Archive | October, 2011

ROMEO ENT.

31 Oct
This weeks Dancer/Choreographer shout out goes to Romeo Casellas. Romeo Casellas has been dancing for the past 9 years under the choreography and guidance of the internationally renowned, Luther Brown. “He showed me a whole new light on dance and changed my world forever,” he says of Luther. “He helped set a path for me and made me appreciate the love of the dance and choreography in a whole different light.”
For over a year Romeo has gradually progressed to teaching and choreographing dances of his own. His biggest project to date has been Canadian R&B sensation, Danny Fernandes. Since the release of Danny’s debut album “Intro” in 2008, Romeo and his dance crew have been accompanying Danny on all of his tours and appearances across Canada and overseas. Most recently they performed together at the Midem Music Conference in France. Romeo co-choreographed the tour routines with Luther Brown and Mark Samuels, which were performed at shows all over the country, sharing stages with some of pop culture’s biggest stars such as Akon and Sean Kingston, whom they just got off tour with in early 2010.
Throughout his dancing career, Romeo has performed with top musicians and entertainers, such as Rihanna, Nelly Furtato, Danny Fernandes, Cory Lee and many more.  His work in music video and television productions include artists such as Missy Elliot, Shawn Desman, Sean Paul, and Maestro. His company RomeoENT, is an extension of the knowledge and the energy that he has experienced first hand on and off stage.”

 
Bio provided by Romeo
 
 
 
Check out what Romeo had to say in this weeks shout out……
 
 
Nikki: Do you remember the first time you started dancing?
 
Romeo: Well I’ve always been an entertainer…I didn’t really start dancing till in my late teens/early 20’s.
 
Nikki: Do you remember the first song you choreographed to? (Or your earliest memory)
 
Romeo: My first song I really choreographed to was a mix…Faith Evans & Carl Thomas/The Dream…came out pretty dope…had T.O’s BEST dancing for me!!!
 
Nikki: Your personal advice for dancers when it comes to free styling?
 
Romeo: Well when it comes to “free styling” its very important to have your swaaggg to it…plz make sense of it. You can be a wicked free styler, but if you can’t hold a beat it’s going to look off lol.
 
Nikki: Getting in the zone to choreograph, what does it take for you?
 
Romeo: What a ZONE…lol..for me it takes a good vibe/good dancers/good music…everything I’ve ever made has always been ON THE SPOT…its a puzzle an I like figuring out the piece’s.
 
Nikki: Who are some of your biggest influences in the Dance industry?
 
Romeo: I’m sure you’ve heard this a lot…but I’m going to have to say Luther Brown…he’s the reason I am where I am & think the way I think when it comes to choreographing.
 
Nikki: Name a Toronto Choreographer you enjoy working with and why?
 
Romeo: I have to say I always enjoy working with my DoDat family seeing how I’ve known them fellas for a while…when Mark Samuels and I or Jungle start on a show mix…ITS CRAZZZZY NON STOP…an we come out with a classic every time lol…like the plug fellas!!!
 
Nikki: Name one of your favorite artists to work with and why?
 
Romeo: One of my FAV artist to work with right now is Tyler Medeiros…he gives me 110% every time…He’s hungry and always ready to go in to the studio…he’s going to be HUGE…my golden boy…lol
 
Nikki: Are you currently working on any projects?
 
Romeo: RomeoENT’s always got something up the sleeve lol…got a Tyler video we bout to get in an I’m using 10 dancers…I’m HYPE…but I also have my One Night Stand on Nov5th…a class strictly R&B/Slow Jamz only…you can sip on lil smooth white wine, some sweet tooth and some sweet choreo fo dat ass lol…check it out;-)
 
Nikki: Qualities you think Toronto Dancers possess?
 
Romeo: T.O dancers have drive…no like they will actually drive to another country to dance…lol…but that’s a good thing…always stay hungry & humble!!!!!
 
Nikki: Any advice for emerging dancers and choreographers working/training in Toronto?
 
