My Story

More than Moves TV

Dana Wilson

My (on the awesome side of  “normal”) mom put me in dance class at the ripe old age of THREE. Since then I have been relentlessly slaving to perfect my craft.  I received the majority of my training in Jazz, Ballet, Tap, Contemporary, Lyical etc etc etc etc. at Michelle Latimer Dance Academy in Colorado.  Somewhere around 16years (or however old I was when Britney and Justin wore matching denim outfits to the VMAs), I made the decision that I LOVED HIP HOP, and I wanted to be in music videos.  That decision gave my mother pulmonary hypertension.  Alas, It was MY decision, and I did what I had to, to make it my reality.  I picked up a couple (three) jobs, saved up ten thousand smackers, graduated with Honors, and I hit the road for LA.

After living off of the goodwill of Dee Caspary and Nick Bass (in a BAD ASS LOFT downtown) for about a month, I found a sweet little apartment (without air conditioning, a dishwasher, laundry, or a fridge… but don’t worry, what it lacked in amenities, it made up for in roaches). My days (Mon-Sat 6am-3pm) were spent at Urban Outfitters in Burbank (I can fold a T shirt in less than 1 second).  My afternoons were spent either in class or crashing auditions.  Nights, more class!!! Occasionally followed by an all night “ping pong” party at the Infamous T-Fey’s house.  I distinctly remember a chapter of my life where I would sleep on top of my fully made bed because it wasn’t worth the time or energy to un/remake it for a few hours of sleep.   After about a year of this, and only ONE notable dance job (Evolution Dance Company) the 10,000.00 was almost dried up, and the VW Beetle was totaled.  Welcome to LA!

During this time, the most important thing in the world was my family (and I include the best friends in that category).  They kept me grounded, focused, and sane.  It feels appropriate to send a special thank you to my aunt Michelle (who died of a heroin overdose) for ridding me of any inclination to experiment with drugs.  Crucial.  What happened next is the stuff that movies are made of.

They say… “success is what happens when preparation meets opportunity”.   I will simply change the wording of this phrase so that it better describes my specific experience.  “Working as the Assistant choreographer and dancer on a world tour with Justin Timberlake is what happens when you bust your balls to master Marty Kudelka’s style.  You form a solid personal, and professional relationship with the guy, and then one day he turns to you and says “ that was J on the phone, he is getting ready to make history…again… are you down to help out?”  After I mulled it over in my head a few times… I decided… YES I’m down… and so we did. I danced with one of the greatest entertainers of our time, in front of hundreds of thousands, and I haven’t stopped moving since.

I have worked on countless commercials, award shows, movies (Shrek 4, and Charlie Wilson’s War), Television shows (SYTYCD, Dancing With the Stars, America’s Got Talent, and American Idol), a stint with Cirque Du Soleil, and a world tour with Justin Timberlake (the Future, Sex, Love Show).  It’s strange to think that after all of that, I have only done a handful of music videos, but I have snagged some incredible time with the The Backstreet Boys, Britney Spears, Joe Jonas, and Florence and the Machine. Some of my fondest work experiences were working in creative development alongside renowned choreographers such as Toni Basil, Marty Kudelka, Tony award winner Andy Blankenbuehler, and Emmy award winner Wade Robson.  Each of these professional experiences has sculpted me into the person that I am today.  They have given me a story to tell, a voice to tell it with, and a GLORIOUS audience to talk to.  In our conversation about dance… If you were to ask me “What is it all about?”,  I would tell you “Its about connection… it’s about MORE THAN MOVES”

 

There is not another person I could think of that would be better and more entertaining to put on a show about how dance revolves around life. You'll break a leg watching!!"
-Joey Dowling