Monday, July 30, 2012

How I Became A Dancer

So You Think You Can Dance Summer continues with the story of how I fulfilled my dream to work as a dancer late in my career.

When I first got to Hollywood, I wanted to be Christina Aguilera's back-up dancer.

I threw myself into ballet and hip-hop classes, even this thing called Pilates until I developed bursitis and had no idea how to rehab it.  So I put my dream away.

Then The Universe Happened
In 2005, FOX debuted a reality show called So You Think You Can Dance.

I saw a Paso Doble for the first time, with a real Russian ballroom dancer. I finally realized the genius that is Wade Robson, who at that time was little more than a bleach-haired white kid from Orange County who purportedly danced like a black guy. I cried after every piece, in awe that this kind of dance was finally on network TV.

Something in me stirred.  I wanted to dance again, bad.

Getting the Call
The Universe has a way of responding to requests.

I received a recommendation to a trainer who knew exactly how to rehab my bursitis (as well as a car accident injury I had further accumulated in Hollywood.) I went to the gym every day.  In months I was stronger than I had ever been.

And that summer, as I dreamed in front of the TV, I got the call.

My agency phoned me with an audition for an untitled film directed by Julie Taymor (Frida, Broadway's The Lion King) featuring songs by the Beatles.

For a dancing role.

"But these are professional dancers!"

"You're a professional dancer," the agent replied.

After two sets of three-hour auditions and an amazing phone call later, I was indeed, a professional dancer.

That movie, you may have guessed, turned out to be Across the Universe, starring Evan Rachel Wood.

Stay tuned for Part 2, where I inadvertently work with Desmond Richardson.

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