How Do You Make the Leap from Dancer to Choreographer?

Nine years ago, Del Mak decided he was done performing for artists like Beyoncé, Lady Gaga and One Direction. “I’d done everything I wanted to, and I was tired of the rat race,” he says. “My body was starting to hurt.” The next obvious step? Choreography. Though “obvious” doesn’t mean “easy.” For commercial dancers looking […]

This Father–Daughter Duo Is Choreographing a New Netflix Show

For choreographer and director Paul Becker, the pandemic has had one major upside: extra time with his 18-year-old daughter, Marlee. “The toughest part of being a parent in the dance industry is making your family a priority,” says Becker, who recently shared the 2021 MTV Award for “Best Musical Number” with Kenny Ortega for their […]

Community Dance Emerges as the Star of In the Heights

In Washington Heights, if Usnavi is to be believed, the streets are made of music. In the opening moments of the film version of In the Heights, the lead character, played by Anthony Ramos, lightly drums a clave beat. The rhythm is taken over by a pair of keys, a gate, a hose, before scratch—Usnavi […]

How Do You Help Nondancers Feel Comfortable Moving Onstage?

Too many people are told early on in their lives that they “can’t dance.” It’s something that can stick with them into adulthood. Commercial choreographers all too often encounter the detrimental effects of this myth when they’re paired with actors, musicians or models who’ve taken these words to heart and ended up afraid of dancing. […]

Viral Video Maker Tanisha Scott Conjures Iconic Moves for Major Artists

If choreographer/creative director/movement director Tanisha Scott has any one specialty, it’s making dance moments that stay memorable long after going viral. Award-winning videos like Drake’s “Hotline Bling,” Cardi B’s “Money” and Lil Nas X’s “Old Town Road” came to life under her watch. “You don’t know how many times I’ve tried to explain what we […]

Why Do Commercial Choreographers Still Not Get the Credit They Deserve?

When I was pregnant with my now-2-year-old daughter, I went through a pretty obsessive movie-musical phase. I vividly remember curling up at the Regal Battery Park theater in downtown Manhattan for Mamma Mia! Here We Go Again. I laughed, I cried, and by the time the cast broke into “Dancing Queen,” I found myself doing […]

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