Romeo: My advice is STAY STRONG/hungry/humble/even when it feels like your getting nowhere, your in the back buff…stay hungry an continue to eat this dance game up..next thing you know…your right there in that front buff…KILLING IT!!!!!…
 
THANK YOU ROMEO FOR SHARING YOUR PASSION WITH T.D.O.T. XO

CHECK OUT ROMEO’S CHOREO….

 
 
 
 
 
 

CARLENA BRITCH

25 Oct
This week’s Dancer/Choreographer shout out goes to Carlena Britch. Carlena’s dance journey began at age 10 after being introduced to hip hop through a school program. She started choreographing & dancing in local shows & programs throughout Vancouver, & took full focus with dance in high school. She choreographed & danced for 1st place winning competitive teams & ran hip hop programs before, during & after school. In 2005 Carlena auditioned for SOULdiers, a Vancouver professional hip hop company ran by Kim Sato; educating not only in the dance element of hip hop, but the history & culture behind it as well. For 3 years she trained with SOULdiers, performing in Vancouver, Seattle, & Portland in everything from locking & popping, to house, waacking & breaking. Carlena has also trained at Millenium, Edge & Debbie Reynolds dance studios in Los Angeles, The Connection Dance Center in Seattle, OIP Dance Centre in Toronto, Roc Da House in Montreal, & Harbour Dance Center in Vancouver.
Carlena is a 4 time scholarship recipient from Monsters of Hip Hop, & has battled in both hip hop & locking all over North America. Her most prized battle standing was in Las Vegas during Hip Hop Internationals 2010, where she made top 20 in the world, representing the Canadian West Coast. Carlena has danced & choreographed for professional crews such as the Vancity Lockers, Stonefoxx, & Diamonds in the Rough.
In 2010, Carlena traveled Europe choreographing, teaching & assisting choreographer Brian Puspos from ABDC’s Season 2: SoReal Cru. They taught at the Vibe Dance Centre in Oslo, Norway, Soulplex in Hannover, Germany, a Boogiezone workshop in Vienna, Austria, & classes in Slovenia & Switzerland.
Carlena’s professional career began in 2009 as a lead dancer in Disney’s Camp Rock 2: The Final Jam. Since then, she’s danced for artists such as Michael Buble in his “Just Haven’t Met You Yet” music video, Heatwave’s “Bad Girl” music video, & YTV Star Victoria Duffield’s “Shut Up & Dance” music video choreographed by Luther Brown. In 2010, Carlena choreographed & performed for Coca Cola during the 2010 Winter Olympics. Most recently, Carlena’s doors have opened even further as she starred as a lead actress & dancer in the upcoming feature Nickelodeon film, Rags.
Carlena’s worldwide training, hard work, & determination landed her a role in this season’s top 22 of So You Think You Can Dance Canada, where she was the final hip hop dancer remaining at top 14. She enjoys sharing her love & passion for hip hop with others & hopes to educate young dancers with knowledge as much as style. Currently residing in Toronto Carlena is on the path to a great career in Dance and Acting. 
 
Bio Provided by Carlena
 
 
Find out what Carlena had to say in this weeks shout out….
 
Nikki: Do you remember the first time you started dancing?
 
Carlena: The first time I started dancing was during a 2 week hip hop program at my elementary school. I was 9 years old, & I immediately fell in love with the music & movement. It took my focus away from a troubled childhood & placed it into an artistic outlet where I could channel my energy positively. 
 
Nikki: Do you remember the first song you choreographed to? (Or your earliest memory)
 
Carlena: The first song I ever choreographed to was “Jumpin, Jumpin” by Destiny’s Child when I was 9. It was an all girl piece for the Burnaby Dance Festival. I still remember the choreography! *laughs* 
 
Nikki: Your personal advice for dancers when it comes to free styling?
 
Carlena: Musicality is key. Allow your body to dance as if you are the song. Play with beats, sounds, lyrics, & most importantly the pauses & timing in the music. We are too quick to rush ourselves, especially when freestyling in a battle. 
 
Nikki: Getting in the zone to choreograph, what does it take for you?
 
