Gabrielle Rembert

Photo by Matt KarasCourtesy of MOVE|NYC|

Why You Should Know Jazz Funk Phenom Gabby Rembert

With laser-sharp focus and dynamite dynamics no matter the style, Gabrielle Rembert is ready to take the industry by storm. At just 5' 2", the 17-year-old takes up space and commands attention through her movement like a seasoned pro.

A West Orange, NJ, native, Gabby first began dancing at her mother's studio, now called Concepts Dance Academy, and quickly realized she wanted to dance professionally. These days, Gabby commutes into NYC almost every day to train with Steps Youth Program, Broadway Dance Center's Children and Teen Program, and Move|NYC|. Gabby has performed on "Good Morning America" and at the Rockefeller Center Christmas–tree lighting, and even assisted choreographer Charles Smith at the 2018 Brooklynettes auditions.

This season, Gabby's looking forward to touring with Revel Dance Convention as an assistant, as well as her fifth year in the Tremaine Performance Company. According to Gabby, balancing high school with a stacked lineup of training and touring has always been difficult, but she "wouldn't trade it for the world," especially because she knows she's on her way to achieving her dreams: "In five or so years, I see myself graduating from USC, and hopefully either touring with a pop artist, in a professional contemporary company, or in Hamilton on Broadway."

Gabrielle Rembert stands on her right leg (forced-arch), with her left leg in scorpion, and her left arm reaching forward. Gabrielle RembertPhoto by Matt KarasCourtesy of MOVE|NYC|

Fast Facts

Birthday: December 22nd, 2003

Hometown: West Orange, NJ

Dance studios: Steps Youth Program, Broadway Dance Center Children and Teen Program, Move|NYC|, Concept Dance Academy

Two words to describe her dancing: Dynamic, powerful,

Favorite thing about dance: "Being able to entertain others and make them feel something with the movement that I share."

Favorite styles: Jazz, hip hop, contemporary, ballroom

Favorite teachers: Keenan Cooks, Charles Smith, Lisa Harvie, Miles Keeney, Gwen Potter, Nijawwon Matthews, Maleek Washington

Favorite performance: "My recital at Concepts Dance Academy in June 2020. It was super-special, since it was the studio's first one since COVID-19, and I hadn't done a recital in years."

Advice for other dancers: "Chanel DaSilva, co-director of Move|NYC|, always says 'Nothing to prove, only to share.' If you walk into the room with a sharing heart and kind attitude, doors will open for you, and people will invite you in and want to work with you. Another thing I would tell dancers is to speak your goals into existence."

Dream artist collaboration: "I'd love to dance for Beyoncé—you can't go wrong with her."

Favorite TV show: "Law and Order SVU"

Favorite food: Mac and cheese

Nondance hobbies: Photography, painting, drawing

Place she'd love to visit: Hawaii

Dream dance mentor: Frank Hatchett

Most common dance correction she gets: "Keeping my shoulders down, and articulating my feet"

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Auditions rarely fail to deliver on suspense. But this? This was the nail-biter to end all nail-biters. Hayoung Roh and Chelsea McCloskey, both professional dancers based in NYC, had made it through what felt like endless rounds of cuts, both on Zoom and in person. Out of the nearly 500 dancers (from 30 states and nine countries) who'd answered the Knicks City Dancers' open call for video submissions, just 20 remained—McCloskey and Roh among them. "We were separated into six holding rooms, where we kept trying to figure out the math," Roh recalls. "How many girls are there in total? Who was called back?"

Finally, the women returned to the audition room to dance one last time—or so they were told. Instead, KCD head coach Alyssa Quezada dropped her bombshell: All 20 women had made the final cut. They would be 2021–22 Knicks City Dancers: the latest and greatest edition of one of the most prestigious NBA dance teams. "It was the biggest celebration and the coolest moment of my dance career so far," says McCloskey now. And that was just the oh-so-perfectly-dramatic beginning.

Chelsea McCloskey stands on her left leg while kicking her right leg up with her arms crossed, a smile on her face. She is auditioning for KCD. Chelsea McCloskey Photo by Tess Mayer

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