This weeks dancer/choreographer shout out goes to Addy Chan. A native of Vancouver Beautiful British Columbia, she made the move to Toronto 4 yrs ago in pursuit of love & education. Although Dance was not her main reason for making the move, Addy has danced since her kindergarten years, highly trained in Ballet, Jazz, Contemporary and Hip Hop. Once here she quickly established a name for herself in the Toronto dance industry working and touring the world with artists such as Massari and Thunderheist. Dancing in commercials for So You Think You Can Dance Canada, Dove and Best Buy. Performing on major networks like CTV, MTV, Much Music and more………. I had the pleasure of assisting the stage manager a few years ago on a production Addy was a part of. I literally had tears in my eyes watching her solo which reminded me of a dancer torn between 2 worlds Ballet and Hip Hop. Contemporary skill & technique paired with the raw flavour and groove of hip hop! AMAZING needless to say! Addy the Choreographer super sweet, down to earth and hears music like a composer. I was honoured a few months ago to be 1 of her dancers when she choreographed a show for Recording Artist & My first Dancer shout out Trish. She is a great teacher and very passionate about what she does…….Like a lot of Dancers Addy has many other skills to add to the resume such as dance instructor, acting, singing, playing piano and she’s fluent in french. It was so awesome to run into her twice this week and get the chance to know a little more about this Dope Dancer Living in TORONTO…..
Bio written by Nikki
You Tube: www.youtube.com/user/addymchan
Nikki: Do you remember the first time you started dancing?
Addy: I’m sure I was always dancing around when I was a kid but I first started ballet when I was 5 years old. I was a bumblebee.
Nikki:Being from Vancouver what made you come to Toronto to pursue your dance career?
Addy: I actually didn’t come here to pursue dance at all! I moved here because I was in a long distance relationship and sometimes you gotta move across the country for love. I was also ready for a change and from previous visits knew I loved Toronto. When I first moved here I was actually going to the University of Toronto studying Psychology and Sociology. HA! In yo face education! (I’m kidding, go read a book).
Nikki:Do you remember the first song you choreographed to? (Or your earliest memory)
Addy: My first big debut as a choreographer was at my elementary school talent show. I was in grade 4 or 5 and I choreographed a lyrical duet to “I’ll make love to you” by Boyz II Men. Why no one thought to suggest a song change I will never understand. There was a lot of reaching and yearning and burning and the audience probably felt awkward watching a 10 year old express how she’ll make love to you. It was a total success.
Nikki: Getting in the zone to choreograph, What does it take for you?
Addy:A track that I feel and that makes me want to move. Or a cheque that forces me too! And coffee. Always coffee.
Nikki:Name some of your biggest influences in the Dance industry?
Addy:One of my earliest and most lasting influences was my teacher Rachael Poirier while I was training at Danzmode in Vancouver. Along with technique and genius choreography, most importantly she taught me how to hear every layer in a song and that the ways to translate them through your body are limitless. My parents and family are my greatest influences in life. I’m driven by wanting to make them proud
Nikki:What advice can you give to dancers when it comes to free styling?
Addy: Every ones preference is a little different but I’m most impressed by musicality. So listen to your music! Sometimes people get so hyped they just start going crazy and don’t hit anything in the song. I like seeing someone who can dance and has a good ear. Also, sometimes less is more. You don’t need to squish every move under the sun into a count of 8 to look fresh. Practice!
Nikki:What qualities do you think Toronto Dancers possess that dancers from other parts of the Country and States don’t?
Addy: I don’t find many superficial qualities that differ from dancers east to west or north to south. I think we are all united by a passion for music and dance and the want to make a living off what we love. Of course there are differences in style wherever you go, and I’m told being from Vancouver means I’m chill and being Canadian makes me nice and always sorry. (Sorry!) I’d say the differences lie in environmental factors that out of our control Ex. For Canadians lack of American citizenship:)
Nikki: What projects are you working on right now?
Addy: 2011’s been rad so far. I just shot music videos for Aleesia, Shad and Danny Fernandes which should all be released pretty soon. I choreographed and performed in a show for Holt Renfrew, and shot an episode for the Rick Mercer Report (which also starred a camel! He was so cute!) Right now I’m rehearsing for a Dove commercial shoot, choreographing a music video, and teaching. As well as dancing I am also a photography producer for Zeta Production. Check it out! www.zetaproduction.com
Nikki:Any advice for emerging dancers and choreographers in Toronto?
Addy:I’m still figuring all of this out myself but just based on my experiences and things I’m trying to improve on, to dancers I’d say: Don’t beat yourself up over auditions. You are awesome. Casting is pendant on so many variables before your actual talent (ex. hair color, height, ethnicity). Just do your best and don’t take it personal. Always strive to improve and keep learning. To choreographers I’d say: Always negotiate to get fair pay for your dancers and have solid time management. Everyone appreciates efficiency and organization. Overall be a good, hard working, gracious person. If you find meaning in your work you will always love what you do:)
BIG THANK YOU TO ADDY FOR BEING A PART OF T.D.O.T. XO
Watch Addy at work dancing for artist Bonjay “Stumble” sick job on this video Addy Chan 🙂