The A&R Report had the pleasure of interviewing celebrity choreographer/dancer Natalie Eve Lyons. We talk about her accomplishments, goals, and outlook as a dancer coming up in the music industry.
Getting in the zone to choreograph, what does it take for you?
It takes a good song and a great beat to get me inspired. I love hibernating in the studio and really envisioning a story to tell the world that mimics the song.
How do you stay passionate and inspired by dance?
There is always more to learn as a dancer! There are many dance styles and every year there is a new dance craze. I always listen and watch artists who inspired me from the beginning of my career in order to enjoy the music again and again.
Who are some of your biggest influences in the Dance industry?
Some of my biggest influences are top choreographers and dancers that I have watched closely for many years. Luther Brown is a major influence. I was really fortunate to be trained by him in Toronto. The inventors of krump have also influenced my style. I looked up to dancers Danielle Polanco and Misha Gabriel. Most of all, following the careers of artists such as Michael and Janet Jackson have shaped my perception of what it means to be a dedicated individual.
Name your favorite artists you have worked and why?
Beyonce was definitely my favorite artist to work with because of her strong work ethic. She knows what a true artist needs to do in order to be a superstar. Willow Smith was also great to work with. She was very positive and energetic to be around. While working on her video 21st Century Girl, her whole family “The Smiths” were very nice to the dancers. All of the people I’ve met have inspired me to win big.
What influence do you feel training and gaining success in Canada has had on you while working in the States?
I began training in all dance styles, ballet and jazz, etc in the small city of Halifax located in Nova Scotia. I fell in love with hip hop and moved to Toronto where I started working with the top choreographers in the country. Those experiences prepared me for a career in the USA. Being on ‘So You Think You Can Dance Canada’, allowed me to meet other choreographers. With that, I realized then that there was so much more work in the United States for dancers, than in Canada.
In what areas do you feel you’ve grown and progressed the most in your dance career?
My performance quality and training has grown every year. Learning to market myself and finding the right agent, as well as learning to audition properly are all things I am proud of. Being at the right place at the right time and connecting with the right people who have helped further my career has allowed me to pursue my passion.
How do you go about seeking opportunity and remaining relevant in the dance industry? What would you advise aspiring dancers to do?
My ability to transform myself at all times has been an asset. Making sure my headshots are up to date and making sure my look fits the gig is important to me. Putting myself out there by taking dance classes regularly and learning new styles has also positively impacted my career.
I would advise aspiring dancers to map out their career goals clearly. From there they can make things happen by taking classes with choreographers they want to work with. Having a great relationship with your agent and branding yourself correctly are very important in this industry.
You have had the opportunity to both dance in and choreograph dances, what is next for you career wise?
I’d love to keep dancing and choreographing. I want to start acting as well and work on music.
What is something you’d advise dancers to go to help them progress?
Investing money into your career, looking right for the part at all times, working out as well as having good time management are all key things to consider. Try to work on your goal 24/7.
To Natalie’s credit, check out her career timeline below:
2006- Much Music Awards (Nelly Furtado ft. Timbaland)
2007-Keshia Chante Dancer (national tour and music videos)
2008-Move to Los Angeles
2008-Danced on Nickelodeon television show The Fresh Beat Band
2009-Performed with Montana Tucker ft. Flo-Rida
2009 -So You Think You Can Dance Canada Season 2 Finalist (Toronto)
2010- Assistant on So You Think You Can Dance US with choreographer Lil’ C
2011- Howie D- 100
2011- Fanny Lu – Fanfarron
2011- Dacolletage- Shake That Décolletage
2011- Anjulie – Brand New B*tch
2011- KIISFM’s Wango Tango – Sabi “Good Night” performance
2011- MTV Video Music Awards – Pitbull ft Neyo
2011- Billboard Music Awards- Beyonce
2012- B Howard Universal CityWalk
2012- American Music Awards- Usher
2012- Keyshia Cole- Enough of No Love Video
2012- Victoria Duffield- Break My Heart
2012- Willow Smith- 21st Century Girl
2012-Love and Power Promo Video
2012- Kristinia Debarge – Cry Wolf Video
2012- Dancing with The Stars- The Wanted
2012- Rebel City Chicks
2013-Beyonce Superbowl Half Time performance