The Dance Podcast

The Dance Podcast


Inspired by big dreams, big let downs and authentic conversations with some of North America's most successful dancers; the Dance Podcast is a series of interviews designed to inspire, share and connect dancers pursuing a career in the industry.


#075 Justin Stadnyk. Kinky Boots. Just Music. Side Hustler.  

Justin Stadnyk has performed in major Musical Theatre productions like Kinky Boots & The Boys in the Photograph, as well as used his talents and entrepreneurial spirit to build Just Music - an editing company dedicated building a Choreographers vision. We talk about the benefits of a side hustle, the worst part about Broadway auditions, and the magical piece that will make audition experiences successful.  

#074 Tilman O'Donnell: The Forsythe Company. International Choreographer. Explorer of Movement.  

An American dancer, who trained in Canda and has worked for years in Europe, Tilman O'Donnell is an International man of movement. From his Ballet school days to being the 'Dancer To Watch" and "Choreographer To Watch" via Ballet Tanz, Tilman shares the undeniable roadblocks that Dancers encounter mentally and physically, as well as the exercises to help break through. What is the one message every dancer NEEDS to hear? Listen now to find out!!   

#073 Dani West. Physiotherapy Dance Specialist.  

Holding an University Dance degree and a Master is Physiotherapy, Dani West shares loads of resources, techniques and body tricks to train and develop healthy dancers. From cross training to spine structure to giving yourself an edge- Dani has us looking a dancers body and brain in new ways!

#072 Harper Watters. Houston Ballet. Viral Video Queen. Social Media Star.  

You may recognize Harper Watters from his "pink heels" viral vids, but Harper is a demi-soloist at Houston Ballet and the face of The Pre Show on youtube. Harper talks about his early transition out of high school to Houston, the shocks and surprises of becoming a professional Ballet dancer, and how he structures his social media and builds his following. 

#071 Melissa Emrico. Ballet babe. Lady Gaga. Box Breaker.  
Melissa Emrico walked into her first dance class at age 12 and fell in love... well after overcoming a few aesthetic details! She shares her Ballet journey what it took to switch directions and head into the commercial world.

Melissa opens up about her first and favorite roles in Cats. And what happened on the national and international tour of "FAME: The Musical" that changed her career and training!

Melissa, or "Dina," as Lady Gaga called her, has ventured into commercial dance, feature film, and world tours. She has gone on tour with Lady Gaga and was a featured dancer in her video for "Marry The Night," as well as touring the world with A.R. Rahman, a multi-Grammy award winner and film composer who penned "Jai Ho." Other performances she is proud of are television shows such as "So You Think You Can Dance," "Dancing With the Stars," and feature films like "Gnomeo and Juliet" and "Step Up."

#070 Julio Fuentes. Cdn Musical Theatre. Choreographer. Teacher.  

Julio Fuentes is a Vancouver based dancer, MT performer, and choreographer. Although dance came to him at the later age of 19, he has since then fallen in love with dance and has been training & teaching throughout Canada. So, what's it like to take your 1st ballet class as a grown man? How do you break into the Cdn MT industry? Julio shares his dance stories, audition rituals & the powerful lessons he has learned from an injury. We talk body, mentorship, and the winding path of tries, fails & experiences in this dance world!  

#069 Lisa La Touche: Tap Dancer. Story Teller. Broadway Babe.  

Lisa La Touche never imagined Tapping her way through a dance career, but through a lot of love and hard work, Lisa has performed in Shuffle Along on Broadway, Stomp off-Broadway and educates around the world. We talk about her Plan A vs Plan B career strategy, how she locally created the opportunities that she was in search of, and about the inner voices & Artists Will that guided her journey. She has mentored by the incredible Sean Cheeseman and has worked with some of the Tap communities best like Savion Glover, Bril Barrett, Trey Dumas and Jumaane Taylor. Lisa also speaks to the Tap Legends like Gregory Hines, Buster Brown, and Jimmy Slide.  

