Teaching With The Stars: Hollywood’s Dance Studio

by on June 16, 2015
 

   There are certain things that are so ingrained in our current culture, we nary might be able to think of life without them. One of the grandest of all is, of course, the Internet: endless capabilities for research, information, viewing pleasures, music, human connection, and the list goes on. How different life would be if this once bud of an idea didn’t gain a group of followers who saw it through to a fruitful, paramount part of our daily lives.

   Such was the potential fate of hip-hop dance back in the late 80’s and early 90’s. What was said to be a “passing fad” eventually gained traction and absolutely exploded into an amalgamation of several various styles of dancing. It rules radio stations and dance classes still today. It is the choreography we see performed by Justin Timberlake and Beyoncé and Katy Perry. Hip-hop dancing and music have a symbiotic relationship, each inspiring the other to push the creative boundaries of the artists and dancers behind the pieces.

   As audiences of performances, we are treated to spectacular dances that are illustrative of the dedication and passion that serve as a foundation. Behind every great dancer is a great teacher. The choreographers and instructors of Millennium Dance Complex have trained some the most recognizable and talented performers, including Jennifer Lopez, Prince, Christina Aguilera, and a long list of others.

   With a mission statement of “unity through diversity,” it’s no wonder that all of the dancers who make their way through this studio share a creative palate for all different styles of dance. Co-founder and choreographer Anne Marie Hudson saw the potential for a dance evolution when the doors opened to the studio in 1992:

   “[Hip-hop was] a raw force that would come to break across all pre-established boundaries and unite cultures around the world… Our faculty was created from raw talent walking through the door. No resumes required at the beginning, each candidate was… hired on pure ability. The momentum of the hip-hop classes was building right along with the jazz and ballet. The students were trying everything, embracing the new, the old and each other.”

   After nearly 25 years, Millennium continues to see rising stars in its studio. Performers such as Missy Elliot, Britney Spears, and Usher have sat in on auditions for back-up dancers, and students are always learning a different style. With links to agencies, auditions, managers, and performances, Millennium will continue to curate top-quality dancers who keep the necessity of dance alive and well.