This weeks Dancer/Choreographer shout out goes to Mark Samuels. MARKY MARKY MARK A DO DAT Entertainment Original. He by far is one of the sickest most humble dancers I know, considering he’s always murdering a piece of choreography somewhere in the world. Mark has travelled abroad dancing for many artists including Shawn Desman, Mario, Mariah Carey, Mary J Blige, Missy Elliott, Jully Black, Nelly Furtado and the list goes on and on and on lol. He’s definitely put his work in the Dance industry and it shows. He is also a dope Choreographer working as a Hip Hop instructor at different studios and providing choreography for different artists. Ive gotten the chance to work with Mark the Choreographer hands on dancing for Canadian Artists Kim Davis and Ray Robinson. When in Toronto he teaches a weekly class at OIP Dance Centre(190 Richmond st E) sundays 4pm-530pm. And when he’s not doing that he’s teaching workshops/master classes somewhere in the world. ANNNNND when he’s not doing that he’s probably in New York or L.A learning, performing and growing as a Dancer and Choreographer. Something some of you may not know is that he’s also a music producer and one of his newest ventures is his music production company LandMark Music (love the name btw) I’m very grateful that he had the time to let me get inside his head. Here’s what he had to say……
Bio written by Nikki
Nikki: Do you remember the first time you danced?
Mark: “Yes, a long time ago, a friend of mine showed me a move that he copied from a Bobby Brown video, “Don’t Be Cruel.” I spent DAYS trying to perfect it! And when I got it, WATCH OUT…..I did it EVERYWHERE I walked! LOL!
Nikki: Do you remember the first song you choreographed to? (Or your earliest memory)
Mark: “HA! I actually do! It was “Funhouse” by Kid ‘N Play for my Junior High School talent show.
Nikki: What advice can you give to dancers when it comes to free styling?
Mark: “Free styling is all about how you HEAR music. Learning different styles of dance will definitely improve your free styling. Listen to the music and think of what style of dance might fit it best. And last but not least, always “GO HARD” and don’t hold back. No matter what you do, dance with confidence.
Nikki: Getting in the zone to choreograph, What does it take for you?
Mark: “It could be a number of things; the beat of a song, the lyrics, the artist, my mood at the time, etc…it all depends on that exact moment.”
Nikki: Name some of your biggest influences in the Dance industry?
Mark: “That’s so hard to say! I get influenced in many different ways these days. As a dancer, I love watching Ed Moore, Eric Negron, Laura Edwards, Ava Berstein and of course The Amountboyz, but as a creator, I am influenced by Lyle Beniga, Tony Czar, Kyle Hanagami, Shaun Evaristo, Rhapsody James, Kevin Maher, The Shitkingz and of course Luther Brown. In no particular order of course. LOL!” There is just way too many to list. But those are some off the top of my head.
Nikki: Name one of your fave artists to work with and why?
Mark: “I particularly like working with Shawn Desman. He’s more of a personal friend than he is someone I work for. He is such a great performer on stage that you just get that adrenaline rush and want to KILL every dance step! When I was working in the US, I really enjoyed working with Mario.”
Nikki: What projects are you working on right now?
Mark: “Right now I’m going to be teaching at a few big workshops in Toronto and Montreal. I’m also working on organizing a 15th Anniversary Show for Do Dat Entertainment.”
Nikki: What qualities do you think Toronto Dancers possess that dancers from other parts of the Country and States don’t?
Mark: “I think we possess the hunger and eagerness to dance! I think we want to prove so badly to the world that as Canadians, we can KILL it too, so we do everything we can to show that! However, we’ve become VERY influenced by the US in terms of dance styles these days!
Nikki: Any advice for emerging dancers and choreographers in Toronto?
Mark: “Yes…..as corny and cliche as it sounds, don’t give up on your dreams! It will take a LOT of work, dedication and discipline …you have to be hard on yourself during the learning process. But along side that, you must also network in this industry…go out and meet people, talk, and get to know those who are in the dance scene that you want to be in. It happened for me and I that’s why I’m still in this industry today.”
BIG THANK YOU TO MARK FOR BEING A PART OF T.D.O.T. XO
Checkout his Dance and Choreography reels below
Check Mark if your in Montreal March 4th 2011- Mar 6th 2011…. http://dodat.com/1086-mark-samuels-in-montreal/ http://dodat.com/959-mark-samuels-in-montreal-on-030611/