In the days where a new dance reality show surfaces every other season and the business of dance has become a multi million dollar industry, producers Allen Walls and Carey Ysais join forces October 14, 2012 at the Key club to pay homage and celebrate the real heroes in the dance world: the dancers themselves and the founding fathers of their craft. With the support of local dance agencies such as Clear Talent Group, Bloc, Go 2 talent, McDonald Selznick Associates, The Movement Talent Agency& The S Agency and sponsors like SAG-AFTRA, Dance Plug, The Industry Voice, Answers 4 Dancers, Debby Reynolds dance studios and Tremaine Dance Conventions this yearly event serves not only to celebrate but also to educate dancers on current issues with the help of organizations like Dance Alliance, Career Transition for Dancers and SAG-Aftra who work hard to improve working conditions, health care and pension plans for dancers and choreographers nationwide.
Dance has been part of tinsel town for decades. Who doesn’t remember Fred Astaire, Shirley Mac Laine or Audrey Hepburn lighting up the screen in classics such as” Funny Face” and ”Sweet Charity”. During those days most professional dancers in the chorus were working non-union and spent long hours for little to next to no pay on set. What most people don’t know is that it took another few decades of hard work and struggle with the union to acknowledge their dancers and choreographers with the respect they so long deserved. Looking at movie-, TV- or commercial sets today, dancers can finally enjoy getting paid according to union regulations just like everyone else on set. Choreographers today are not only being hired for live performance shows but also for TV, film and commercials. Some of them turn into sought after directors and producers such as Kenny Ortega and Adam Shankman.
This years WDA show opened with a very lively piece by Jack Rabbit Flash’s Ladies in Lace followed by a gorgeous number of Dana Foglia Dance who with their animal-like, sharp moves set the tone for an exciting evening.
Smooth, fluid and very musical was the dance number Marty Kudelka, David Moore and Sophia Aguiar joined by their Hip Hop “clique” hitting the moves with such precision and ease one could feel the heat rising off the stage. Another charming number during this night’s performance included the Swing-inspired dance number by Lyndell Higgins.
Unlike many award shows the World Dance Awards shines a light on their talented artists in a very intimate setting.
Both, Allen Walls(Confessions Of A Shopoholic, Four Christmases, Soccer Mom, Shall We Dance, Havana Nights) and Carey Ysais being dancers, choreographers and producers themselves, collaborate as a team with other top quality dancers to bring this show to life with lots of enthusiasm and still little financial sponsorship setting a great example for dancers in the show business. The whole show evolves around its amazing talent and the rest is taken with lots of humor and a grain of salt.
Presenters Cris Judd (host of Dirty Dancing and Dance Like We do) and Robert Hoffman (Step Up 2, 90210, Take Me Home Tonight) entertain with an on the beat comedic timing and do an excellent job keeping the audience engaged from beginning until the end. Special guest appearances by Joe Tremaine, Debra Levine, Larry Billman, Toni Basil, Jeffrey Hornday and the glamorous Sharon Ferguson( Just Go With It, Blue Lagoon, Quarrentine) are another highlight at the WDA.
Gustavo Vargas wins for Outstanding Choreography for a TV Live Performance with a Salsa number for So You Think You Can Dance. Director, Choreographer Bradley Rapier receives an Outstanding Choreography Concert/ Live Performance Award for The Mirror performed by the Groovaloos. Rich and Tone Talauega enjoy two awards: 1) the Old Navy Supercute commercial for Outstanding choreography in a commercial and 2) Outstanding Choreography in Music Video for Michael Jackson: Hollywood Tonight.
Christopher Scott receives the award for Outstanding Choreography in a Television Episodic and John Careera gloats over his award for Outstanding Choreography in a Feature Film called “Something Borrowed” with Kate Hudson.
The evening closed with a fun after party where dancers, agents and choreographers were able to mingle and make new friends. There was a sense of union and excitement in the club and no competition in sight. It was plain to see that dancers in Hollywood are slowly understanding the need to succeed as a community.
As I was walking out onto Sunset Blvd. one voice popped into my head among the smiling faces “ All that is important is this one moment in movement. Make the moment important, vital, and worth living. Do not let it slip away unnoticed and unused.”- Martha Graham
It was great to see another inspirational evening for performing artists in Hollywood!
For more information on the WDA please go to