australia. Since moving to New York in 2018, Trent has choreographed Decline And Fall…., Fifty Million Frenchmen and Panama Hattie all for The York Theatre Company. He has also performed in Annie (Ensemble) and 42nd Street (Ensemble), both for the Ogunquit Playhouse.
Australian credits include: Carmen (Assistant Director, Opera Australia), La Boheme (Assistant Director, Opera Australia), Turandot (Assistant Director & Dance/Movement Assistant, Opera Australia), La Traviata (Dance/Movement Assistant, Opera Australia), Me And My Girl (Choreographer, Hayes Theatre), Heathers The Musical (Resident Director, Sydney Opera House), Summer Rain (Director & Choreographer, New Theatre), Sweeney Todd (Choreographer, New Theatre), Privates On Parade (Choreographer, New Theatre).
Kenya Clay is professional dance choreographer whose infectious energy has shaped a career working with some of the most well known artists and brands in the industry. Kenya holds faculty at three of Hollywood’s leading professional dance studios; Millennium Dance Complex, Debbie Reynolds, and Movement Lifestyle. Throughout her career, Kenya has been most passionate taking on the role of mentor, and has helped world renown talent fulfill and focus their abilities. Her own pursuit of dance began at the relatively late age of nineteen, and has since become an advocate and supporter of young artists in the industry— affectionately known to her peers and students as “Mama Kenya”.
Dean McKerras is New Zealand’s own Danceman. Based in Palmerston North he is connected with dance at all levels, from classroom teaching, studio owning, university lecturing, mentoring, directing and choreographing professionally for NZ theatre societies to running his Nationwide branding DanceNZmade which includes syllabi and workshop/competition events for studios and a Nationwide Interschool dance workshop and competition series. A passion and energy for dance makes this Danceman unique.
Trained and educated in the world of dance, Kristy has completed several professional dance contracts all over the world! Her most recent contract was as a dancer with Dreams Folies Productions in Belgium. She has also danced in China, Philippines, Sweden, France and USA… just to name a few! She is a well-rounded dancer, specialising in hip hop, jazz, Latin, choreography/teaching, modelling and film!
Nick graduated from Bird College with a First Class BA (Hons) Dance and Theatre Performance.
THEATRE CREDITS INCLUDE: Mary Poppins (Hamburg & Stuttgart,Stage Ent); Dance Captain in Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs (St Albans Arena / Evolution Productions); Cinderella (Evolution Productions); Chicago (NAMCO & RCCL); Victor/ Victoria (Southwark Playhouse); We Will Rock You (Berlin & Stuttgart, Fandango/BB Productions); Aladdin (First Family Entertainment) Explorer of the Seas (Royal Caribbean Productions)
OTHER CREDITS INCLUDE: Associate Choreographer for Paper Hearts (Upstairs at the Gatehouse & Hamburg First Stage), Argos- Unboxed (Commercial, Friend Productions), The Guernsey Literary and Potato Peel Pie Society (Feature Film-Studio Canal) Seek the silent pool (Silent Pool Gin) Choreographer for Bird College Summer shows 2015 onwards.
Nick is currently a regular guest choreographer/director at Bird College.
Kristyn Burtt is the West Coast correspondent and host of To the Pointe on Dance Network. Her coverage of So You Think You Can Dance, Dancing With the Stars and World of Dance has become popular with dance fans across the globe. Kristyn’s love of dance began early in her life. She trained at the Boston Ballet School, danced with Pittsburgh Ballet Theatre in The Nutcracker and won a dance scholarship to New York University’s Tisch School of the Arts, where she graduated with a Bachelor of Fine Arts. She currently serves on the American Dance Movement’s Marketing & PR Committee and is a member of the Television Academy and SAG-AFTRA.
Alex Kordek is an international choreographer & creative director from the UK based in Los Angeles, and the founder of renowned dance/entertainment agency, AJK Agency. He works with A-list celebrities preparing them for red carpet and press events. He has also worked with many high profile brands in his career including: Spotify, Johnnie Walker, Replay, Google, Warner Brothers, Nissan, Fossil, Coca Cola and many more. His skills encompass choreographing commercials, live events, fashion shows, recording artists and corporate events.
Alex is the CEO of AJK Agency that represents top international entertainers, acts, choreographers, dancers & models. AJK has worked with a diverse range of clients including: Beyonce, Robbie Williams, Maleficent 2, James Bond, X-Factor, Paloma Faith, Virgin, CATS Musical, Ted Baker London, Desigual & Nike. Alex has been a resident choreographer/teacher at the famous Pineapple Studios London “one of the world’s premier dance studios” since 2006.
Alex’s extremely high work ethic and drive has enabled him to achieve a very successful career in the entertainment industry. His passion is working with people and helping them achieve their goals, always delivering to highest of his capabilities. Creatively he thrives on new challenges where he can bring unique ideas to performances making them unforgettable.
Amy is a British native, who has travelled the world extensively from the Mediterranean to Antarctica.
Amy has danced for cruise ships, dinner shows, circus shows, casinos and musical theatre companies. She decides her next dance contract based on which country she would like to visit.
Amy completed a BA with Hons in Theatre Dance at London Studio Centre and is equally passionate about modelling and music.
Amy is delighted to share her knowledge and experience about the dance industry with young dancers wanting to make a career in dance.
Lauren Lim Jackson
Originally from Orange County California, Lauren Lim Jackson graduated from the Orange County School of the Arts, where she was the Academic Valedictorian as well as Valedictorian of her Commercial Dance Department.
She later attended Harvard University, where she received her B. A. in Sociology with a Secondary in Women, Gender and Sexuality Studies.
Broadway credits include: Pretty Woman, Motown, Memphis, Wonderland, and Finian’s Rainbow.
Off Broadway/Regional/Tour include: The Wiz (Encores), Chicago (Velma Kelly), Big Fish (Josephine), Ring of Fire (Alpine Theater Project), Rocky Horror Show (Old Globe), and West Side Story (Anita).
Film/TV credits include: Natalie on Almost Family, High Maintenance, New Amsterdam, The Post, Shades of Blue, The Blacklist, Jessica Jones, Daredevil, Deadbeat, Bikini Moon, When We Grow Up, Strange Past, Smash, The Smurfs, Mrs. Santa Claus and Kidsongs.
Ms. Jackson is a proud member of the Actors Equity Association and SAG/AFTRA.
Follow on Instagram: @limmyjack or Twitter @LimJack