This week’s Dancer/Choreographer shout out goes to Brittany Gudmundson. Brittany knew from a young age she wanted to be a performer. Born and raised in Chilliwack, British Columbia, she trained in many styles, including jazz, tap, modern, contemporary and hip hop. At a point in her training process growing up she had to choose between dance and gymnastics as she was soaring in both at a competitive level and even had an amazing opportunity to train with an Olympic trainer. It was a hard decision in the moment but she went with her heart and decided dance is what she loved and what she wanted to pursue. After graduating, and training in Vancouver for a couple of years, Brittany knew she had to take the next step for her career by moving to Toronto in late 2010. Toronto has been more than what she expected and has worked alongside the best choreographers and dancers in Canada through stage performances, tours, film and television work and music videos.
Toronto was the best move she’s made thus far in her career it has brought her many successes both on stage, and in front of camera. She has caught eyes of renowned teachers such as Blake McGrath, Shannon Mather’s, Kelly Konno, Brian Friedman and Sonya Tayeh. She has had the amazing opportunity to back up dance on Artist Blake McGrath’s, Canadian tour as well as Artist Guinevere’s, American tour, opening for Nick Carter. She has danced and appeared in music videos for artist’s such as Anjulie, Victoria Duffield, Cascada, Kreesha Turner, Bruno Mar’s, Alyssa Rubino, Saukratee’s, Keisha Chante and many more, as well she was a part of the biggest award show in Canada, ‘The Juno’s”, performing with Artist Anjulie. Brittany has performed on the film, Disney’s ‘Frenemie’s”, and has performed in Global’s “Bomb Girls’, CW’s ‘Nikita’, and CW’s “Hellcats’! From commercial work to performing, she is very motivated to keep growing in all areas of dance and will never stop pushing for her dreams!
Bio provided by Brittany
Facebook: Britty Good
You Tube: Brittany Gudmundson
Check out what Brittany had to say in this week’s shout out…
Nikki: Do you remember the first time you started dancing?
Brittany: Honestly, I don’t remember the first time I started dancing. All that I know is my auntie and mom were driving down a main street back in my home town and they spotted a cute pink building with a sign out front saying “Jazz, Tap, Stage and Hip Hop, Register now”, they thought it would be pretty cool to put their daughter’s in a tap class, from there on I was hooked!
Nikki: Do you remember the first song you choreographed to?
Brittany: Heck yes, I remember this pretty clearly! After school I went home with my friend and we choreographed to Spice Girls, “Wannabe” track. Of course we went all out and dressed up like them too, I always had to be Baby Spice! We even lip synced while dancing, so we pretty much choreographed the full tour that day!
Nikki: Your personal advice to dancers when it comes to free styling?
Brittany: TRUST YOURSELF! Try not to over think the music and your movement, there is no wrong, just be confident and do you, no one is there to judge, everyone learns something from each individual. Take the time to jam to a beat, get to know your body and understand your instrument! Free styling isn’t just about the movement but the emotion and story behind it, enjoy it!!
Nikki: Getting in the zone to choreograph what does it take for you?
Brittany: I am inspired by everyday things, and I have a big imagination. The song is a big part of choreography, I don’t tend to look for a song, I always wait for one to find me, weather it moves me, I have a vision, or it relates to something in my life, I’ll feed off of that.
Nikki: Who are some of your biggest influences in the industry?
Brittany: I have a lot of influences I look up to in the industry. I have always looked up to Blake McGrath and Brian Freidman growing up. They are unreal and don’t let anything get in their way of what they want, their fearless. Another influence I have that is close to me and I look up to is Taylor James. He has always believed in me and has pushed me ever since we met. Watching him grow as a dancer and conquering his dreams is so inspiring and makes me believe hard work pays off. It’s always nice to have a close friend and someone you can trust in the industry who truly wants the best for you!
Nikki: Name a Toronto choreographer you like working with and why?
Brittany: There are so many Toronto choreographers I love working with that have really made me the dancer I am today. They all bring such different qualities to their work and defiantly inspire me. Scott Fordham, Leon Blackwood, Mark Samuels, Jeff Dimitriou, and many more. Scott Fordham is the hardest working choreographer out there not just as a choreographer but in the business side of it all as well. Leon Blackwood has an ear for musicality and a vision as a choreographer like no one else in the business. Mark Samuels is so humble and an amazing role model with so much talent in so many areas. Jeff Dimitriou brings an energy that’s so refreshing and so rare in this industry it’s always a treat. All of these choreographers are also unreal dancers and performers, they all bring such a unique energy and vibe to their work and I am honoured to be a part of it!
Nikki: Name one of your favorite artists to work with and why? (It does not have to be a pop star any type of artist that a Dancer would work with i.e.; another Dancer, Choreographer, Musician etc.)
Brittany: One of my favourites to work with is Scott Fordham. I met him kind of randomly while I was assisting a convention in London Ontario, from there I have worked with him ever since. He is defiantly one of my influences and has always wanted the best for me. He never stops surprising me with what he accomplishes and how he goes about his work so professionally. He knows what he wants and knows how to achieve his vision; he is so dedicated to his passion and has accomplished everything he has put his mind to. From being there to witness all of this I have defiantly grown and have so much more to learn from him!
Nikki: Are you currently working on any projects?
Brittany: I currently just finished shooting a commercial back in Vancouver. It was my first acting gig and can’t wait to explore more in that field, It’s a whole different side of performing that I think will add to my work…but I believe there is always a project, if that is to be in rehearsal for a performance or gig of any type, to be in an audition or even taking class, your always learning and growing every day!
Nikki: Being from the West Coast tell us why you come to Toronto and the quality you think The Dancers here possess?
Brittany: Well coming from a small town of British Columbia to Toronto I definitely got to see the difference in the industry. Toronto dancer’s brought my
Passion back! They bring a whole different dynamic to dance; I’ve learnt a lot since I’ve been here and I have taken in the movement and become a part of it all. There are so many talented dancer’s out here that are so original but I think all Canadian dancers bring a fire and hunger to their dancing!
Nikki: Any advice for emerging dancers and choreographers working and training in Toronto?
Brittany: My advice would be to always follow your gut and never give up on your dreams, vision it and believe it, there’s nothing that isn’t possible! Just be true to yourself!
THANK YOU BRITTANY FOR SHARING YOUR LOVE & PASSION WITH T.D.O.T. XO
CHECK OUT BRITTANY’S REEL…