Archive | March, 2012


26 Mar
This week’s Dancer/Choreograher shout out goes to JoJo Zolina. There is something utterly magnetic about Jojo Zolina. An extraordinary freestyle Dancer and choreographer, he is greatly respected for his work in the local and International dance community. His fluid, expressive movements capture audiences from Paris Fashion Week to YouTube. He has even caught the attention of legendary music icon, Madonna. So what is it about Zolina? It must be the fierce factor. Born in the Philippines, he was raised by a single-mother who encouraged creativity andlove for the arts. Zolina discovered his passion for dancing at a very young age, amid thehustle and bustle of Manila’s inner city. He moved to Victoria, BC to live with his fatherat the age of twelve after his mother tragically succumbed to cancer. The transition wasdifficult but Zolina found solace through dance.
He never imagined he could make a living as a dancer but his natural talent and vibrant,theatrical style led him to rub elbows with Lady Sovereign, Nelly Furtado, K-Os, SwollenMembers, Michael Bublé, Mos Def, and Talib Kwali, to name a few. He has enamoredParis, schooled Amsterdam, left Milan wanting for more, and partied with London. Yet thisVancouverite remains refreshingly humble.
Apart from having an impressive list of commercial, television, and film credits under hisbelt, he is a sought-after choreographer with a flare for incorporating cheeky humour intohis pieces. Zolina is a dance alchemist, boldly melding elements of ethnic folk dance, hip hop,funk styles, vogueing, waacking, house, reggaeton, dancehall, contemporary, and salsa.Always open to learning more and expanding his knowledge, he studied under andworked with some of the biggest names in the dance community, from Martha Carter andJennifer Mascall to hip hop dance pioneers Caleaf Sellers, Poppin’ Pete, and Ken Swift. Jojo Zolina was voted as Best Dancer In Vancouver at the 2011 Urban Culture Conference
In 2002, Zolina co-founded Over the Influence, Vancouver’s hottest hip hop dance crew.They are known for their witty storytelling choreography that challenges traditionalhip hop boundaries and stereotypes. They have performed and hosted urban danceworkshops across Canada, and represented Canada in the World Hip Hop Championshipsin Los Angeles, Unrated 3 in Seattle, and the San Francisco Hip Hop DanceFest.In 2006, he founded the ultra sassy vogueing and waacking dance crew, House of LaDouche. The first dance crew of its kind in Vancouver, HLD won the Best Performanceof the Year in 2011 Nightlife Award Show, HLD pays homage to the gaycommunity’s 1970’s underground vogueing and waacking movement. Zolinaformed the group after an inspiring trip to New York, where some of the movement’soriginators welcomed him with open arms. Zolina is successfully sparking renewed interestin this movement here in Vancouver—yes, even among young, straight male dancers. Cladin avant-garde, 1980’s-eye-popping fashion, they have performed at Universal Studios, Vancouver Pride, the Vancouver Art Gallery’s FUSE, and International Dance Day. More than a performer, Zolina continues to shares his passion for dance and expertise as a teacher and mentor to kids and youth around the world.
Follow JoJo on twitter @jojodancerdance
facebook : jojo dancer

Find out what JoJo had to say in this week’s shout out…

Nikki: Do you remember the first time you started dancing?

JoJo: My Mother Merilyn told me she knew I would be a dancer when she noticed the only time she could stop me from crying is when she plays “September by Earth Wind and Fire” on the record and my feet starts kicking. I love music and I was born to be a dancer.

Nikki: Do you remember the first song you choreographed to? (Or your earliest memory)

JoJo: I think the first time I choreographed was in grade 5, I made a routine to Ice Ice Baby by Vanilla Ice lol. That track was hype and everyone’s favorite when I was a kid. But I love listening and dancing to any Bobby Brown, Neneh Cherry, The Pet Shop Boys, Prince, The Cure and MC Miker and DJ Sven and more.

Nikki: Your personal advice for dancers when it comes to free styling?

JoJo: My question is why do you love dance? Why do you dance? You just have to freestyle to call yourself a Dancer period.

Nikki: Getting in the zone to choreograph, what does it take for you?