Carlena: The right song. I listen to a song for at least 2 weeks before I even touch it with choreography. 
A lot of my stuff directly relates to how I’m feeling at the time, which will automatically set the mood of a piece. 
 
Nikki: Who are some of your biggest influences in the Dance industry?
 
Carlena: Definitely the originators of the funk styles. The Electric Boogaloos & The Original Lockers set the tone for dance many years ago, & are still considered some of the top dancers in the world. I’m also influenced by new & upcoming choreographers, such as Rie Hata & Ian Eastwood. And Shotyme will always be the number one influence in my heart. 
 
Nikki: Being from BC what made you decide to live in Toronto?
 
Carlena: I’m sort of a gypsy! *laughs* I let my career guide me to where I need to be. Toronto is a city I fell in love with back in 2009 while filming Camp Rock 2, & I’ve always wanted to be apart of it. I’m excited to be here & I’m constantly surrounded by inspiring artists.
 
Nikki: Name a Toronto Choreographer you enjoy working with and why?
 
Carlena: Luther Brown. He is inspiring, driven, creative, positive, & absolutely freakin’ hilarious! I was blessed to work with him on SYTYCDC & with Victoria Duffield on her latest music video, & both experiences are ones I’ll never forget. Luther just inspires you to love every moment of life!
 
Nikki: Name one of your favorite artists to work with and why?
 
Carlena: Keke Palmer. I play her best friend Tammy in the upcoming Nickelodeon film “Rags” & this 18 year old girl is the most intuitive & beautiful young woman I have ever met. She co-produced the film, & by the end of it we had shared so many life experiences & were able to take away an unforgettable friendship. She is by far the most talented young woman I know, & inspires me to be greater every day.
 
Nikki: What was it like being part of SYTYCDC Season 4?
 
Carlena: An absolute dream come true. The most incredible part I took away was my new family. Together, the 23 of us faced challenges some will never experience in life, & we overcame them through unconditional support & love. It is a chapter in my life that I will never forget.
 
Nikki: Are you currently working on any projects? 
 
Carlena: Lots of choreography! I’ve got a few new pieces coming out on my Youtube channel over the next month. Also, I’ve been placing a lot of my focus on acting. We’ll see what comes out of it!  I will be appearing on the Marylin Dennis Halloween episode as a disco dancer. (Airs next Monday) I will be teaching in Montreal for the 8 Count & New Style Studio. ( Info is on my Facebook/Twitter) I will be having my last Official OIP classes this Thursday at 630, 730 & 830pm. On Thursday November 3rd D.R.E.A.M Workshop at Rightfoot Dance Studio.
 
Nikki: Qualities you think Toronto Dancers possess?
 
Carlena: Competitive drive. Toronto dancers balance their hunger to learn & their desire to succeed very well. I also believe that the city itself is on a higher level of professionalism, therefore they handle themselves very well in the dance working environment. 
 
Nikki: Any advice for emerging dancers and choreographers working/training in Toronto?
 
Carlena: Remain humble. Recognize your greatness, & then take that recognition & store it away as fuel to push for an even greater you, every day.
 
THANK YOU CARLENA FOR SHARING YOUR LOVE AND PASSION WITH T.D.O.T. XO
 
 
CHECK OUT SOME FOOTAGE OF CARLENA ON SYTYCDC AS WELL AS HER RECENT WORKSHOP
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 

CARLA CATHERWOOD

18 Oct

This weeks Dancer/Choreographer shout out goes to Carla Catherwood. Vivacious, courageous, and a fun loving workaholic would be the best way to explain Carla Catherwood. Born and raised in British Columbia, Canada she has worked professionally in the entertainment industry for 11 years. She is most known for her producing, directing and her Jazz, Stage and Nuvo-Burlesque style choreography and is currently working beside Toronto’s very own Do-Dat Entertainment and Parent Management. On top of that Carla is a well diverse strong dancer and teacher as well.  Carla was cast to dance beside Vanessa Hudgens in the feature film  “Sucker Punch” and also has been cast in a principal dancer/actor role on the hit TV show Smallville. She has also been blessed to work beside such celebrities and amazing professionals like Michael Buble, Shania Twain, Kelly Osbourne, Russell Peters, Hugh Hefner, Jessica Alba, and Halle Berry.

