Teddy Forance moves through space like a martial artist. With super-human agility, he’ll throw himself violently at the floor, only to softly roll and slide across it, perpetually folding and unfolding his supple body like fabric billowing in the wind. It’s clear why Mia Michaels chose this 20-year-old heartthrob to be her assistant on “So You Think You Can Dance”: Teddy has it.
But Teddy’s career went global long before “SYTYCD.” After spotting him at New York City Dance Alliance in 2005, Mia invited Teddy to audition for a show she was choreographing for Greek pop princess Anna Vissi. Teddy, then just 17, landed the job and spent six months performing at a club in Greece. “The Greeks wake up late and party late,” Teddy recalls. “We got onstage at 1 in the morning and went until 3 am. It was like my first year of college.” The show combined contemporary, hip hop and aerial dance.
It’s a good thing that Teddy credits his artistic evolution with his extensive traveling, because he’s spent a lot of time on the road. Two weeks after his return to the U.S. from Greece, Mia called on Teddy again, this time for DELIRIUM, a touring Cirque du Soleil show that premiered in Montreal in January 2006. “The culture, the life, the different foods, atmospheres and energies—I think traveling gives you experiences that you can’t get from training in the dance room,” he says.
In spite of all his stage experience, it wasn’t bright lights that brought Teddy one of the most exhilarating moments of his dance life. Every Sunday afternoon on Mount Royal in Montreal, people from all walks of life gather for the Tamtams, a huge dance improvisation session with drummers and musicians. Last June, Teddy, in Montreal for Cirque at the time, decided to check it out. “I just closed my eyes, and I was dancing for a half hour. When I opened my eyes, I was the only one in the circle and hundreds and hundreds of people on the hill were staring at me,” he recalls. “I went for another half hour. Every time I hear drums now, I go right back to that place in Montreal.”
Dance is in Teddy’s blood. He grew up training at his mother’s studio, Hackworth School of Performing Arts in Easthampton, MA, which has been in the family since Teddy’s great grandfather founded it in 1934. But last summer he relocated to L.A. permanently.
Today, Teddy works with Broadway Dance Center’s The Pulse and teaches at conventions and studios. As for his next big gig, Teddy remains tight-lipped until it’s confirmed. But he rattles off his goals in one breath: “Settle into L.A., make my community, have a lot of friends, be happy and follow where my path takes me.”