Choreo Turn-Onschoreo turn ons

Getting Smart About The Biz starts here!

Making yourself valuable on-the-job is an advantage that every dancer should have! When these choreographers see it happening, you become a candidate for every gig they do!  

MiaMichaelsNewMia Michaels

Credits include Finding Neverland on Broadway, Madonna and Prince's world tours. Celine Dion's Las Vegas show, 2008 Emmy Award for her work on SYTYCD

1. (Turn-off!) Once in awhile, I question diva attitudes. Bringing them into rehearsals tends to make everyone feel less important than they are. Not pleasant. Bad energy in the workplace spreads and affects everyone. All of us must be accountable for our behaviors.

2. (Turn-off!) Lateness drives me nuts. That definitely falls into the category of disrespect. Too many of us are guilty of it.

3. (Turn-off!) Another trait that falls into the disrespect category is laziness. I expect 100% from dancers because that's how much I give to them.

4. (Turn-off!) Marking choreography doesn't make you a better performer. I believe that what a dancer does in rehearsal, they will do onstage. I'd rather work with a less-talented dancer that's willing to work their butt off.

5. (Turn-on!) I love dancers that stay true to their own style of movement. Creating on unique creatures always catapults me to new ways of creating movement.

6. (Turn-on!) Stay hungry to become the best that you can be. Never be satisfied with the level of artistry you've attained. You can always be better.

KENNYortegaPeggyH-150Kenny pictured with Peggy Holmes

(pictured with Peggy Holmes) is an award-winning dir/choreographer in film, television, and live tours. Credits include High School Musical and Michael Jackson’s This Is It movie.

7. (Turn-on!) 'When hiring dancers, 2 amazing ones (Andrea Wilson and Liz Imperio) set the standard for me a long time ago. They always brought incredible energy into the room. I always knew I could count on them. I hired them over and over again because their energies were contagious. They excited and inspired everyone around they could handle anything I choreographed. Team-players don't get better than that.'

8. (Turn-off!) 'I try to create an enjoyable environment to work in. Yes, there are amazing dancers to hire..and there are also dancers who are only out for themselves and aren't interested in the needs of others. They won't stay the extra five minutes or show up early the next morning to work on something before rehearsals start. Some are only concerned about their position in a line or how close they are to the camera. Some bring personal baggage into the room. I understand what that's about. It's a tough world, but when you arrive to work, you're supposed to leave personal dramas outside of the workplace.'

NY-based choreographer of the musical “Footloose.”

9. (Turn-off!) I encourage young dancers to develop an eye for duplicating choreography. Too many dancers show up at auditions and just do their comfortable version of the step.

Multiple Tony award-winning dir/choreographer of The Producers and Contact.

10. Tturn-off!) At auditions, I read dancers' resumes. If they've worked with someone I know, I often call them up and ask what that dancer was like to work with. If I learn that the dancer has a history of questionable behavior, I won't hire them no matter how good a dancer they are. Pay attention to your reputation.

11. (Turn-off!) Once in a while, you'll get a dancer who doesn't seem to be in the room with you. That stifles creativity.

12. (Turn-on!) I prefer to work with dancers that I know are not afraid to show me who they are. Their personalities often inspire my choreography.

Choreographer of the Bway revival of Kiss Me Kate and artistic director of N.Y. City Center's Encore Series.

13. (Turn-on!) I love dancers who are focused, not just on the steps and making themselves look good, but also on the big picture. Tuning in to what the choreographer is going for is critical.

New York-based teacher. Choreo'd the film "Best Little Whorehouse In Texas."

14. (Turn-on!) I look for more than technically-equipped bodies to work with. I want life forces that shine through every step.

15. (Turn-off!) Too many dancers get stuck in the mirror. It tends to prevent communication of what the step is about because the dancer is focused on looking at themselves.

Choreographer and creative visionary for Britney Spears. 2009 Emmy award winner for his work on SYTYCD.


16. (Turn-on!) Successful dancers never forget they have a responsibility to the up-and-coming. In the workplace, they act accordingly.

17. (Turn-on!) When seeking work, keeping one's natural, raw self in the foreground is important.  Performing is the root of a dancer's soul.  Honor it by keeping your standards high.

18. (Turn-on!) Praise is to be accepted, appreciated, and let go.  Work is the thing. Follow Michael Jackson's advice: Study the greats and become greater.

Director/choreographer of Bway's Swing! and The Tin Pan Alley Rag plus ballets for major dance companies.

19. Tturn-on!) I have to admit I'm attracted to dancers who are willing to go the extra distance.  (turn off!) I'm very sensitive to behavior in the room.  When I see protocol or courtesy betrayed, I pick up on it right away.  Too often, I find myself wondering if I want to spend the next couple of weeks of my life tolerating bad behavior.

Choreographer and recipient of an American Choreography Award for Achievement in Motion Pictures.

20. (Turn-on!) I hire dancers who arrive at performance level before they get in front of the camera. I also respond to dancers that bring me more than the steps. Any decent dancer can do the steps.

Choreographers for Usher on the Teen Choice Awards, and projects with Lids Left Eye Lopez and Smashmouth.


21. (Turn-on!) Initiative counts. It's your job to knock on doors to get started.

22. (Turn-on!) Freestyle dancing is getting more precise. Pay attention to the quality of your moves.

23. (Turn-on!) With faith in yourself, nothing can get you down.

Award-winning music video/pop tour choreographer.

TinaLandon-150Tina, the cover girl

24. (Turn-off!) Dancers whose technique interferes with releasing the soul. (turn-on!) Dancers whose technique doesn't interfere with releasing the soul.

25. (Turn-on!) Dancers who respect the needs of other dancers.  At auditions, I've heard myself say, 'if your're not going to trade lines with people when I ask you to...I don't want you on my tour.  You're showing me you're just here for yourself.  So, if you don't respect the needs of other dancers, you're not going to respect mine, either.'

26. (Turn-off) When dancers come into my rehearsals giving attitude or having a tendency to gossip, they usually end up going bye-bye. Nobody dances that good to put up with inappropriate behavior.

Award-winning choreographer / performer. Michael Jackson's This Is It movie.

travis_color-150Travis Payne

27. (Turn-on!) Dancers who pay attention to period choreography. Dancemakers like to make old stuff cool again.

28. (Turn-on!) Crossover careers are gaining in popularity. Dancers are choreographing. Choreographers are dancing. Both can grow from the experience.

Award-winning choreographer in film, music video, commercials, and TV

29. (Turn-off!) Problem makers.

30. (Turn-on!) Problem solvers.