Top-notch training and industry connections can turn a dreaming dancer into a syncopated superstar. That’s why Encore Talent Productions is planning a dance workshop like no other — providing a real life glimpse into the industry with people who are living it right now.
Celebrity choreographers Jimmy R.O. Smith and Chase Benz will be featured guest instructors at Encore Talent Productions’ dance and performance camp in Fairfield Township from June 29 to July 1. These A-list guest instructors have danced and choreographed for major artists such as Rihanna, Fergie, The Black Eyed Peas, Chris Brown, Christina Aguilera, Britney Spears, Jennifer Lopez and more.
“These guys are top notch,” says Leslie Fultz, social media manager at Encore Talent Productions. “They both have experience dancing and performing with major artists. If you were to YouTube these guys, you could find some pretty awesome clips!”
Fultz says it’s a passion, not just a profession, for Terri Shaffner, owner of Encore Talent Productions. “Terri is really focused on the improvement of these dancers and she’s extremely passionate about helping these young, aspiring dancers improve their careers to find an opportunity,” he says. “When she was presented with this idea she was excited because it’s hard for performers in the Midwest to connect with the LA scene. All of these people are being recruited out of Los Angeles or potentially New York so it’s really hard to find opportunity here locally.”
The special camp will be offered in partnership with AMP Music Academy, an artist development program that has trained major label and indie artists throughout the world. The three-day intensive camp includes dance instruction, music industry education, performance coaching, and instruction on getting started in the industry.
“The man behind putting the event together, Jake McKim with AMP Music Academy, helps to bridge the gap between the dancers and the industry,” says Fultz. “He really connects talent with the superstars. He works hard to get these dancers and music talent into a professional career.”
The camp culminates with an opportunity for students to audition and be evaluated by the Los Angeles-based agent Janee Lynch of the S Agency as well as AMP founder Jake McKim for consideration into AMP Academy’s full artist development program and further opportunities to audition in Los Angeles.
“Jake will be coming the final day of the three-day workshop, however, he will have a representative from his company present throughout the duration of the camp,” says Fultz. “In actuality, they could be scouting talent – so not only is this a great chance to learn hip hop, but students will be exposed to the industry on a level that most people in the Midwest can’t touch, feel or hear. We have 10-12 people registered for the event at the moment, but we would like to reach our goal of 50 people.”
Although this is a first time production for Encore Talent Productions, they are looking to plan more strategic events like this next year and open the door for industry talent to come in and run workshops. “We are looking at a potential of three classes next year as more of a series – offering hip hop, theatre, ballet, etc.,” says Fultz.
“There are so many choreographers and top notch dance instructors that run master classes all of the time, but to extract people that are actually on tour with top celebrities is tough,” he continues. “I like the concept here that kids can really get a touch of what it’s like to be in the industry from people that are there today. It’s always more effective when you have somebody that says, ‘Yes, I’m touring, traveling and interacting with J. Lo right now’ versus somebody who says, ‘Five years ago I did this.’”
For more information, or to register for the event, click here.