This week’s Dancer/Choreographer shout out goes to Caroline Torti. Passion and perseverance have always been at the heart of every step Caroline has taken in her professional dance career. She has performed on stages worldwide and sought out as a choreographer by some of the most prestigious dance organizations in North America. Currently Caroline is featured as a dancer and actor “Teena” on the CW’s new hit TV show “Hellcats” starring Ashley Tisdale. Some of her recent credits include Top 14 finalist for the premiere season of the hit TV show “So You Think You Can Dance Canada”, a member of the innovative and highly renowned dance company Helix Dance Project, under the artistic direction of Linda Garneau, and worked with acclaimed choreographer Mandy Moore for her piece in “Hysterica” based out of Los Angeles, California. Caroline has performed in various industrial events for companies such as Bell Mobility, Canon, Sears, and Calvin Klein, as well as charity events such as Fashion Cares Toronto, Steve Nash Charity Game, and Dance For It. She has also had the opportunity to dance in music videos and live performances for artists such as Danny Fernandes, Kreesha Turner, George, Shawn Desman, and Jully Black. Caroline has been recognized for her work as a choreographer at regional and national competitions receiving several choreography scholarships. She has also been teaching for various studios around the Greater Toronto Area and teaching master classes at some of Toronto’s professional studios. Caroline loves working with young aspiring dancers and hopes that she can be a part of their personal growth and artistic development.
Bio Provided by Caroline
Find out what Caroline had to say in this week’s shout out…
Nikki: Do you remember the first time you started dancing?
Caroline: I started dancing at the age of 3 so I don’t have too many clear memories of that time but I do remember the first time I truly danced, related it to my life, and lost myself in it. I was about 14 years old and I will never forget how amazing that felt to me that day.
Nikki: Do you remember the first song you choreographed to? (Or your earliest memory)
Caroline: Growing up I always made up dances in my living room either with my friends of by myself. I can remember choreographing a lyrical solo to Michael Jacksons “you are not alone” when it first cane out and was on the Grammy nominee’s album. What I would give to see the footage of that!
Nikki: Your personal advice for dancers when it comes to free styling?
Caroline: Free styling has always been something I’ve had to work on. I grew up in a studio setting where 99% of everything was set choreography so when I started auditioning and going to classes where they asked you to free style I was so intimidated. My advice to dancers would be to try to spend a good amount of time on your own free styling and finding your own personal style. Once I discovered how I liked to move it became a lot easier for me to do it in front of other people. I still feel I can always improve my freestyle so I’d also say not to get frustrated and keep on working on it.
Nikki: Getting in the zone to choreograph, what does it take for you?
Caroline: For me, the best way to get in the zone to choreograph is to go into the studio with one or two of my friends and fellow dancers and turn most of the lights down and just dig deep. I like having people around to bounce ideas off, otherwise I just end up talking to myself!
Nikki: Who are some of your biggest influences in the Dance industry?
Caroline: I feel like every dancer and choreographer I have worked with up to this point has had an impact on me. I try to really study people that I respect and learn from them. One of my biggest influences is Linda Garneau. She has taught me so much about life through dance. I wouldn’t be the dancer I am today if it wasn’t for her.
Nikki: Name a Toronto Choreographer you enjoy working with and why?
Caroline: I love working with Luther Brown. He makes every job fun! Don’t get me wrong he definitely makes you work but it’s always a good vibe and the final product is always amazing!
Nikki: Name one of your favorite artists to work with and why?
Caroline: One of my favorite artists to work for is Shawn Desman. I have danced for him and also worked at his competition that he runs. He is very down to earth and respects everything that his dancers do for him so much. It’s really refreshing!
Nikki: What was it like being part of the 1st season of SYTYCDC Top 20 cast?
Caroline: Being part of the first season of SYTYCDC was one of the most exhilarating experiences of my life. It’s such a rollercoaster ride of emotions and it truly tests your strength and perseverance as a dancer and a person. The relationships I made on that show will forever remain my family for life. When your part of the first season of any show it’s always an experimental process so everybody really learns and grows from it.
Nikki: Are you currently working on any projects?
Caroline: I recently finished shooting season one of the CW network show “Hellcats” starring Ashley Tisdale. I started as a dancer on the show and then they gave me a role as “Teena”. Now I am shooting a remake of Snow White in Montreal starring Julia Roberts. I’m also in the process of writing my own music, which is a really exciting new passion of mine.
Nikki: Qualities you think Toronto Dancers possess?
Caroline: Toronto is such a diverse city and its dancers reflect that, but I find that the most inspiring thing about dancers from Toronto is their drive. Maybe because we have to work so hard and there isn’t an extensive amount of classes the way there is in other cities that makes us so committed to training and growing that gives us that something special. Every time a dancer from Toronto makes a move to another city or starts a new project here, you can almost guarantee that they will be successful because of their undying determination and drive.
Nikki: Any advice for emerging dancers and choreographers working/training in Toronto?
Caroline: My advice to emerging artists in Toronto would be to take as many classes as possible, find inspiration from other sources in your life as well that you can incorporate into your craft and always keep working hard. Talent will get you places but hard work will get you further and keep you there longer!
THANK YOU CAROLINE FOR BEING PART OF T.D.O.T. XO
CHECK OUT SOME FOOTAGE OF CAROLINE DOING HER THING ON HELLCATS…