JoJo: For me to get IN THE ZONE…. is how open my mind, body and soul in the moment. You can’t really push it; you got to let it come to you. I choreograph to anything because dance and music relates to anyone’s life, world, emotions and beyond.

Nikki: Who are some of your biggest influences in the Dance industry?

JoJo: My friends who are very happy living their life through dance. Caleaf Sellers, Melena Rounis, Carla Catherwood, Louise Hradsky, Taylor James, Val Ho, Paul Beker, Stewart Iguidez and more

Nikki: What made you decide to make the move from Vancouver to Toronto?

JoJo: I have nothing but love for British Columbia and Vancouver is always going to be my home, but Toronto is offering me this fresh and brand new life for whatever that may be. I travel a lot and I love how it’s close to New York and Europe. This April 10-17th I’m honored to get invited as a judge in a dance battle alongside with Tyrone Proctor and teach a few dance workshops in Novosibirsk, Russia.

Nikki: Name a Toronto Choreographer you enjoy working with and why?

JoJo: There are too many, I love Toronto and I’m blessed to work with so many talented choreographers and dancers in a very short time. I love my Disco Love Child Family, Neon Theory, Mitchell Jackson, Neek$, Luther Brown, Jae Blaze and more.

Nikki: Name one of your favorite artists to work with and why?

JoJo: I love working with Cory Lee, she’s fun, talented and easy to work with… She makes work fun and easy because she really puts her 100% and more to whatever project she’s doing and that motivates me to do really good… I previously just finished shooting a couple of Cory Lee’s music videos The Bounce and Cruel Intentions which I help assist the choreography. Watch out for it this summer and fall.

Nikki: Are you currently working on any projects?

JoJo: I’m always working on projects with so many amazing artists, I love working on big projects I enjoy taking my time putting a lot of thought in big projects. I’m work with Disco Love Child and few choreographers in Toronto and overseas. I also have some of my own passion projects on the side that I would like to expose. Like Dance Videos, Short Films and small Events. I teach Tuesday Waacking and Thursday Nuvo Burlesque both start at 8pm at the National Ballet School and every Saturday I teach Dancehall 3pm and Jazz Funk at 4pm at Street Dance Academy. I’m also part of Chrys Stylz Entertainment and Circus Entertainment. Wenare holding an Audition Saturday April 28, 2012

@ Revival Bar

783 College Street

Showtime: 1pm sharp

Calling Toronto’s Extraordinary Male & Female Performers of all types!

for more info please visit

Nikki: Qualities you think Toronto Dancers possess?

JoJo: Toronto Dancers don’t play…What you see is what you get. They are not timid they are confident and ready to go.

Nikki: Any advice for emerging Dancers and Choreographers working/training in Toronto?

JoJo: Enjoy, Learn how to let go, always do your best and remember the people that helped you get to where you are.







