This weeks Dancer/Choreographer shout out goes to Tatiana Parker. I really got to know Tatiana a few years back when we choreographed and danced together for a random Beyonce/Rhianna Tribute travelling 13hrs to the middle of nowhere (Oh the things dancers do for the love of dance and a cheque lol). I noticed from the start that Tatiana is a performer who demands attention with her out going personality and signature cool factor. Now I may be a little biased because I just heart her, but giving credit where its due she started dancing at the age of 5 training in ballet, jazz and acro starting hip hop at age 12. She has gone on to perform with artists such as Hillary Duff, Massari, Akon, Blake McGrath, George, Shawn Desman, Kim Davis, Kesha and Dru. She has appeared in commercials for major corporations like Harvey’s, ISkin, Virgin Mobile, Much Music and more. She was chosen for the 2010 Cast of Monster’s of Hip Hop and let’s not forget competing against thousands of dancers and landing a spot in the Top 20 for the 2nd season of So You Think You Can Dance Canada. Tatiana continues to work and train as a dancer living by the rule that “HARD WORK PAYS OFF!!” She is currently teaching Mon-Fri at several competitive & non competitive studios. Teaching what she loves saving money to make the move to L.A later this year to continue to thrive as a Dancer and Choreographer. A hard move that a small percentage of Toronto Dancers make, I know she will do well. Definitely one of my faves Check out what Tatiana had to say….
Nikki: Do you remember the first time you started dancing?
Tatiana: I can’t remember the first time I danced, but I do remember what made me start dancing. I always looked up to my cousin Nicole and she was at a dance studio, so, as soon as I turned 5 my mother enrolled me as well.
Nikki: Do you remember the first song you choreographed too?
Tatiana: My friend and I choreographed a duet for our street party. We were 11 or 12, and we choreographed to “Too Close” by Next.
Nikki: Name some of your biggest influences in the Dance industry.
Tatiana: Marc Cardarelli really influences me. He’s more so in the contemporary world and it inspires me to open myself up to different styles of dance. There’s a lot of people who inspire me but its hard for me to think of influences because I try really hard to create and stay true to my own style and refrain from looking like anyone else.
Nikki: What was it like being a contestant in the Top 20 for season 2 of So You Think You Can Dance Canada?
Tatiana: Being on top 20 of SYTYCD was an unforgettable experience. I loved being around such talented dancers and I was lucky enough to be chosen on top 20 with a bunch of my good friends. I wish I could have experienced it for longer, but I am still grateful for the opportunity.
Nikki: Any advice you can give to dancers when it comes to freestyling?
Tatiana: Don’t try to be someone you’re not. Think less about trying to impress people and dance how you would if you were by yourself.
Nikki: Getting in the zone to choreograph, What does it take for you?
Tatiana: I hate feeling forced to choreograph. I like it when a song inspires me, and it just flows from there
Nikki: Name one of your favorite artists to work with and why?
Tatiana: As for people I have worked with, I find it really inspiring dancing for Blake McGrath because he’s such a great dancer himself. I’d love to work with Janet Jackson. I’ve heard she treats her dancers really well and anyone whose danced for her is amazing, so, it would be such an honour.
Nikki: Are you currently working on any projects?
Tatiana: I currently teach Monday to Friday at competitive studios saving up money to move to L.A and pursue a career in dance.
Nikki: Qualities you think Toronto dancers possess that dancers from other parts of the Country and States may not?
Tatiana: Definitely our hunger. We don’t have as many opportunities out here so those who make the move to LA work extra hard in comparison to others who don’t appreciate the opportunities they have in their own city.
Nikki: Any advice for emerging dancers and choreographers in Toronto.
Tatiana: Figure out if you really want it. This is a very hard career and if your not 150% in it, then it may not be worth the try. I’m a strong believer that hard work pays off, so don’t just wait for things to come to you, go get them yourself!
THANK YOU TATIANA FOR BEING A PART OF T.D.O.T. XO
Watch Tatiana during some of her SYTYCDC experience
Be sure to Check out Tatiana’s Classes at OIP Dance Center Mondays 8:30pm-10pm