This weeks Dancer/Choreographer shout out goes to Hollywood-Jade. I met this fine young man over 10 years ago, when we were part of the same Hip Hop crew fresh in the game. The crew eventually separated but I was not surprised to run into him many years later at a dance studio and see that he had continued to grow and make a name for himself. From the start Hollywood had no issues attracting attention when dancing, knowing that what he was passionate about brought joy to his audiences had him sold on the idea at a very young age. In 2003 Hollywood auditioned for Blaze Ent. The Company run by Leading Choreographer Jae Blaze. With vigorous training and growing as a Dancer he went on to be featured in music video’s for Rhianna, Jully Black, Kelis, Divine Brown and more. He can be seen in Feature Films Save the Last Dance 2, Hairspray (playing the character of Stooie), MTV’s Turn the Beat Around and Disney’s Camp Rock 2 Final Jam. In the first season of So You think You Can Dance Canada Hollywood definitely got the judges to notice him with his out going personality and passion for dance. Although he was not given a spot in the Top 20 he went on to assist one of the choreographers in that same year (You better work) Hollywood is one of Toronto’s rising Choreographers creating and performing in many pieces which have appeared on networks like Much Music, MTV, BET and more. Some of his most recent Choreography accomplishments; touring across Canada for Juno award winner Divine Browns The Love Chronicles Tour aswell as Co Choreographer for The Dreams Promo Tour and Snoop Dogg’s latest Tour. He continues to grow as a Choreographer having his work in many live stage shows, short films and corporate events. There is no question that his passion for Dance and Choreography has opened up the door to production. His newest venture is Urbanesque featuring the Woman of Urbanesque bringing a fusion of urban dance styles and burlesque to the stage. “An uninhibited body of work with the breath of Burlesque” Be sure to check out their first show on Thursday March 17th at El Convento Rico tickets on sale now at Joy of Dance or at the door. Hollywood continues to bring his unique, original style and flavour to the world of Dance.
Find out what Hollywood had to say in this weeks shout out…..
Bio written by Nikki
Nikki: Do you remember the first time you started dancing?
Hollywood: I don’t remember when I started but I remember the 1st performance I was about 6 years old and it was at Calgary’s version of a Caribbean fest. All the kids in my group got stage fright and hid at the back of the stage, I went right to the front and did the routine! I remember finishing and hearing people cheer and I was sold!
Nikki: Do you remember the first song you choreographed to? (Or your earliest memory)
Hollywood: Hahahahahhaa the First song I ever Choreographed to was SWV’s “I’m So In To”. It was for a talent show at School and I was the youngest performer, but the girls asked me to dance with them and I ended up making up the routine at recess with my sisters girl talk. Hahhaha oh man all bad!
Nikki: Any advice you can give to dancers when it comes to free styling?
Hollywood: Listen to, interpret and make the music an extension of your movement. The first part of the word is “FREE”, it should feel like that. Don’t force what should feel natural.
Nikki: What does it take for you to get into choreography mode?
Hollywood: The sun to come up! Seriously before I even know what the word “Choreography” meant I was making up routines. When I started working professionally someone asked me on one of the first video’s I Choreographed “how did you come up with those steps for this song” and I told them, I just listened to the production, listened to the lyrics and knew that my Choreography had to work seamless like the other two did to create a trinity.
Nikki: Name some of your biggest influences in the Dance industry?
Hollywood: Debbie Allen is one of my hugest influences. She does EVERYTHING, had a great dance career, did musical theater still works as a Choreographer, has executive produced and directed film and tv and owns and operates her own dance studios in the states. The shocking thing is so many “dancers” have no idea who she is and what she has done. Madness
Nikki: Name a Toronto Choreographer you enjoy working with and why?
Hollywood: Shameka Blake! She understands that its about more then just the steps, she gives concepts that are always delivered clearly. She is theatrical and being someone who loves musical theater and hip hop she fuses the two really well.
Nikki: Can you name an Artist you’ve enjoyed working with and why?
Hollywood: Working with Snoop Dogg on his Imagine That Tour really showed me what its about. We Choreographed and staged the whole show even before we saw Snoop and I had no idea what to except was already preparing changes in my head, but when we got to stage he took a seat in the audience because he wanted to see the show we created. After we did the run threw he came on stage and said “Ok tell me where to stand, so I’m not in the way of what y’all did!” He had no ego at all and wanted to make everything work, I totally understand why he has been in the business for as long as he has.
Nikki: Are you currently working on any projects?
Hollywood: I am Producing and Choreographing my own stage show. Its called Hollywood Presents: Urbanesque. Its a Burlesque show with a different flavor. Its Current while holding on to elements of classic Burlesque. Its March 17th 830pm at El Convento Rico 750 College st. 15$ advance tickets 20$ at the door. Tickets can be picked up at Joy Of Dance 95 Danforth Ave 3rd floor.
Nikki: Qualities you think Toronto Dancers possess that dancers from other parts of the Country and States don’t?
Hollywood: Toronto being so multicultural definitely impacts the way we move! There is a quality to our movement that is hard to emulate. I don’t believe this as much as I used to simply because people are a lot more exposed to more thing thanks to mass media, but I can always tell someone who is from the outside of somewhere. They move with a hunger.
Nikki: Any advice for emerging dancers and choreographers working/training in Toronto?
Hollywood: Dance because you love it, not because everyone else is. You have to have a passion for it or you won’t stay, and if you not gonna stay don’t waste space. There are people who really need dance in there lives, who eat sleep and breath it, if you can picture yourself without dance keep it as a hobby, there are plenty of classes in this city to take! If that doesn’t apply to you and dance fills you do your research! To many people have yes man around them, work on building yourself so that you don’t need anyone to do it for you.
THANK YOU HOLLYWOOD JADE FOR BEING A PART OF T.D.O.T. XO
WATCH HOLLYWOOD-JADE’S DEMO REEL
TICKETS ON SALE NOW CHECK THE LINK URBANESQUE INFO