19 Mar
This week’s Dancer/Choreographer shout out goes to Denone Isaacs. Dance isn’t a hobby but more of a sixth sense for this 24 year old Street dancer from Toronto, Ontario. Dancing and being a part of anything from local to industry work, this over achiever found himself needing a new reality. His overwhelming passion led him to train harder, broaden his horizon and tap into other styles such as Jazz, Contemporary and deeper fundamentals of street styles. Grasping every source he could from his hometown, Denone knew it was about that time to venture out and create new cosmos. After one dose of the New York dance scene he knew he found the next degree of development for His talent. With distinct determination and nerves going through the roof he told himself his trip was not going to brief. Securing a spot within Choreographer Rhapsody James Motivating Excellence Season 2 (, Denone told himself there is nothing pocket-sized about his dreams. Continuing to train hard to bring him nothing but success and gratification Denone is proud to know his dance career has hit the point of revolution.
Bio Provided by Denone
Find out what Denone had to say in this week’s shout out…
Nikki: Do you remember the first time you started dancing?
Denone: The first time I remember me dancing was when I was about 11 or 12 and
it was a school play for Mary Poppins and I was playing Joseph the
chimney sweeper. I did the whole nine singing and dancing and it was
the most amazing experience I could remember. I believe the response I
got made me fall in love with entertainment itself. To be so young and
have people congratulate and ask for your autograph will make anyone
fell like they are on top.
Nikki:  Do you remember the first song you choreographed to? (Or your
earliest memory)
Denone: The first song I choreographed to was Next- Too Close. That video was
one of my favorites because of the girl/guy chemistry through the
Choreography.  I just fell in amazement for dance with that and other
Artists at that time. I performed that song with two other friends at
School talent show. My junior school auditorium was to small so my
School would always host it down the street at the local high school.
Another experience of been a small kid with a big heart on a huge
Nikki: Your personal advice for dancers when it comes to free styling?
Denone: I really believe freestyling is way to let your true essence of a
Dancer out. There are many genres of dance and you end up falling for one
or more. But there is always one that you can perform your best at and
adore. When you move with that style, it’s like watching a free movie
unscripted movie. You just move and allow your heart to guide you.
Never allow yourself to give it much thought or I consider that the
first stage of choreography. I always love to just go in my back in
the late night and dance. Just freestyle and allow my body to explore.
I never freestyle with intention. I just keep it moving.
Nikki: Getting in the zone to choreograph, what does it take for you?
Denone: It definitely takes the right song. I also let that song play on repeat
through headphone to hear every note and nuance. But I draw from a
moment in my life is possible.  Using memories and feelings to help
push through and interpret what I want to show. I really also like
to be outside when doing so. Warm or cold weather it will not stop me
from connecting with mother nature and drawing from the Universe’s energy
to help me along side my vision while creating. I also love
to eat well. I love food so when I am full and content I also feel
good and it puts my mind and body in a calm place. What can I say… I
love food!
Nikki:  Who are some of your biggest influences in the Dance industry?
Denone: Some of my biggest influences in the industry are a mixture of
successful dancers, choreographers and music artist I see who managed
to have a successful career and keep working hard. I admire the likes Paula
Abdul, Jennifer Lopez, Wade, Robson, The Nicholas Brother, Rhapsody
James, Tyce Diorio, Sean Cheesman, Gil Duldulao,Mia
Michael & Janet Jackson, Chris Brown and Danielle Polanco. Even though
they may be entertainers I see true dancers at heart first. They all
inspire me in some way every time I go to choreograph myself.
Nikki:  Name a Toronto Choreographer you enjoy working with and why?
Denone: A Toronto choreographer I enjoy working with is Jae Blaze. Her energy
is very electric and I love her creative journey process. It feels and
you can tell she loves what she does. She very sure of herself and I
love that fact that she not afraid to do her own thing. I’ve had the
pleasure to be a dancer for her and will do so anytime she may need me
cause I love to surround myself with figures who truly understand the
industry and not afraid to help and share their shine with others.
Nikki: Name one of your favorite artists to work with and why (Dancer, Musician, Choreographer etc.) ?
Denone: One person I really enjoyed working with is my dance momma Rhapsody James. Being a part of Motivating Excellence and get the opportunity to work with such an inspiring and dedicated women allowed a new way a dance and life thinking. She knows exactly how to push you to be the best you can and show you what was lying inside. Love her choreography and her whole deliverance. Other then her I am another one of my favorite people to work with.
Nikki:  Are you currently working on any projects?
Denone: I am currently working on my first major project for the end of the
year. I don’t want to let too much out of the bag but I will say this
might be the exact thing to make myself different from the rest. I’m
just about done the creative thinking process and about to go into
stage two and create the treatment. This project is very dear to me
cause it’s something I thought of a very long time ago and honestly
believe the stage I am in my life is allowing my mind, body and soul to
commit to seeing this through now. All in the right time.
Nikki:  Qualities you think Toronto Dancers possess?
Denone:  I feel like Toronto dancers know how to truly be inspired and get a
feeling of wanting to take it to the next level. We can identify with
Greatness and talent and we get moved to the point we see ourselves
there and we do what it take to get there. We train hard, take
classes, workshops etc. to feel just as connected to whatever inspired
us in the first place. I think our love for dance is major cause
unlike Vancouver, Los Angeles or New York, we are not a leading
industry for entertainment so we truly value seeing or being around
such greatness.
Nikki: Any advice for emerging dancers and choreographers
working/training in Toronto?
Denone: Please know why you are doing what you do. Is it a hobby or a
Passion? Never indulge in something just because. Yes you’re going to
have selfish moments and you do thing for your own purposes but
always result back to having a love for dance. I adorn what I do and
nothing or no one can ever stop me from dancing. And the same for you.
Always train and remember just like business people and students, WE

as dancers and teachers also have homework.



