STILLWATER, Okla. – The 2015 Emmy Award-winning choreographer Tessandra Chavez is coming to Oklahoma State University on October 13 and 14. Chavez, an on-demand choreographer for So You Think You Can Dance, Dancing with the Stars, America’s Got Talent, American Idol, and X-Factor USA, will be on campus for a Q&A with students and two master classes. Students and the public are invited to attend!
On September 12, Chavez, along with dancer-choreographers Derek and Julianne Hough, took home the Emmy for Outstanding Choreography 2015 for their Dancing with the Stars season-finale routine to Sia’s “Elastic Heart.” For anyone who has seen the routine, either on TV or youtube.com, the award is no surprise. The routine captures Chavez’s signature choreography, a progressive brand of Contemporary that is both athletic and intensely emotional. Performed by the Houghs, the exciting brother and sister dance team, “Elastic Heart” became an instant classic. The routine, performed on May 18, also features young dancers Emma York and Joey German.
Besides a master choreographer, Chavez also has a reputation as an inspiring and in-demand instructor. Students lucky enough to secure a spot in the master classes will no doubt benefit greatly from the first-hand exposure.
“We’re launching a Dance Minor here at OSU,” says professor and head of the Department of Theatre Andrew Kimbrough, “and I want everyone to know we mean business. What better way to announce a thrilling new program than by inviting one of Hollywood’s top choreographers? I’m very grateful to Ms. Chavez for carving out time from her very busy schedule to visit us here in Stillwater. Thanks also go to her agency in Los Angeles, MSA Associates, run by Julie McDonald and Tony Selznick, who helped arrange Tessandra’s visit.”
Chavez grew up in San Diego, CA and began dancing at the age of 5, choreographing at 11, and she started her dance company, Unity Dance Ensemble, at 15. Chavez comes from a single-parent household and claims that dance was her major outlet. With a lot of support from her mother, Chavez graduated of the San Diego School of Creative and Performing Arts and received scholarships to continue training in Jazz, Tap, Modern, Ballet and Hip Hop. Besides her work in television, Chavez has choreographed for Disney, the Move Live Tour, and music videos, and received awards for her choreography with her dance companies Unity Dance Ensemble and Unity LA. She has taught in the prestigious Debbie Allen Dance Academy, Debbie Reynolds Dance Studio and the Broadway Dance Center in New York City. She currently teaches for The Pulse on Tour Dance Convention and Velocity Dance Convention.
Students and fans interested in learning more about Tessandra Chavez are invited to attend an hour-long Q&A in OSU’s Agricultural Hall room 101 on Wednesday, October 13, from 7:00 p.m. to 8:00 p.m. Ag Hall and parking are both located at the corner of N. Monroe St. and Farm Road.
Students of dance from high school and up are invited to attend two master classes the morning of October 14 in Dance Studio 1 of OSU’s Colvin Recreation Center. The first master class will be from 10:00-11:30 a.m. and the second will be from 12:00-1:30 p.m.
Students interested in attending the master classes must confirm a spot by emailing the Department of Theatre at .
This event’s primary sponsor is the Toni Melton Dance Fund, established by OSU alumna Toni Melton to assist the growth of dance programming at OSU. Secondary sponsors are the College of Arts and Sciences and the Department of Theatre.