068 Jake Casey. Ballet Dancer. Choreographer. European Puddle Jumper!  

What are the best & worst parts of being in a company? What is it like to be the only boy dancer, in the studio and at school? How do you get over the Europe to dance?  Jake Casey shares his thoughts and experiences. Casey was a 2013 NYC Finalist for the Youth American Grand Prix and joined Cincinnati Ballet in 2014 in the Corps de Ballet. In 2015, he choreographed a piece for the Inaugural Cincinnati Ballet Choreography Workshop. During the Summer of 2015, Casey danced at the National Choreographer’s Initiative in Irvine, CA. As a guest teacher and artist, Jake has instructed and danced at institutions all around the country, even virtually with CLI studios!

#067 Emily Bufferd. The Young Choreographers Festival Producer. Joffrey Ballet School Teacher.  Broadway Dance Center Instructor.  

Let's talk about building an International festival, teaching dancer's with a new vocabulary and the debatable line between Bravery and Stupidity! Emily Bufferd talks about NYC show BUSINESS and PERFORMING arts. A Producer, Choreographer, Teacher, and Performer, Emily Produces The Young Choreographer’s Festival. She also teaches at Joffrey Ballet School and Broadway Dance Center in NYC where she takes fresh approaches on how to train, support and talk to dancers.  Emily has also been featured by Dance Spirit, Dance Informa, and Dance Mogul Magazine, as well as on the television show ‘Inside NYC Dance’.

#066 Kathryn McCormick. Dancer. Mentor. Inspirational Speaker.  

Kathryn McCormick is a world class dancer who is recognized for appearances on SYTYCD, as a competitor and all-star, Step Up Revolution, and Like Air. Beyond the stage, Kathryn mentors the next generation of dancers to navigate the dance world and know their worth. We talk about how she got her agent, what grounds her when self doubt and fear show up, and her most powerful performance ever!

#065 Mentorship: How to approach a Mentor and build a powerful relationship.  

Mentorship is a powerful way to receive guidance and advice from the people who you admire and respect. So many of us crave mentorship, but what how do you approach a mentor? What do you do when you have one? And do you need one? With 5 steps, Lauren dives deep into the strength, approach, and relationships with a Mentor. 

#064 Erica Sobol. Capezio Ace Award Winner. Gypsy Project. Dance Maker.  
Erica Sobol is an LA native, now working as an International choreographer, movement maker, and soul shaker. We talk about Dance in College (as she holds a BA in dance-theater from the illustrious Columbia University), her time in NYC, what's like to be doing Contemporary work in the Commercial Hub of LA, and what she looks for in dance for her projects. She is a Grand Prize Winner of the prestigious Capezio Ace Award & founder of collidEdance company, and creator of the GYPSY PROJECT, a creative intensive designed to support and nurture artists bodies and voices.   


#063 Casey Garvin. Broadway Boy. Miss Saigon. Bullets over Broadway.  

Casey Garvin is the ultimate Triple Threat - singing, acting and dancing on the Broadway stages. Currently in Miss Saigon, Casey shares his journey from the audition, to rehearsals, tech onstage and opening night! What do you do when you bomb an audition? What's is like to work with  comedy masters like Zach Braff? How do you maintain your body? What did he wish he would have known about NYC? Listen up as we take you from the studio to the stage on Broadway. 

#062 Linda & Glenn Sims. Alvin Ailey Pros. Dance & Life Partners. Body Masters.  

They have dance for over 20 Seasons with Alvin Ailey - and done it withmastery and grace. From Injury prevention, to what dancers and parents need to know- Glenn and Linda share how dancers create longevity and happiness within their career, Linda Celeste Sims began her dance training at Ballet Hispanico School of Dance and is a graduate of LaGuardia High School of the Performing Arts. In addition to a National Foundation for Advancement in the Arts award, Mrs. Sims won Outstanding Performance at the 2014 New York Dance and Performance Awards (“The Bessies”).   Featured on the cover Dance Magazine, and in annual “Best of” lists, she has performed as a guest star on So You Think You Can Dance, Dancing with the Stars, and The Today Show. Glenn Allen Sims began his classical dance training at the Academy of Dance Arts in Red Bank, New Jersey. He attended The Juilliard School under the artistic guidance of Benjamin Harkarvy. In 2004, Mr. Sims was the youngest person to be inducted into the Long Branch High School’s Distinguished Alumni Hall of Fame. He has been seen in several network television programs, including BET Honors, Dancing with the Stars, The Today Show, and So You Think You Can Dance. 

