This week’s Dancer/Choreographer shout out goes to Adam Sergison. A professional dancer, actor/singer, choreographer and teacher, Adam has worked with some of the industry’s most admired companies. Currently, he is on contract with Drayton Entertainment for 9 to 5: The Musical. He recently danced the role of Tadzio in the Canadian Opera Company’s critically acclaimed production of Death in Venice. Other stage credits include Snowboy in West Side Story (Vancouver Opera), Mr. Mistoffelees in Cats (Rainbow),Diesel inWest Side Story (Neptune), Peter Pan (Neptune) and We Will Rock You (Mirvish) as well as dance companies Grief: Another Common Bond (Fayez1) and Rain: Life in Full Bloom (Helix Dance Project). He can been seen dancing in the Disney movies, Harriet the Spy: Blog Wars and Camp Rock. Adam also performs in industrial shows and has done a couple of national television commercials. When not performing, he teaches workshops & choreographs at several studios in the GTA and has choreographed pieces for the Toronto’s Original Choreographers’ Ball.
Find out what Adam had to say in this week’s shout out…
Nikki: Do you remember the first time you started dancing?
Adam: I was 3 at the time, and my sister is entirely to blame. She was taking a dance class at the local community centre and it was “Parents Day”. At the end of the dance, all the little girls were told to go get a family member to dance with. All the other little girls ran to their mothers, but my sister got me instead. Naturally, I followed her though sports and activities, but dance was the one that stuck.
Nikki: Do you remember the first song you choreographed to? (Or your earliest memory)
Adam: I’ve got memories making up dances, but not exactly the songs I choreographed to. The first piece I ever did some choreography for was “TiK ToK” by Ke$ha with Faye Rauw’s dance company. I guess you could say my style has changed a lot since then – Ke$ha doesn’t usually make it into my choreography playlist anymore!
Nikki: Your personal advice for dancers when it comes to free styling?
Adam: It depends on what the goal is. For personal dance growth? Allow your body to experiment. If you’ve seen it done before, don’t do it. Being blessed enough to explore the movement of your body shouldn’t be an excuse to “freestyle” a battement with your right leg. Be creative with how you approach things, and let your body make things you may conceive as “mistakes”. When it comes to free-styling for auditions? Know your strengths. They aren’t looking for a reason to hire you, but instead for a reason not to. So don’t give them one and show them everything you’ve got.
Nikki: Getting in the zone to choreograph, what does it take for you?
Adam:I’m most creative at night, so that’s when it usually happens for me. A great piece of music is essential, and sometimes I just put it on and freestyle to see where my body wants to go. I’ve been trying to scale back to just focusing on the choreography, since my tendency as of lately is to visualize the full million-dollar production before I’ve got the choreo done.
Nikki: Who are some of your biggest influences in the Dance industry?
Adam: My personal style seems to evolve through the classes and people I’ve gotten to work with here in Toronto. Choreographers like Julia Cratchley, Steph Rutherford and Linda Garneau provide incredible inspiration and thought-provoking choreography that I admire. Taking their classes and delving into their choreo keeps me excited and striving too improve.
Nikki:Name a Toronto Choreographer you enjoy working with and why?
Adam: I’ve gotten the chance to work with Faye Rauw now many times, and most recently continued some of her pieces while she took a leave of absence to bring her beautiful daughter into this world. She’s a talented choreographer and wonderful friend who has really helped me progress over the years. The ease of which we communicate mixed with her absolutely amazing personality makes her one of my favourite people to work with, hands down.
I’ve also had the pleasure of working with Linda Garneau a bit, and find her inspirational in her method and design. She creates stunning pieces through detailed emotions and manages to capture the audience immediately. Her most recent project, “unEarth” was nothing short of a masterpiece, and I have fond memories of my time spent working on “Rain” a few years ago.
Nikki: Name one of your favorite artists to work with and why?
Adam: This one is tough. I’ve lately been focusing on my own dancing, so choreography has taken a backseat for now. It’s hard to pick just one artist when there are so many wonderful and talented dancers in Toronto. I’d like to throw a shoutout to those in my last choreoball piece; I’ve got some incredible friends that are extremely talented artists and a joy to work with.
Nikki: Are you currently working on any projects?
Adam: At the moment, I’ve found myself more and more involved in the musical theatre world of Canada. I think musicals get a bad rap in the industry, when the fact is that they can be both lucrative and stable, yet still enjoyable. On occasion, the dance is amazing and extremely difficult. West Side Story and Cats are prime examples.
I am currently working at Drayton Entertainment on the musical “9 to 5”, and I’ve got some other great events on the horizon that I can’t wait to entertain. Nothing I’m ready to share yet, but you’ll see me around!
Nikki: Qualities you think Toronto Dancers possess?
Adam: I don’t think I’ve got a great answer for this one aside from “diverse”. There are so many different dancers in Toronto, with so many different styles and goals. And while success may seem a universal aspiration, its definition seems to differ from one to the next.
Nikki: Any advice for emerging dancers and choreographers working/training Toronto?
Adam: I think there is great value in learning differing styles and techniques. There isn’t always going to be work in your favourite style, which I find motivating. We’re a diverse city, with diverse opportunities. The more you train other styles, the more you’ll be ready for whatever gets thrown your way. Toronto has enough work for you if you are willing to open yourself up to other avenues: learn to sing, tap, act, beatbox, lock, flip, etc. and so many more doors will open.
THANK YOU ADAM FOR SHARING YOUR LOVE AND PASSION WITH T.D.O.T. XO