This week’s Dancer/Choreographer shout out goes to Josh Assor. Currently on Broadway in Mary Poppins in the role of Neleus. Most recently Josh was on The 1st National Tour of Mary Poppins (Disney). Other credits include Baby John at the Stratford Shakespeare Festival, Arte Poetica (EDGE P.A.C.), originating the role of Ti-Cul and Dance Captain of Le Bleu D’La Metropole in Montreal (Périphérie Productions), Benjamin in Joseph and the Amazing Technicolored Dreamcoat (Rainbow Stage) and filming the dance movie Sur La Rythme with Nico Archamboult, in Montreal. Josh was recently features in Dance Canada Magazine as well as Industry Dance Magazine and Dance Plug (Los Angeles). In addition to performing, Josh also teaches workshops and sets choreography for various studios, schools and colleges across Canada and has been on faculty at Metro Movement as well as a number of dance conventions, such as In The Zone Dance Convention and SYNC: Hip Hop Convention. Josh has won numerous awards for his choreography including a national award at L.A.D.F. He was recently a featured choreographer for I MOVE FORWARD, a cancer benefit show as well as the Toronto Choreographers Ball.
Bio provided by Josh
Find out what Josh had to say in this week’s shout out…
Nikki: Do you remember the first time you started dancing?
Josh: I remember the first time I was introduced to Tap. I was around the age of 13 and I was totally intrigued by the idea of making music with my shoes. Not long after I took my first dance class at age 14. I started out with Tap and Hip Hop and then slowly progressed into Jazz and Ballet.
Nikki: Do you remember the first song you choreographed to? (Or your earliest memory)
Josh: When I was young and in to the competition world I somehow convinced my studio owner to allow me to choreograph all of my solos. My first was a jazz solo to Seven Nation Army by The White Stripes
Nikki: Your personal advice for dancers when it comes to free styling?
Josh: I believe free styling is as much of a skill as any other dance form that needs to be continually developed. I would say treat it like you would any other dance style and take improve and freestyle classes as much as possible. I think now more then ever there are so many improved and freestyle classes available to take.
Nikki: Getting in the zone to choreograph, what does it take for you?
Josh: A well-prepped idea or concept, a clear and open mindset and a great pair of headphones!
Nikki: Who are some of your biggest influences in the Dance industry?
Josh: Throughout my career in Canada and the US I have worked with so many talented and creative people in this industry. Its so hard to choose but some that have really influenced and molded me as a performer and choreographer have been Faye Rauw, Linda Garneau, Nico Archambault, Wynn Holmes, Josh Bergasse, Geoffrey Garratt, Adam Parson, Bill Prudich, Terri Best.
Nikki: Name a Toronto Choreographer you enjoy working with and why?
Josh: One choreographer that I have enjoyed working with on multiple occasions is Marc Kimelman. His creative process and approach to everything he does come from a place of honesty. As a choreographer, working and assisting him has been a major contributing factor to my knowledge of the industry. I feel lucky to know him on a personal and professional level.
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.)
Josh: One pair of artists that really stand out to me are Wynn Holmes and Nico Archambault, who do the majority of their choreography together. I have been lucky enough to work with them on several occasions, although it never seems to feel like work. They both have a great sense of detailed musicality and always bring a fresh and unique style of movement to their work
Nikki: Are you currently working on any projects?
Josh: Right now I am in New York on Broadway in Mary Poppins playing the role of Neleus, the featured dancer. In addition to doing 8 shows a week, I am working on a few showcases coming up and continue to travel back and forth to Canada, teaching workshops and setting choreography.
Nikki: Qualities you believe Toronto Dancers possess?
Josh: I think Toronto dancers are some of the fiercest of the bunch! Dancers in Toronto put a huge emphasis on being well rounded and extremely versatile. I am convinced that is why so many Canadian dancers do so well in this industry on an international level.
Nikki: Any advice for emerging dancers and choreographers working/training in Toronto?
Josh: Work hard, stays focused and know your craft. I am a huge believer that success does not come to the lucky but to the prepared. It is crucial to keep up with our ever-changing industry while also staying positive!
THANK YOU JOSH FOR SHARING YOUR LOVE & PASSION WITH T.D.O.T. XO
CHECK OUT JOSH’S CHOREOGRAPHY REEL…