Carla has had the chance to produce and direct shows for the infamous Playboy Mansion, Club Intrawest, Heineken, Grey Goose, Much Music, Warner Bros, Peller Estates, Vancouver International Children’s Festival, and For the Luv of It! Live entertainment showcases (www.fortheluvofit.com) which has successfully helped both fellow professional entertainers and youth grow, develop and gain more momentum in their career, along with the many burlesque show’s that she has created and produced for her cabaret group “The Burlesque Beauties” (www.burlesquebeauties.com)
A new fresh part of Carla’s life is she has just is working with Reebok and Cirque Du Soliel as a featured teacher in JUKARI Fit to Fly & JUKARI Fit to Flex programs not to mention getting her certification in Core-Pilates with Canfit Pro. Come check them out at King West Fitness! www.kingwestfitness.com
Carla’s intention is to keep teaching, choreographing, and creating. She believes in growth, hard work, and developing her creativity and craft everyday. You can catch Carla’s newest choreography projects for artists such as Cory Lee’s new song “Fashion Show’ and Sarah Slean’s “Set it Free”
It’s best said by Carla herself… “For the Luv of It!”
You can catch her in her workshops across North America and her regular classes in Toronto! Remember every time you take a class with her, consider it a casting session…
Find out what Carla had to say in this weeks shout out…
 
 
Nikki: Do you remember the first time you started dancing?
 
Carla: YES! It was in my basement with my cousin after watching the “Fly Girls” on In Living Color”  
 
Nikki: Do you remember the first song you choreographed to? (Or your earliest memory)
 
Carla: Going back, way back to the basement of my house listening to  Pump up the Jam while attempting the running man!  
 
Nikki: Your personal advice for dancers when it comes to free styling?
 
Carla: Live in the music. Just know that sometimes less is more… (don’t try and fit 20 moves into one 8 count)  
 
Nikki: Getting in the zone to choreograph, what does it take for you?
 
Carla: I have to set a tone, a feeling and often a story line. I try and make every piece of choreography I do come to life and awaken a feeling for my dancers to embody when they are moving.  
 
Nikki: Who are some of your biggest influences in the Dance industry?
 
Carla: In regards to being a business woman and really understanding how to deal with the diverse personalities and ego’s involved in dance would be Kelly Konno, Geneen Gorgieve, Melena Rounis,  Michelle Brownlee, Wayne Samuels, & Wynn Holmes. In regards to creativity, Jojo Zolina, Joel Hannah, Pastel Supernova and a select group of dancers that I’ve worked with in the past and that I am now working with currently. 
 
Nikki: Name a Toronto Choreographer you enjoy working with and why?
 
Carla: Pastel Supernova. The two of us don’t believe in BOUNDARIES. We are both open to just CREATE!
 
Nikki: Name one of your favorite artists to work with and why?
 
Carla: Cory Lee! Endless years of choreographing, teaching and performing together will add to a huge amount of goodtimes with this girl! Not to mention her work ethic is impeccable, which you know will create an amazing product of work.  
 
Nikki: What made you make the move from Vancouver to Toronto?
 
Carla: I felt like i’ve done all that I could have done out there. It’s time to take over a new city! One where people can keep up with me! 
 
Nikki: Are you currently working on any projects?
 
Carla: Yes! I’m working on a few. But the current project that I am working towards is the next up and coming Chic-A-Boom Room – Alice in Wonderland Edition on Wednesday, October 26th at the Roosevelt Room Super Club. For more information on the show or to purchase tickets here’s the link! 
 
 
Nikki: Qualities you think Toronto Dancers possess?
 
Carla: Hustle, work ethic, talent and drive. LOVE IT! 
 
Nikki: Any advice for emerging dancers and choreographers working/training in Toronto?
 
