Ellenore Scott (courtesy Marc Fisher LTD)

Ellenore Scott Shares Highlights From Choreographing Marc Fisher's Latest Fashion Footwear Campaign

It's the most wonderful time of year for fashion and fierce fall fashion/dance collabs are all over the place. But we had to pick our jaws up off of the floor after watching the new dancetastic Marc Fisher LTD footwear commercials. The shoe brand created one of the most compelling ads we've seen thanks to the fancy footwork of six dancers and the choreography of "So You Think You Can Dance" alum Ellenore Scott. We talked with the multi-talented artist to find out how choreographing for a fashion commercial compares to creating routines for live shows on Broadway, like King Kong (which opens Nov. 8th). Check out our interview where Scott shares tips on what you can do to also become a choreographer in the biz one day.

How did choreographing for this footwear fashion line differ from your typical choreo projects on Broadway?

Choreographing for the Marc Fisher LTD commercial was very different than working on Broadway. I always emphasize performance quality to my dancers and make sure they're very aware of their faces while dancing. What was unique about this project was the fact that their faces weren't part of the campaign. In order to emphasize the footwear and make the shoes stand out, I had to get the same energy and performance quality in just their feet and legs. I made sure the movements were dynamic and energized so that you can feel their performances

What are some challenges that come with choreographing for a fashion campaign like this one?

When I started doing pre-production for this commercial, I realized I love to choreograph arm movements in tandem with leg movements. Because of how we shot the feet, the arms had to be wrapped around each dancer so they weren't in the shot. The movements became a little more difficult when the arms were out of the picture, so finding moves that still looked cool but were easy to do was a bit challenging.

What was your favorite part of this project?

My favorite thing about this project was watching the dancers work with the director of photography. Seeing the images that were being captured was so much fun. I love being behind the scenes and on the other side of the camera to see what it's capturing. The movements looked so different from one shot to the next and it was awesome to see how vibrant the shoes became on film.

What inspired your choreography for this project?

When I began choreographing for this project I wanted to make sure that each shoe style had its own specific style of movement. I had to find a balance of individuality for each style as well as a cohesive theme for the line. The shoes are beautiful, but strong so that was one of my main inspirations for the movement. For the combat boot series I wanted it to be slightly militaristic and was very inspired by the theme "line up." Finding the rhythm of the shoe styles was very important for me. I was also inspired by the look of the shoes and the type of people that would wear those specific shoes, and geared the choreography towards those people.

Why do you think fashion designers have such a fondness for dancers to show off their designs?

Fashion designers love dancers because of their body awareness and the beautiful lines they create. Dancers have a way of being smooth and sharp, and that gives a dynamic texture to any accessory or garment. Seeing a piece of clothing or accessory move through space is exhilarating. I think it's a unique way to market fashion and will always draw attention to the garment or accessory.

Choreographer Ellenore Scott (center) with dancers and staff for the new Marc Fisher fashion campaign (courtesy Marc Fisher LTD)

What advice do you have for young dancers who want to choreograph one day?

My biggest piece of advice for any aspiring choreographer is to see as much art as possible. I'm inspired by so many different things including paintings, singers, designers, and even orchestras! Art is a beautiful expression and being able to see how other people create can influence how you approach movement. My other piece of advice is to continue to challenge yourself. Never pigeonhole or put yourself in a box. The minute you tell yourself I can only choreograph this "style", you're limiting yourself from so many other opportunities to choreograph. When I first began choreographing I thought I could only choreograph for modern dance companies. But because I opened myself up to other styles and took some risks, I'm now working as an associate choreographer on Broadway and choreographing fashion commercials! I'm lucky to have these opportunities, but I wouldn't have gotten them without having the courage to push myself beyond what I originally thought I could do.

Latest Posts

Photo by Lindsay Thomas

Ashton Edwards Is Breaking Down Gender Barriers in Ballet

When Ashton Edwards was 3 years old, the Edwards family went to see a holiday production of The Nutcracker in their hometown, Flint, MI.

For the young child, it was love at first sight.

"I saw a beautiful, black Clara," Ashton says, "and I wanted to be just like her."

Ashton has dedicated 14 years of ballet training in pursuit of that childhood dream. But all the technical prowess in the world can't help Ashton surmount the biggest hurdle—this aspiring dancer was assigned male at birth, and for the vast majority of boys and men, performing in pointe shoes hasn't been a career option. But Ashton Edwards, who uses the pronouns "he" and "they," says it's high time to break down ballet's gender barrier, and their teachers and mentors believe this passionate dancer is just the person to lead the charge.