13 Mar
This week’s Dancer/Choreographer shout out goes to Amanda Cleghorn.  Born to perform and entertain, Amanda took her first dance steps at the age of three.  For fifteen years she trained extensively in ballet and pointe, modern, lyrical/contemporary, jazz, hip hop, tap, musical theatre, acro, and lifting and partnering.  Amanda began her training at JoAnne Chapman School of Dance in Mississauga, Ontario where she gained a solid foundation in technique.  She furthered her training at Vlad’s Dance Company in Markham, Ontario for one year, and then at Performing Dance Arts (PDA) in Woodbridge, Ontario for six years.  Amanda attributes her entry into the professional dance industry to PDA, owing much of her success to the studio.
In June 2009, Amanda graduated as a dance major from the arts program at Cawthra Park Secondary School in Mississauga, Ontario.  Some of her many accomplishments in the competitive dance world include winning Dancer of the Year and The George Lon Memorial Award 2008/09 at American Dance Awards.  She has had the opportunity to assist renowned choreographers such as Tyce Diorio, Stacey Tookey and Mia Michaels at national dance conventions, for So You Think You Can Dance Canada (SYTYCDC) Season 2 and 4 and for the American version of So You Think You Can Dance Season 8.
While Amanda found tremendous success in competitive dance, she now continues to work professionally.  You may have seen her as a “Camp Star” hip-hop dancer in the Disney Family Channel movie, Camp Rock 2 – The Final Jam choreographed by Rosero McCoy and Chuck Maldonado from Stomp the Yard.  You can also see her as a hip-hop dancer in the major feature film Honey, starring Jessica Alba, choreographed by Luther Brown and Laurie Ann Gibson.  Amanda was a principal dancer in the promo-commercial for Season 1 of SYTYCDC choreographed by Blake McGrath, and again one of four dancers in the promo-commercial for Season 4 choreographed by Mia Michaels.  Amanda was a featured dancer in recording artist Cascada’s newest music videos, “Au Revoir” and “San Francisco” choreographed by Luther Brown.  She danced in the ABC Family’s Christmas movie “Desperately Seeking Santa,” in a major feature film “Cobu 3D” choreographed by Tabitha and Napoleon D’Umo, and in an episode of hit tv shows such as “Nikita” choreographed by Roberto Campanella and “The LA Complex” choreographed by Jeff Dimitriou.  Amanda has also had the chance to dance on stage with Deborah Cox and Kellylee Evans for the opening performance of the Gemini’s 2011.
Most notably, Amanda appeared on SYTYCDC Season 3, finishing in the Top 2 as Canada’s favourite female dancer.  Her appearance on the show gained her the privilege of working with choreographers such as Tony Meredith and Melanie LePatin, Jean Marc Genereux, Sergio Trujillo, Melissa Williams, Bill T. Jones, Longinus Fernandes, Gustavo Vargas, Sabrina Matthews, Sean Cheesman and Sho-Tyme.  In addition to strengthening her core dance genres, she learned new types of dance including the tango, cha cha, salsa, quick step, house, afro-jazz, broadway and bollywood.  Amanda describes the show as ‘an experience of a lifetime.’  She plans on continuing to push towards a productive career in dance, as well as in acting and singing.  The entertainment industry is where she belongs; her love for all forms of art is second to none.  Amanda truly lives for an audience, to perform on stage and in front of the camera.
Bio Provided By Amanda
Find out what Amanda had to say in this weeks shout out…
Nikki: Do you remember the first time you started dancing?
Amanda: Yess!!! One thing I do remember when I was younger was all the crazy facial expressions I made on stage. I was in love with performing and entertaining everyone 24/7. I was definitely far from being a shy dancer and I loved to be the centre of attention. My place to shine was on stage and nothing was better than that!!!!
Nikki: Do you remember the first song you choreographed to? (Or your
earliest memory.
Amanda: Of course when I was younger, like any other young dancer, I always loved making up my own dances and shows to perform in front of my family. Most of which was probably improv at the time lol, but the first time I formally choreographed was in high school. I was a part of a Dance Repertoire and it was a group choreographed piece to the song “Bleeding Love” by Boyce Avenue. Looking back now, I would’ve definitely made a few changes lol.
Nikki: Your personal advice for dancers when it comes to free styling
Amanda: A lot of dancers are scared of free styling and I must admit I was to when I was younger. It definitely isn’t as easy as it looks and there’s so much to learn from it. Once you realize that there’s no right or wrong way to free style you learn to love it. It really helps shape a new way for you to move. Just be in the moment and trust yourself. Let your body take over and see what you can discover. Don’t worry about what you look like or how good it looks to others. Sometimes it might not feel good and that isn’t necessarily a bad thing, it just means that you’re discovering a new way of moving. If you want to explore different movement you have to be okay with letting go. I’ve learned that It’s okay to make mistakes or do new things that you’ve never done before because that’s how you grow. I think it’s a lot more beneficial for someone to go way past their comfort zone than to coast their way and go back to what they always know. Dive into it head first without thinking about it.
Nikki: Getting in the zone to choreograph, what does it take for you?
Amanda: Inspiration. I’ve got to love the song I’m choreographing to and want to dance to it. If the music inspires me the movement comes so much easier and it’s that much more enjoyable to choreograph.