Carla: Work on your craft everyday, live it, breathe it, own it, get comfy in it and be unapologetic about it. For dancers, train, take classes from as many people as you can. Create a look and a style that is different from the rest. Choreographers, try and find inspiration in things other than other people’s choreography. Think more along the lines of watching how people move in everyday situations, storyline that inspire you, or maybe just take a trip into your Itunes
 
THANK YOU CARLA FOR SHARING YOUR LOVE AND PASSION WITH T.D.O.T. XOXOCHECK OUT CARLA’S NUVO BURLESQUE DEMO REEL THE BEGINNING FEATS T.D.O.T.’S #13 #27 SHOUT OUT’S DANNY L & BREE W……






PASTEL SUPERNOVA

11 Oct
This weeks Dancer/Choreographer shout out goes to Pastel Supernova. Pastel Supernova is an uninhibited artist who uses her femininity as the prime stimulus for everything she creates. Classically trained in ballet and modern dance Pastel moved into the commercial entertainment industry by touring international stages with Nelly Furtado. Having been in an electro-pop band for a few years, Pastel also began singing and writing in Spanish and English. Fusing her Hispanic heritage with her work Pastel takes advantage of her passion, love for pin-ups and humor aiming to bring her unique viewpoint to audiences everywhere.
This includes: pin-up inspired novelty items, “Heels At Home” Tutorials (a guide to mastering the high heel) that can be found online, in workshops & in a comic books series.  Pastel also Dances with 2 Burlesque inspired groups The Bombshell Beauties with Carla Catherwood and Urbanesque with T.D.O.T.’s #6 shout out Hollywood Jade. Be sure to check out Pastel performing @ the Alice in Wonderland themed Chic-a-boom Room Oct 26 as the Queen of Hearts.
Bio provided by Pastel
 
Check out what Pastel had to say in this weeks shout out…
 
Nikki: Do you remember the first time you started dancing?
 
Pastel: Not really. I’ve always danced – latinos dance their way to a funeral and I danced my way into this world.
 
Nikki: Do you remember the first song you choreographed to? (Or your earliest memory)
 
Pastel: It was either “True Blue” by Madonna, or maybe “Things that Make You Go Hmm” -whichever came first.
 
Nikki: Your personal advice for dancers when it comes to free styling?
 
Pastel: Don’t give them what you think they want, give them what you are feeling.
 
Nikki: Getting in the zone to choreograph, what does it take for you?
 
Pastel: Before creating movement I need a character inspired by a song… character first. Always. After listening to the track over and over again -for days on end- I let that character’s movement come out and tell me a story.
 
Nikki: Who are some of your biggest influences in the Dance industry?
 
Pastel: Definitely Fosse & Balanchine for sense of humor as well as choreography. I also trained under Nadia Potts and having her as a mentor changed my life. 
 
Nikki:Name a Toronto Choreographer you enjoy working with and why?
 
Pastel: Hollywood Jade is amazing. He really encourages my ‘extraness’ and his vocab style pushes an urban vibe that I don’t necessarily think to do on my own… and it’s hella sexy.
 
Nikki: Are you currently working on any projects? 
 
Pastel: Right now I’m working on a cabaret inspired series titled “Love Letters” that I’m hoping to build a show around. Two have been filmed.
 
Nikki: Qualities you think Toronto Dancers possess?
 
Pastel: True TO dancers are killer because they are diligent, open minded and lately have been fusing different dance styles to make a hybrid of choreographic works that are making heads around the world pay attention.
 
Nikki: Any advice for emerging dancers and choreographers working/training in Toronto? 
 
