This week’s Dancer/Choreographer feature goes to Peter D’Souza. Dancing since the age of 7, Peter’s strong passion for performing arts has led him to pursue a career as a dancer, choreographer and actor. Starting off in Richmond, British Columbia and eventually moving to Toronto, Ontario, Peter has trained and competed in all disciplines of dance with Hip-Hop being his main focus and passion.
This young dancer has already had the opportunity to work with well-known choreographers such as Luther Brown, Tony Testa, Jae Blaze, Devon Perri, Tatiana Parker, Eryn Waltman, and many more. Peter’s professional career has enabled him to work with artists such as Janet Jackson, Ariana Grande, Karl Wolf, Aleesia, Victoria Duffield, Kreesha Turner, Trish, Anjulie, PSY and Blake McGrath. He has also been featured in live performances including Much Music Video Awards (MMVAS), CityTV’s New Year’s Eve Bash, YTV’s The Next Star, WeDay, Divers/Cité (Montréal), and the PanAm Games. Recently, Peter was casted in the Monsters of Hip Hop Show in Los Angeles where he got to work with Parris Goebel, Luam, Nick Demoura, Rhapsody, Kyle Hanagami, Jillian Meyers and many more.
Peter is always looking for a new challenge; he is constantly improving and taking his dance skills to the next level. He is known to be a very dedicated and high-spirited dancer, teacher and choreographer.
Bio provided by Peter
FACEBOOK: Peter D’Souza
Find out what Peter had to say in this week’s shout out…
Nikki: Do you remember the first time you started dancing?
Peter: I vividly remember when I was around three to five years old at family parties going into the middle of the dance circle and just doing my own thing, vibing to the music. My parents noticed that and enrolled me in my first hip hop class at the age of seven, and I haven’t stopped since.
Nikki: Do you remember the first song you choreographed to? (Or your earliest memory)
Peter: First song I choreographed to was for my school dance team and it was “Walking on the Moon” by The Dream.
Nikki: Your personal advice for dancers when it comes to free styling?
Peter: In all honesty, I used to be so scared of free styling because I had all these thoughts in my head, but you have to not think about it. Free styling is based on how you feel and hear the music. If you think too much about it then your just going to end up doing too much. I feel like some dancers get self-conscious when it comes to free styling because they’re worried about what others will think, but if you just trust yourself and listen to the music then the rest comes easy.
Nikki: Getting in the zone to choreograph, what does it take for you?
Peter: I need a song that I can really connect to emotionally and vibe off of. I usually go into the studio by myself, put on my headphones and just vibe until I feel like I’m satisfied. I usually base my choreography off of intention. Instead of just making up steps I try to base it off of what the artist is saying or how the song is making me feel.
Nikki: Who are some of your biggest influences in the Dance industry?
Peter: One of my biggest influences in the dance industry would have to be Tatiana Parker. Not only is she my teacher and my mentor, but watching her dance has really inspired me to push and move myself in ways that I didn’t think possible. Tati has really influenced me and has always pushed me to do better because she saw so much potential in me. I wouldn’t be the dancer that I am today if it wasn’t for her. Some of my other influences in the industry are Devon Perri, Galen Hooks, Luther Brown and Emma Portner.
Nikki: Name a Toronto Choreographer you enjoy working with and why?
Peter: The Blackwoods haha. I love working with Leon and Shavar Blackwood because not only are they my dance dads but working with them constantly pushes me to step outside my comfort zone. Leon helps me understand intricacy and performing with a strong presence, whereas Shavar pushes me to dance more masculine but with style. I also love working with Gadfly (Apolonia Velasquez & Ofilio Portillo.) Whenever I work with them I’m always pushed to my psychical limit as well as to think outside the box.
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.)
Peter: I don’t have any favourites but I would say working with my friends Amanda May Wilson and Jade Whitney are my two favourite individuals to work with. I always love working with them because they’re both so artistically in touch with themselves. Everything they create and put out is inspiring and pushes me as an artist as well. Creating with both of them is always easy because whenever we’re in the studio together its always positive energy being shared.
Nikki: Qualities you believe Toronto Dancers possess?
Peter: Toronto dancers are HUNGRY. We recognize our talent and take pride in the city that we come from. We work hard to get to where we want to and that’s why most of the dancers you see in the states booking all the big jobs are Canadians because we worked our butts to get there. We are also unique and carry a positive energy about us which makes us stand out anywhere we go.
Nikki: Any advice for emerging dancers and choreographers working/training in Toronto?
Peter: BE YOURSELF. It’s so easy to get caught up in this industry but if you stay true to yourself and stick to what you believe in then people will recognize that for the better. Surround yourself with individuals that are positive and push you to be the best you can be. Keep TRAINING and bettering yourself as an artist by taking different classes that you feel will challenge you. Take CARE of your body by stretching, eating well and getting a good nights sleep. Set out goals for yourself and make them happen because ANYTHING is possible. Hard work never goes unnoticed.
Nikki: Are there any upcoming projects, shows or classes you would like to share/promote to the T.D.O.T. network?
Peter: I currently teach at The Underground Dance Centre on Sundays (Int/Adv 630pm) and Mondays (Beginner 5pm.) I’am also trying to venture outside the dance world and tap into other areas of the entertainment industry. There’s ALWAYS room for growth and everyday I’m trying to better my craft. Luckily I’am surrounded by a lot of dope individuals that help me in doing this.
THANK YOU PETER FOR SHARING YOUR LOVE & PASSION WITH T.D.O.T. XO