Nikki: Who are some of your biggest influences in the Dance industry?
Amanda: There are a lot of great figures in the dance industry that I look up to. I’ve had the pleasure of working with some world renowned choreographers that have made an impact on the dancer I am today. Mia Michaels, Stacey Tookey and Tyce Diorio are a few choreographers that I’ve have the chance to work with and I admire. They’re such amazing assets to the dance industry and their work has added a whole new level to dance. Of course there are choreographers that I’m a huge fan of that I haven’t necessarily worked with. Wade Robson, Sonya Tayeh and Travis Wall to name a few. One person that really led me to pursue a dance career is my dance teacher Danny Poland. His dedication, energy and charisma has influenced me to push myself in everything I do. He’s one person that has always believed in the best for me. There are also so many brilliant dancers that I get so inspired watching. We’re so lucky to have sources like Youtube that allow us to watch dancers and their performances across the world!!!
Nikki: Name a Toronto Choreographer you enjoy working with and why?
Amanda: There are so many great TO choreographers to work with! I love working with Luther Brown. He has such a great energy to feed off of and he knows how to work hard and have a good time in rehearsal. The first project that I got to work with Luther was in Honey in 2003 and I got to reconnect with him on SYTYCDC. It’s always great having Lu Brown back in Toronto!
Nikki: Name one of your favorite artists to work with and why?
Amanda:  I’ve only had the chance to dance for a couple of artists, but my favourite artist that I’ve worked with this far is Cascada. I got to work with her in both her music videos for “San Francisco” and “Au Revoir”. Her personality is amazing and she’s such a nice person as well as a talented artist. I admire artists who are humble about their successes and are genuine and sincere to everyone no matter what. She was a real pleasure to work with.
Nikki: What was it like being the female winner for the 3rd season of SYTYCDC?
Amanda: It was incredible to say the least!!! I was honoured to be the female winner of Season 3. Everyone’s dream is to be a part of the show and to come out as Top female was even more than I ever imagined. I’m so thankful for having this experience because I not only learned so much about myself, but it was a great platform for me to start my dance career. It really proved to me and more how much I love dance and how much I can accomplish with a lot of determination and hard work. I got to meet so many talented choreographers and dancers that I have reconnected with in different jobs or events these past couple of years. This is one experience in my career that I will never forget. I have taken so much from this opportunity and I will continue to use what I learned from the show in everything I do from now on!
Nikki: Are you currently working on any projects?
Amanda: I’ve had so many amazing opportunities that followed after the show. I finished shooting a movie in the summer choreographed by So You Think You Can Dance’s Tabitha and Napoleon D’Umo called “Cobu 3D”. I also got the chance to work with them on the finale scene of “Alvin and the Chipmunks: Chipwrecked”.  I danced in an ABC Family Channel Christmas Movie “Desperately Seeking Santa” with four other dancers and I was a dancer in one episode of “The L.A. Complex” choreographed by Jeff Dimitriou. I was in the Season 4 SYTYCDC Promo Commercial choreographed by Mia Michaels and I was a dancer in a workshop for a musical called “Dancer” choreographed by Stacey Tookey in Toronto. I assisted Sean Cheesman on the Russell Peters Christmas Special and I’ve had the chance to assist Mia Michaels, Stacey Tookey and Tyce Diorio at conventions. I performed at the ParaPan Am Games in Guadalajara, Mexico choreographed by Luther Brown and Linda Garneau. I performed with Howie D. from the Backstreet Boys and Aleesia at the CityTv New Years Eve Bash 2012 at Nathan Philips Square. To say I’m grateful for all of the opportunities I’ve been given as a dancer is an understatement. I’ve been so lucky to be given all these incredible experiences and to be surrounded by such brilliant people!!!
Nikki: Qualities you think Toronto Dancers possess that dancers from other parts of the Country and States may not?
Amanda: I think Toronto dancers have the hunger and desire to train, audition and work in the industry. The dance industry in Toronto has been getting better over the years, but no matter what, the states has always had a lot more to offer in terms of jobs for dancers. We’re not exposed to the amount of auditions or jobs that dancers in LA or NYC have on a daily basis which increases the pressure for us to book the jobs we do have in Toronto even more. That’s why I think we’re such hard workers and we train as much as we can, so that when the big opportunities do come to Toronto, we’re all prepared and ready to audition!!
Nikki: Any advice for emerging dancers and choreographers working/training
in Toronto?
Amanda: Be willing to work as hard as you can to strengthen your art. Enjoy and learn from every job you do and make connections along the way. Of course you’ll have low moments in your career where you’re unsure of what you’re doing, but when you’re feeling like you’re at your lowest point, it only means that your career can skyrocket from there. Eventually all of your hard work will pay off and there will be a lot of generous people who will be willing to help you fulfill your career goals. All of it will eventually come together, you just have to put the work in to get the results you want! 🙂 It all starts with you believing in yourself and eventually the universe around you will make whatever it is happen.