Pastel: When it gets hard -and it will!- remind yourself that life’s much worse without dance.
THANK YOU PASTEL FOR SHARING YOUR LOVE WITH T.D.O.T. XO

CHECK OUT SOME FOOTAGE OF PASTEL

 

TEYA WILD

3 Oct
This week’s Dancer/Choreographer shout out goes to Teya Wild. Born in Toronto and raised in Vancouver, Teya started her dance journey at the age of nine and has never looked back! Training in every style she could, (competing in many), her years of experience include: RAD ballet honours graduate, Pointe, tap, jazz, lyrical, contemporary, musical theatre, hip hop, & the funk styles.
Her love and passion for dance led her to training and travelling opportunities such as adjudicating, the SOULdiers Hip Hop Co., Monsters Of Hip Hop Dance Convention (showcase finalist Nominee) and touring all over BC with Project Soul’s hip hop educational performance crew, “Art Starts”, spreading the love and knowledge to students about hip hop’s history & its aspects.
Some of Teya’s credits include: So you think you can dance Canada: Season 4, Cobu 3D, Sucker Punch, Percy Jackson & The Olympians: The Lightning Thief, Hellcats, You’re So Hollywood: Elise Estrada, Spectacular, Another Cinderella Story, Center Stage 2: Turn It Up, and Radio Disney. She was very honoured to be a part of the 2010 Olympics and has over eight years experience teaching high ranking competitive groups all over Vancouver.
Teya’s motto is that “Dance Celebrates Life” and she couldn’t be more excited that the journey has just begun!
Bio Provided by Teya


Check out what Teya had to say in this weeks shout out….

 

Nikki: Do you remember the first time you started dancing?

Teya: As a child I would always force my friends and family to learn silly combos of mine and do little performances in the living room of my house but My very first official dance class was tap when I was nine years old.  

 

Nikki: Do you remember the first song you choreographed to? (Or your earliest memory)
 
Teya: The first song was most definitely an Ace Of Base Track: I Saw The Sign 
 
Nikki: Your personal advice for dancers when it comes to free styling?
 
Teya: Free styling marks your own personal style as a dancer and for me there isn’t any limits in what you can do with your body if you just let the music take over. Test yourself with different genre’s of music and train yourself to knowing what style of dance would move best with the song. Learning all forms of dance will equal out endless opportunity. 
 
Nikki: Getting in the zone to choreograph, what does it take for you?
 
Teya: What it takes for me is a nice Grande ice coffee and a song that inspires me and tests my ability with its musicality. 
 
Nikki: Name a Toronto Choreographer you enjoy working with and why?
 
Teya: Without a doubt I would have to say Luther Brown! I had wanted to work with him for years and the way he puts his all into each project he does is very inspiring as a hip hop dancer. Something I like about his work is he can transform any artist into a star also pushes his dancers to a whole other level.
 
Nikki: Name one of your favourite artists to work with and why?
 
Teya: Speaking of stars! Victoria Duffield is on a path to greatness. She is one of the hardest workers I have came across in my career and I see endless opportunity for her as she is an extremely kind and humble young lady.   
 
Nikki: What was it like being part of So You Think You Can Dance Canada Season 4?
 
Teya: Being apart of the last season is an unforgettable feeling and my top 22 family made it that much more enjoyable for me. The show opens up so many doors and opportunities for Canadian dancers and I couldn’t be more excited to see where it all takes me.
 
 
Nikki: You were born in Toronto but grew up in Vancouver. What inspired you to make the move back to Toronto? 
 
Teya: The show inspired me to expand my relationships outside of Vancouver and step outside of my comfort zone. I have met some amazing people here In Toronto and for that I am happy with my decision to stay.  
 
Nikki: Are you currently working on any projects?
 
Teya: I am one of forty dancers dancing In Scott Fordham’s Show called: Limitless (click limitless for details on the show)
I am currently teaching workshops/setting choreography all around the Toronto area. For booking information Contact: teyawild@gmail.com
Nikki: Qualities you think Toronto Dancers possess?
Teya:
1. Strong Work Ethic
2. Driven
3. Animated
Nikki: Any advice for emerging dancers and choreographers working/training in Toronto?
Teya: Don’t be afraid to show your real personality and keep an open mind to the change of pace the city brings.
THANK YOU TEYA FOR SHARING YOUR LOVE WITH T.D.O.T. XO
 
CHECK OUT SOME FOOTAGE OF TEYA….