You know what they say about success: “It’s all about who you know.” While I think this is true, it’s probably more accurate to say, “It’s definitely partly about who knows you.” I’m convinced that if you are lucky enough in your career to come across a choreographer, director, teacher or coach who believes in you—who sees beyond your imperfections and inexperience to your potential, your talent, your drive and motivation—the sky’s the limit for what you can accomplish.
In putting together Dance Spirit’s first-ever commercial dance issue (Yay!), it’s incredible how many times we heard this story: Influential person takes chance on young, inexperienced talent who he or she thinks has what it takes to do great things. As a result, dancer breaks through to the next level in her career.
Cover girl Heather Morris had “Glee” choreographer Zach Woodlee in her corner. The two first met on the movie Fired Up—Woodlee was the choreographer, Heather was a body double. But Woodlee immediately saw Heather’s potential and added her to more scenes. Afterwards, he continued to call her for jobs, including “Glee.” Even though, as a professional dancer, she had limited acting experience, the show’s creator, Ryan Murphy, cast her as Brittany! Of course, Heather also has a few key innate qualities, including raw talent, a fierce work ethic, professionalism and passion—all necessary traits for anyone who wants to succeed in L.A. (or anywhere, really!). Turn to “The Road to Glee” to read the rest of Heather’s story.
When you’re finished lapping up her story of triumph, keep reading, because this issue is packed! We’ve got two more “Commercial ‘It’ Girls”: Lauren Gottlieb and Taja Riley; outrageous audition stories; choreographer Jorma Elo’s inspiration board (p. 28); your Nationals checklist; and an out-of-this-world fashion feature that is going to knock your socks off (p. 34).
Must. Read. Now!
But, wait. One last thought: No matter what the role or situation, always work hard with passion, honesty and professionalism. You never know who is going to recommend you for your dream gig.
Photo of Heather Morris by Joe Toreno