6 Mar

This weeks Dancer/Choreographer shout out goes to Jasmyn Fyffe. Jasmyn is making her mark on the Toronto dance scene as a dancer and choreographer.  A choreographer described as “Alvin Ailey meets street dancer,” (Allan Ferguson – Director: Nelly Furtado Music Video), her work is created within a movement style that is an eclectic blend of her versatile training background while maintaining a strong contemporary foundation. As a choreographer, her credits include: “Pulse” commissioned by Dance Ontario (2012),  “Into the Roots. . .Beyond the Leaves” Sponsored by TD Bank in collaboration with Vivine Scarlett (2011), “Warfare” a DanceWorks CoWorks Series Event (2010), Guelph Contemporary Dance Festival (2009), Irie Music Dance Festival (2009 & 2011), Project Dance Toronto (2009), Bazaar (2010-2012), Dance Ontario DanceWeekend (2011), Choreographer’s Ball (2011) and Fresh Blood 2009 and 2010 (The Chimera Project); her solo “Indentity” presented in the 2010 showcase, got her an honorable mention by Artistic Director Malgorzata Nowacka.

As an independent dancer, Jasmyn has performed in the touring musical UMOJA and has been featured as a dancer with Grammy Award winning artist Nelly Furtado, in her music video “Night is Young.” She has performed for Dance Migration, Scott Fordham, KasheDance, Calu Entertainments, Linda Garneau and InDuo Danceworks.   Fyffe opened for international gospel sensation Kirk Franklin in his 2011 Toronto concert, and was also featured as a dancer on Vision Entertainments program of “The Seven Deadly Sins” which aired in Spring 2011.  In addition, this past summer Fyffe performed in two fringe festival shows (Catalyst and Jasmine Graham), the Dance made in Canada Festival, the Labspace art installation “In-Memory.’ Other recent performances include: Monsters Bazaar showcase, Planet Africa awards, RASTA (black history month launch at the R.O.M and the Martin Luther King Junior annual BBPA celebration.
Fyffe has been commissioned by Wish Opera, Cawthra Park Secondary School, Agincourt Pentecostal Church, Cathedral Productions, Obsidian Theatre, Dramatic Change Youth Theatre, Oakwood Collegiate Institute and Copper Coin Arts Association.   Her most recent commission “Pulse” was described as having “all the elements of a Broadway hit musical.” (Audience member Omar Al-Salmadi).   Fyffe is preparing for her company season show “Interlock,” which runs from March 14-17, 2012 and she is thrilled to share this production with the Toronto dance community.
Bio provided by Jasmyn
Find out what Jasmyn had to say in this week’s shout out…

 Do you remember the first time you started dancing?


