Emmy-nominated choreographer Stacey Tookey is famous for her work on So You Think You Can Dance, but she's also worked with many celebrities, including Christina Perri, Justin Timberlake, Celine Dion, Bette Midler, and Michael Buble.
Emmy-nominated choreographer Stacey Tookey is famous for her work on So You Think You Can Dance, but she's also worked with many celebrities, including Christina Perri, Justin Timberlake, Celine Dion, Bette Midler, and Michael Buble. Initially pursuing a career in classical ballet, Stacey has since done work across all dance genres including jazz, hip hop, and contemporary. We learned more about what inspires Stacey's work as well as how she keeps her body healthy and fit despite her demanding schedule.
FitSugar: What inspires your choreography?
Stacey Tookey: My inspiration definitely starts with music. Especially for So You Think You Can Dance, you have to get the music approved beforehand, so I don't start the choreography and the whole concept before approval. I pick music I'm drawn to, sometimes because the artist's voice is so pretty, raw, and passionate. I also love violin, because it tears at my heartstrings. I want to choreograph something that makes people feel something and walk away with an impression and an emotion. I am also drawn to new artists.
FS: Can you tell us how you "discovered" Christina Perri?
ST: When I choreographed "Jar of Hearts" on SYTYCD a year ago, Christina was not signed, and she was trying to make it as an artist while working at a cafe in Beverly Hills. The first version I heard wasn't even a produced version – it was on my friend's computer. She got the song produced so it could be on the show. Her manager put it on iTunes just in case viewers wanted to download the song. At the time, no one had heard of her. The night it aired, she was the number one googled thing in the world. The next week she was flown to NYC to choose from a handful of record labels wanting to sign her, just from her exposure on SYTYCD. I saw her last week at the end of her headlining tour, and seeing her on stage like that made me cry. I felt like a proud parent. People like that are unseen all the time, but I'm glad that I had something to do with her success.
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