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(Photo by Mike Quan, courtesy Tricia Miranda)

 

Tricia Miranda may have left the world of classical dance, but the years she spent training with Arizona’s Yuma Ballet Theater and on the convention/competition circuit haven’t completely left her. As a choreographer for artists including Beyoncé, Demi Lovato and Missy Elliott, Miranda draws on her balletic roots, sometimes inserting an extension or a pirouette into her hard-hitting, full-bodied hip-hop routines, which regularly rack up millions of views on YouTube. Miranda’s choreography can also be seen on “The X Factor” and “So You Think You Can Dance,” and you can find her on the faculty of The PULSE on Tour. —Jenny Dalzell

 

“Missy Elliott called me to create her section of the Super Bowl Halftime Show because she wanted kids to perform, and she knew I had the best students. I love Missy’s music—I’ve probably choreographed to every song she’s ever done!

(From left) Gabe De Guzman, Will Simmons, Miranda, Kaycee Rice and Charlize Glass at the Super Bowl (photo courtesy Miranda)

I had to keep in mind that I was working with children, but those dancers can do anything. They can freestyle, tumble, break—and they’re amazing at contemporary choreography, too. Missy wanted the work to be super-energetic and told me not to hold back.”

“If I ever get choreographer’s block, I go on YouTube and watch old videos of Tina Landon, Janet Jackson and Paula Abdul. They’re my biggest inspirations. I love how simple yet visually effective their movement is.”

“For my 2014 PULSE Summer Intensive piece, I wanted to do something a little out of my element. I’d been working with PULSE students for the previous three years, and I was known for high-energy dance-hall numbers. This time, I tried something a little smoother, a little cooler. I love NYC in the 1930s—I picked out the dancers’ costumes first and looked for images from the time period to appear on screen behind the dancers. Then I started creating the movement to match that theme.”

2013–14 PULSE Elite Protégés (Platoon, courtesy The PULSE On Tour)

“For the 2013–14 PULSE Elite Protégé routine, I used a song by Elliphant called ‘Booty Killah (featuring The Reef).’ When I first heard the music, it sounded very jungle-like, almost tribal. I went shopping for the costumes and found a perfect mask for the dancers to wear—all black with a large beak. As it turned out, the mask didn’t really work. It was too hard to see through. Still, I used it as my inspiration. I choreographed a lot of head-pecking movements and animalistic crawling.”

(Photo courtesy Miranda)

 

“Brian Friedman inspires me in every aspect of life. He’s had such a long career. I used to compete against him when I was a kid in Arizona—he’d win everything! It’s so cool to see where his path has taken him. I get a lot of my drive from watching him work.”

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