Welcome to episode 73 of the DanceSpeak podcast with Derrell Bullock, Lee Daniel, Sienna Lyons, and Donyelle Denise.
I’d like to start with how much I look up to this group of individuals. They have been in the dance world for a long long time working hard on their craft and each one is an exceptional teacher as well.
This is a snapshot of where we were at this time: the end of 2017 and our thoughts and experiences from then.
The information from this interview has already positively impacted me making a difference for me in pursuing my dreams and how I go about my journey AND one of the main intentions of the podcast is to share share share so that you can have that as well. It’s really a beautiful episode with lots of gems.
We cover topics that include:
- Sienna’s thoughts after first time teaching in Europe and traveling as a couple with Lee
- Choosing to leave LA for a period of time while building momentum to travel and teach
- What to do when you start feeling stale in your creative process
- Donyelle speaks openly about going through cancer, and powerfully reinventing herself
- Lee talks about his experience being injured last year
- The conversation of support revisited
- Delightful stories and tidbits from their journeys
Again, I’d like to give a special thank you to our guest for opening up and keeping it so real, letting others get connected, gain knowledge and get inspired from your journeys.
Sarah Elgart is a choreographer, director, and producer who’s scope of work and ability will blow your mind. To give you a taste: Sarah has created sight specific work in locations including LAX and LACMA, directed (yes, DIRECTED) the Mickey Mouse Club in the days of Britney Spears and Justin Timberlake, choreographed everything from the circus in Japan to Star Trek, writes a bi-weekly published column on dance, and is an creative who comes from a family of artists.
Topics we explore include:
- Why Sarah creates sight specific work
- The directors whom have inspired her
- How Sarah developed her skill set to become a director
- What young Britney Spears was like
- How Sarah has become bi-coastal between LA and NYC
- Working with architecture
- Words of advice around being a woman while having a growing family and booming career
- Choreographing for a circus in Tokyo with 2 young children
- Sarah’s views on the current dance boom
Consider this episode class and Sarah is the teacher. The ways in which she views things alone is something that one could take notes on. Enjoy!
What do Justin Bieber, Beyoncé, Paula Abdul, Missy Elliott, Chris Brown, Omarion, You Got Served and Christmas trees have in common? Michael Vargas. They have Michael Vargas common. Before even sitting down to formally start the interview, Michael was sharing unbelievable stories that had me transported to wherever and whenever they took place.
In this episode we hop around, as Michael shares openly, freely, and generously with jaw-dropping accounts that could each stand alone as their own individual episodes. Some of the things that Michael shares about includes:
- How the *%&^ he went from dancing on tour to stage and tour managing
- What is was like as ASM for Beyoncé's FORMATION TOUR and what she was like in production meetings
- Dancing with Justin Bieber when he went from being a relatively new artist to packing out stadiums
- Going from being a b-boy to learning how to execute choreography
- Why we love Paula Abdul and what she is like to work with
- Meeting ROYALTY
- Choosing to move back home after spending 14 years in Los Angeles
- What it was like touring with Chris Brown twice with different choreographers
- Financial advice for artists
- Why he is forever known as "XMAS Tree Mike"
- Dealing with rejection
- The theme of overcoming major adversity and how it ultimately provided for major openings in his life
This episode is packed with so many years and so many topics, it just doesn't make sense AND you will be able to enjoy being brought into Michael's beautiful world.
Episode 70 brings in Jose "Hollywood" Ramos: a creative spirit with a relentless work ethic. I have always been an excited viewer of Jose's career, as his hustle reminds me of P.Diddy's no-holds-barred style of executing his vision with finesse.
In order of discussion, here are some of the notes on topics that we explore within the interview:
- Jose's time as a counselor and daycare teacher
- What his ethic looked like on a daily basis
- How Jose empowers himself around the ‘revolving door’ of the industry
- How he ended up working with Diddy
- What Jose learned from choreographing on the Bad Boy Reunion Tour
- An experience auditioning for JLO...
- Suffering the loss of his mother
- How Jose began his teaching career
- Discovering his signature choreography style within himself
- Recommendations for teaching abroad
- Choreographer’s block and how to stay inspired
- How Jose structures his days
- Net neutrality
- How Jose came to work with Beyonce
- Thoughts on the proper way to record class
- Hollywood's backpack line, how he started it etc
- How Jose balances it all
- How Hollywood got his name
Enjoy, and be sure to check out our Indiegogo campaign!!
After 15 years of experience in the dance world, Galit has worked as Assistant Choreographer for Prince, danced in numerous music videos, including Pharrell Williams' "Happy", has been featured in two dance publications, and currently works as a dance instructor and conditioning specialist in Los Angeles and around the country.