Keep Reading SHOW LESS
Photo Courtesy of Apple TV+

All the Hollywood and Broadway Musical Moments to Look for in “Schmigadoon!”

In the middle of the COVID-19 pandemic, a group of about two dozen dancers got the rare opportunity to work on an upcoming Apple TV+ series—one devoted entirely to celebrating, and spoofing, classic 1940s and '50s musicals from the Great White Way and Hollywood. "Schmigadoon!", which premiered on AppleTV+ July 16, stars Cecily Strong and Keegan-Michael Key, who get stuck inside a musical and must find true love in order to leave. The show features a star-studded Broadway cast, including Aaron Tveit, Ariana DeBose, Kristin Chenoweth, Alan Cumming, Jane Krakowski and Dove Cameron, and is chock-full of dancing courtesy of series choreographer, Christopher Gattelli.

"The adrenaline was pretty exciting, being able to create during the pandemic," says Gattelli. "I felt like we were representing all performers at that point. There were so many who wanted to be working during the pandemic, so I really tried to embrace this opportunity for all of them."

Gattelli says it was a dream come true to pay tribute to the dance geniuses that preceded him, like Michael Kidd, Agnes de Mille, Onna White and Jerome Robbins, in his choreography. Each number shows off a "little dusting" of their work.

Dance Spirit spoke with Gattelli about all the triumphs and tribulations of choreographing in a pandemic, and got an inside look at specific homages to look out for.

Keep Reading SHOW LESS
Getty Images

Shouldering the Load: What kind of dance bag should dancers use?

Walk into any dance convention, audition or class, and you'll see a vast variety of dance bags lining the walls. But can the style of bag you use (and how you wear it) have an impact on your dancing?

Don't worry—you won't have to shoulder the load alone. Dance Spirit spoke with two physical therapists who specialize in working with dancers to find out what dance bag is best.

What should dancers look for in a dance bag?

Dr. Meghan Gearhart, physical therapist and owner of Head2Toe Physical Therapy in Charlotte, NC, recommends dancers opt for a backpack-style dance bag rather than a duffel or cross-body bag.

"A bag that pulls the weight all to one side creates a side bend and rotation in the trunk," Gearhart says. "That is going to lead to muscle imbalances that will affect dancers while they're dancing, as well as just in regular everyday life." Muscle imbalances can mean limited mobility on one side of your body, as the muscles on one side are overly contracted and the other side is overly extended to compensate.

Gearhart suggests dancers pick a backpack made from a lightweight yet durable and breathable material, such as cotton, linen, nylon or polyester. Straps should be wide enough to not dig into your shoulder muscles, so avoid drawstring styles with rope straps. Adjustable and padded straps are best, so you can wear the straps at a length where the bag rests at the middle of your back.

Dr. Bridget Kelly Sinha, physical therapist and founder of Balanced Physical Therapy and Dance Wellness in Matthews, NC, emphasizes the importance of finding an even weight distribution when choosing a dance bag.

"If a dancer has a lot to bring, like when heading to the theater for a full day of rehearsals and performances, then I recommend a rolling suitcase to offset the load," Sinha says.

How should dancers wear their bags?

Even if you've selected the perfect dance bag, it's important to be mindful of how you wear it.

Gearhart advocates wearing both straps when carrying your backpack. She also suggests placing heavier items towards the back of the bag, where they will sit closer to your body. A bag with straps that are too loose (or a bag that is too heavy) can create an increased arch in the lower back or cause a dancer to compensate for the weight by leaning forward. Ideally, Gearhart recommends a dancer's dance bag weighing no more than 10 to 15 percent of their body weight.

"I usually tell dancers to use their common sense. If you don't have tap today, you don't need to bring the tap shoes," she says. "If your water bottle makes the bag too heavy, just carry it." If your studio offers lockers, take advantage of that storage space to lessen the number of clothes, shoes, and dance accessories that live in your dance bag.

And if you think your bad dance-bag habits have given you alignment issues, seek out a dance physical therapist to prevent further injuries.

"As a dancer, your body is working so hard all day," Sinha says. "It does not need excess strain from your bag."

Editors' Picks

Enter the Cover Model Search