New York challenges you. But one things that I love is our theater, the Brooks Atkinson Theatre. It’s old, it’s small, it’s not updated, and I think that’s magnificent for the type of show that we’re doing — especially for what I do as a tap dancer. You can feel everything that I’m doing. And I want people to have that experience. An hour before the show I call everybody in the cast to bring their tap shoes and practice and rehearse. And then another 30 minutes before I perform, I practice again. And sometimes we practice after the show, too. It’s nonstop music. I try to bring everybody into that kind of living.
What do you love about New York?
1. Dizzy’s Coca Cola room at Jazz at Lincoln Center. I started working with some of the baddest jazz cats in the business over there. So Lincoln Center, Rose Hall, that whole entire place.
2. Village Underground. A bunch of bands and musicians go there and play some awesome stuff every night of the week. So anytime I’m feeling like I need a music fix, I’ll go to Village Underground. They play, jazz, blues, everything.
2. Broadway Dance Center. I’ve been teaching there since 2005 and I still teach dance there on Mondays on my day off. You can take thousands of classes there in all the genres of dance [tap, ballet, hip hop, theater, jazz]. They took me in as a youngster when I was around 13 and gave me my first classes in New York City. They helped me grow into a professional. Just going in there about four or five days of the week to create was just like being in my own personal scientific lab. Every dominant or alpha dancer in the universe has probably stepped foot in that place. And just to be able to share the space and the energy with some of the great dancers of our time is amazing. it’s a learning experience every time you step foot in that building.
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