This week’s Dancer/Choreographer shout out goes to Lamar Johnson. Lamar, born and raised in Toronto Canada is a self-taught dancer who is dedicated to building his craft and inspiring others. At the early age of nine, he was casted as ‘Little Man’ alongside Jessica Alba in the feature film “Honey”. He had many other accolades in his early years as a performer such as appearing on The Maury Show for ‘America’s Most Talented Kid Dancers’, performing at the Apollo Theatre in New York City and the host of Pop It! On TVO Kids. Along his journey, Lamar found himself connecting to acting, where he appeared on shows like Degrassi, Rookie Blue, The Firm, Covert Affairs, Family Channel’s hit TV series “The Next Step” and his most recent television credit Saving Hope. He’s also appeared in feature films such as Parkdale, Liar, Cuffed, Home Again, Apple Mortgage Cake and his most recent, Full Out – also, crediting a few commercials under his belt.
Lamar is an honour roll student who also enjoys playing many sports, singing, designing, teaching and choreographing. With a strong love for the craft, he plans on pursuing his dreams, all while inspiring others to pursue theirs.
Bio provided by Lamar
Follow Lamar on Twitter @lamarjohnsonn
Follow on Instagram: @lamarjohnson
IMDB: Lamar Johnson
Check out what Lamar had to say in this week’s feature…
Nikki: Do you remember the first time you started dancing?
Lamar: The first time I started dancing was at the age of 9 at a talent show my Elementary School put on annually. It was the moment I knew I was meant to be a performer!
Nikki: Do you remember the first song you choreographed to? (Or your earliest memory)
Lamar: The first time I personally choreographed was actually on the second season of The Next Step. I was never really into choreographing until that moment. I choreographed a short section of the Nationals routine. It was a great opportunity for me to showcase my choreography skills, and showed me that I was more than capable of doing it!
Nikki: Your personal advice for dancers when it comes to free styling?
Lamar: Some advice I’d give to dancers when it comes to freestyling is to not think. That might be odd to some people reading, but when I freestyle, I don’t think. I just let the music take my body – which allows me to move organically. I think that’s when you do things you would’ve never done if you were to think about the next move.
Nikki: Getting in the zone to choreograph, what does it take for you?
Lamar: For me, getting in the zone to choreograph takes getting inspired in some sort of way. Whether it’s through the music, or just through visually watching something. With that inspiration, it allows me to get a sense of where to start with my movement, then all else comes with that.
Nikki: Who are some of your biggest influences in the Dance industry?
Lamar: My biggest influences in the dance industry are actually two individuals that are not even from Canada. One of them is from LA (Keone Madrid), the other from Japan (Koharu Sugawara). I feel every time I watch them dance I get inspired. Their movement is so raw and unique, I love getting into it.
Nikki: Name a Toronto Choreographer you enjoy working with and why?
Lamar: I really enjoy working with Luther Brown. I’ve known Luther at a very young age when he used to choreograph for a local dance crew by the name of Du Dat. They always had the most flavour and substance in their performances that nobody could match. I had the opportunity to work with him on Season 3 of The Next Step. The experience was awesome. To see his creative process was inspiring.
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.)
Lamar: I would love to work with Jon M. Chu. He’s the director on many projects, one being some of the Step Up franchise. I think they way he highlights dance in such a cinematic way is incredible. His eye for detail is awesome and would be an honor to potentially work with him on a project.
Nikki: Qualities you believe Toronto Dancers possess?
Lamar: I believe Toronto Dancers possess the quality of giving their all on stage. Every time I go to showcases in Toronto, I never fail to be impressed by the amount of energy they have. Or as us dancers say, being “full out.”
Nikki: Any advice for emerging dancers and choreographers working/training in Toronto?
Lamar: I would say that if you’re passionate about something, in any aspect of ART, don’t be afraid to showcase it and show the world. Disregard what you believe people will think about it, and just DO. Believe in yourself and your art.
Nikki: Any upcoming projects, shows or classes you would like to share with T.D.O.T.?
Lamar: Well I’m constantly trying to showcase my talents in every medium across the board. I’m in the process of outputting videos onto social media outlets, doing more choreography, writing film and designing. So you will be able to see a lot of that in due time. In the mean time, I do a lot of teaching so keep an eye out for upcoming classes and events on my social media!
THANK YOU LAMAR FOR SHARING YOUR LOVE AND PASSION WITH T.D.O.T. XO
CHECK OUT SOME FOOTAGE OF LAMAR SHOWING OFF HIS SKILLS AS “WEST” ON THE NEXT STEP
FOOTAGE OF LAST WEEK’S FEATURE TREVOR TORDJMAN AND LAMAR JOHNSON