Jasmyn: My mom says when I started walking as a baby I would walk on my toes and dance around.  I started ballet and west African/Caribbean at the age of 6. And I remember those classes very very well 🙂



Nikki: Do you remember the first song you choreographed to? (Or your earliest memory)


Jasmyn: The first song I ever choreographed to (at least that I can remember) was “dream lover” by Mariah Carey.  A few of my close friends and I were performing in a talent show and we created a routine. It was a group effort but I distinctly remember taking a leadership role in the making of this dance.



Nikki: Your personal advice for dancers when it comes to free styling?


Jasmyn: Just go with the flow.  Freestyling and improvisation is a way to discover new movement and to enjoy the pure joy and freedom of movement.  You definitely need to listen to the music and to your body and do less and less thinking about it.  Dance like your are in your kitchen just vibing. That is how I like to freestyle and it’s a great feeling.



Nikki: Getting in the zone to choreograph, what does it take for you?


Jasmyn: I LOVE choreography. So I kind of feel like I am also in that zone or mood.  But when I am making a piece, I generally dream, think, breath, eat and just live the concept and idea everyday until the piece is finished.  So, I saturate myself with everything about the piece to get it into my bones fully.  I try to have a really clear idea and concept and plan for what I want to accomplish in the studio each day. And I usually pray, to get my mind and body at ease and just let the mojo flow.



Nikki:  Who are some of your biggest influences in the Dance industry?


Jasmyn: I have been influenced by many choreographers and dancers over the years. The dancers and artists that I collaborate with greatly influence me, daily.  Specific artists, I would have to say: Crystal Pite, Camille Brown, Sidra Bell, Kyle Abraham, Karen and Allen Kaeja and Mia Michaels to name a few.



Nikki: Name a Toronto Choreographer you enjoy working with and why?


Jasmyn: I have enjoyed working with many choreographers in my career thus far, but if I have to choose one I would say Karen Kaeja. I am currently working with Karen on a solo she choreographed on me for my upcoming show and I like how she has pushed me beyond boundaries my own personal artistic boundaries but still allow my movement qualities to stand out and be uniquely me.  She is patient and really detailed which has also really pushed me as a dancer and is a lesson for me as a choreographer.



Nikki: Name one of your favorite artists to work with and why?


Jasmyn: I have been collaborating with a composer/sound designer Robert Kingbury for the past year and a half. I LOVE working with him because not only is he brilliant at what he does, he always understands what I need and is so easy going and easy to work with.  He is really a gift to me.



Nikki: Are you currently working on any projects?


Jasmyn: My most current project is my upcoming concert “Interlock.” This will be my second company concert, co-presented by Dance Works CoWorks. It features a mixed program of 6 dance pieces, including 3 world premieres.  The choreographers include: Jasmyn Fyffe, Karen Kaeja, Patrizia Gianforcaro and Kyra Jean Green. It will be taking place at the Winchester Street Theatre, from March 14-17, 2012.  We are really excited about it!



Nikki: Qualities you think Toronto Dancers possess?


Jasmyn: I think Toronto dancers are versatile, fearless and very strong.  I am so happy and proud to be a part of this dance community and I know we as a community will continue to push forward and make the community an even stronger, tight knit community of support and drive for excellence in what we do.



Nikki: Any advice for emerging dancers and choreographers working/training in Toronto?


Jasmyn: Just dream it, go after it and live it.  Allow your dreams to become a reality by working hard and taking everything step by step. Being a dance artist is not an easy career but no career is easy.  If dance is what you love, go after it and work for it. If dance is for you, it will work out.




Jasmyn Fyffe Teaser Reel from Jasmyn Fyffe on Vimeo.