Video of the Month: Stormy Seas

Bruce Weber and Kathryn McCormick in the “Ocean”

Congratulations to John Torres, the latest winner for Dance Teacher’s Video of the Month!

The singer-songwriter’s newly released music video for his single “Ocean” features a seaside duet by “SYTYCD” star Kathryn McCormick and Cirque du Soleil dancer Bruce Weber. Stacey Tookey (DT, December 2012) choreographed, bringing to life Torres’ theme of an emotionally troubled relationship.

The piece was filmed on location in the chilly Pacific surf of Southern California, which posed a challenge to the dancers. “The outcomes of those extreme conditions are always the best,” Tookey says. “You have to be prepared to dance anywhere. As long as you know your parameters and you feel safe, you have to go for it. You’ll walk away with that footage or that photo and think, ‘That’s so cool. I did that.’”

As a choreographer on the “Ocean” shoot, Tookey’s responsibility was to help the director achieve his goals while considering the dancers’ limitations and safety. “Sometimes directors will push hard because they don’t know how physically demanding what they’re asking is,” she says. Requests for dancers to perform on the beach were met easily, as was the suggestion that they dance partially submerged in water. But when the crew asked to try the whole routine waist-deep in water, “I said, ‘Absolutely not!’” Tookey says, citing the impossibility of executing movement in water that deep. “It’s about communicating, collaborating and keeping your dancers safe, while pushing the limits as much as you can.”

Want to build buzz about your studio, workshop or class? Posting videos to the Dance Teacher Video of the Month Contest is quick, easy and free—and it’s a great way to get noticed. If your video is selected as Editors’ Choice, you’ll be featured on this page, and you’ll win a free one-year subscription to DT! Don’t miss out on a great opportunity—visit, share your videos and vote for your favorites.  Any and all kinds of dance are welcome.

Photo courtesy Sundari PR

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