This week’s Dancer/Choreographer shout out goes to Irvin Washington. Life and Dance play hand in hand for Irvin! Only a few years as a professional dancer in Toronto, he has done work with industries George Nozuka, Keisha Chante, War Child in Association with Much Music, Film work for Disney and The Family Channel. His career has brought him across Canada and over seas to Europe Opening for the likes of Danny Fernandes, Canadian Idol’s Eva Avila, Fergie of the Black Eyed Peas, Alicia Keys, Destiny’s Child and Toronto’s own Jully Black! Now as a proud member of Artist in Motion his passion and love for dance keeps him working harder everyday to achieve his goals, “It’s My way of Life”!
Find out what Irvin had to say in this week’s shout out…
Nikki: Do you remember the first time you started dancing?
Irvin: I remember being at home as a kid there would be this show that came on all the time and for fun I would wear my church shoes and pretend they were tap shoes just to dance along with this man on the TV. It was so long ago I wish I could remember the title of it but I do remember the good feeling. The haste I’d make rushing to my closet to get my tap shoes and perform for my mom and dad. It’s funny because I have never shared that story and even though I loved dance I thought I was going to be a Lawyer look at me now…
Nikki: Do you remember the first song you choreographed to? (Or your earliest memory)
Irvin: Let’s see the first song I ever choreographed was Pump it Up by Joe Budden. I had made it into my first dance crew, The Dream Team and they needed someone fresh to bring in some Hip Hop Choreography. I loved it! So aggressive and very high energy.
Nikki: Your personal advice for dancers when it comes to free styling?
Irvin: Dance from your heart keep Going and don’t forget to find the Beat. With those 3 things you can’t go wrong. If your creative telling a story with your movement is always entertaining to watch.
Nikki: Getting in the zone to choreograph, what does it take for you?
Irvin: Zone? What zone? haha Choreography is constantly sweating out my pores! With endless rehearsals and shows, it’s hard to find a moment to sit down and really focus on steps or a concept. I’m often caught on the bus going through and creating steps right at the TTC bus stop…hmmm maybe that’s it. The pressure is the zone, it’s where the clarity comes right though as well as the movement. So to get me in the zone for choreography just light a fire under my (Toonchi, butt, ass, tush?)
Nikki: Who are some of your biggest influences in the Dance industry?
Irvin: Some of my biggest influences in the Dance industry are Laurieann Gibson, Hollywood Jade, Esie Mensah, Leon Blackwood, Jae Blaze,Gadfly…the List goes on.
Nikki:Name a Toronto Choreographer you enjoy working with and why?
Irvin: I love working with Hollywood Jade because he has a gift for Producing and really bringing a story/concept/feeling to life. He’s helped me realized it’s more than just steps, It’s a Performance.
Nikki: Name one of your favorite artists to work with and why?
Irvin: It’s extremely recent but my Favorite artist to work with is Trish. She has a way of captivating the people around with her essence. I’ve dreamed of dancing for her so the opportunity is just out of this world for me. To see her strong work ethic and Talent to match who else could I call my Fav?
Nikki: Are you currently working on any projects?
Irvin: Right now The OG Crew is working with Trish for the ANTM Live Show,I’ll be performing at Pacha Lounge for Andre’s Cabaret, Derick Robinson and myself are choreographing a piece for the Bazaar and so many other odds and ends along the way. It’s truly a blessing because jobs just keep coming up!
Nikki: Qualities you think Toronto Dancers possess?
Irvin: Dancers of Toronto possess a Hunger for More. This I believe is extremely powerful and is exactly what is going to bring us to the next level as a city!
Nikki: Any advice for emerging dancers and choreographers working/training Toronto?
Irvin: If your here, Be Here. Show your face and get to know your community. Your opportunity may lie in the hands of the person or choreographer right beside you in class but you won’t get it if they don’t know you exist.
THANK YOU IRVIN FOR SHARING YOUR LOVE AND PASSION WITH T.D.O.T. XO
CHECK OUT SOME OF IRVIN’S CHOREO…