#061 Jo'Artis Ratti. KRUMP co-creator. Community leader. Label breaker.  

Born in LA and raised in a pivotal period of street culture, clowning and growing aggression, Jo'Artis Ratti is one of the original creators of Krump. We talk about what KRUMP means, how it grew into an international phenomena, documentaries and dancing on tour with Madonna. It's a conversation with history, reality, and inspiration for all dancers and the dance community!

#060 Lauren Ritchie. Host. Educator. Dream Builder.  

This episode is dedicated to the Evolution of You; the wandering, curious soul committed to big dreams and personal growth!

#059 Chris Hale. Dance Educator. Community Conversation Starter. Curiosity Butterfly.  

Chris Hale is Associate Director and Director of Education at Pushing Progress Contemporary Dance in NYC. He started out in the industry as a Triple Threat and at a young age,  established himself at one of the world's leading Dance Drop-In studios, Broadway Dance Centre. Chris talk about how he built up his classes in one of the largest dance communities in the world,  how his perceptive of a dancer's body and its functionality has evolved, and OF COURSE, we connect about Liz Gilbert and the act of following our Curiosity. 

#058 Paul Becker. Choreographer. Director. Producer.  

What is the key to booking the job? How do you differentiate yourself? What are the "dos" and "don'ts" of reels? Paul Becker answers all of these questions and more! By the age of 19, Paul choreographed his first commercial and by 21, his first feature film. It all propelled him to quickly become one of the worlds top choreographers. Considered to be a protégé; of the genius Kenny Ortega, Paul has worked alongside Mr.Ortega on several occasions, including recently when he choreographed the Ortega directed Jonas Brothers' concert World Tour as well as Disney's record breaking movie Descendants where they were nominated for a World Choreography Award in 2016.    Paul is now touring throughout Canada with workshops and auditions to educate and cast the next generation of dancers! 

#057 Taylor Ward. Strength Training. Functional Movement. Flexibility.  

Taylor Ward, of True Dance Potential, has been creating dancer-specific strength and conditioning programs to support a dancer's body and development. Taylor's passion for dance was first sparked during her years of rigorous training under a nationally ranked high kick team. Well known for their athletic ability and stunning technique, winning national champions in 2008, 2009, 2010 and 2011. To take her love of dance to the next level, in 2013, Taylor auditioned for a world renowned TV show: "So You Think You Can Dance". She was highlighted as one of their favorites in Los Angeles but due to injury could not continue. In light of this event she co-founded an elite training program, True Dance Potential, in hopes of increasing the longevity of dancers' careers as artists and athletes.

#056 Sarah Dolan. Choreographer. Collaborator. Artistic Director.  

A sought-after choreographer and the Artistic Director of 02 the dance company, Sarah Dolan opens up about what it's like to navigate this unpredictable dance career. Sarah shares questions and answers to help all dancers find and build their artistic path. Listen now to hear Sarah's tips on your first steps entering a dance career, what inspires her choreography and what will make every job you do a great one.   More about Sarah- She has had the privilege of being part of numerous works and diverse dance shows. Sarah has had the honour of assisting Sean Cheesman on CTV’s So You Think You Can Dance Canada, Fox America’s So You Think You Can Dance, BBC’s So You Think You Can Dance UK and CBC’s Over the Rainbow. She has enjoyed being a part of Art On Ice as a Dancer and Assistant Choreographer/Creative Director, working with musical artist such as Jessie J, The Jacksons, Nelly Furtado, Tom Odell, HURTS and skating champions such as Tessa and Scott, Meryl and Charlie, Kurt Browning and Joannie Rochette. Sarah Dolan has served as the Artistic Director of O2 the Dance Company since it's creation in 2010. Her commitment to the art and its artists provide a critical framework under which the contemporary company and its members thrive.

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