Welcome to a New Year with Arts in Snellville. We are looking forward to sharing with you exciting news about our organization and the arts community here and abroad. This week we are featuring one of our talented dance instructors, Carl J. Windom. He is a Hip Hop choreographer and dancer and we are fortunate to have his professional level of expertise in our studios. He shared his extraordinary talent and personal insight of the dance industry to bring awareness to young performers.
Carl J. is from Georgia by way of NYC and has trained in all elements of performing arts. He has earned a B.A. from Georgia State University with a minor in Theater Arts. Carl J. has worked with many artists and franchises that include Jasmine Guy, GA Lottery, Ludacris, Tony Terry, and the WNBA Atlanta Dream dance team to name a few. His 2012 film credits include being featured and background dancer/actor for Disney's #1 film "Let It Shine" and will have another three SAG film releases where he plays a principle dancer and supporter actor in two of them. The titles include "Cupid Requiem" in which co-stars Amber Chaney from "Hunger Games" and "Blase", and "Honor Among Thugs" which he plays supporting characters respectively.
2012 credits for stage performances thus far include "Vegas Show" Musical at the Strand, "Sunday Worshipper" at Southwest Arts Center (lead actor) and currently "The Golden Girls."
Some of his favorite performances/appearances include GA Lottery Falcons/Eagles halftime where he performed in front of 70,000 fans at many WNBA Dream games, and being on "Single Ladies" first season. He thanks his parents for allowing him to experience Arts at a young age which helped shaped his character.
Alisa: How long have you been dancing?
Carl J: I've been dancing since I was 13/14yrs old, so a little over 10 years now. I started getting into it around that big 1998-2002 era when Pop music was big! I’ve been dancing professionally almost 5-6 years. I started really taking it and the Arts (acting, vocals) more serious and receiving training in college and a little after.
Alisa: Why did you want to become a dancer?
Carl J: I discovered I wanted to really be a performer at about 17. I did a high school pageant and performed vocals and a big dance number to Ciara’s "Oh" as my talent. The crowd received me well. I won the "Best Talent" portion and that gave me the feeling of really knowing that’s what I wanted to do.
Alisa: What embodies Hip Hop dancing?
Carl J: What embodies a Hip Hop dancer is spirit, energy and heart. Anybody can move if they try, but it takes a special person to moves to certain beats which is what hip hop is about, beats, culture, and energy.
Alisa: It seems that profound choreographers are dancers themselves such as: Debbie Allen, Paula Abdul and Alvin Ailey, so do you feel that teaching the art makes you a master at it?
Carl J: I would have to agree because as a teacher you never stop learning. I also agree that as you grow older the youth keeps you more involved in the culture as well.
Alisa: What makes a great dancer?
Carl J: Energy, Spirit, Passion
Alisa: Who are some of your inspirations in the entertainment industry?
Carl J: So hard....LOL! But my biggest inspirations have to be God, my supportive family and regular day to day people. I have a lot of people I meet every day who inspire me and for that I’m always thankful. People in my own industry I am inspired by are a lot of triple threats Jennifer Lopez, Destiny's Child, Debbie Allen, Johnny Depp, Michael Jackson, Janet Jackson, and Brandy.
Alisa: Share with us what it is like being Carl J. Tell us about some of the work that you have done that you were most proud of.
Carl J: Well it’s difficult, yet a lot of happiness, laughs and hard work. I love working in Arts and can do so long periods per day and be happy! But I also like unwinding time, like just watching a movie at home with a Subway sandwich LOL I’m proud of everything I have accomplished no matter how big or small the project. All of it helped shaped me to who I am today.
Alisa: Why is it important for people to be trained and how does this prepare them for success?
Carl J: Training allows you to be knowledgeable about what you do and give you and understanding of how something was built or created. It prepares you so you understand the foundation of what you are doing.
Alisa: What is your goal in dance for your students?
Carl J: My goal is for them to have fun, work hard and understand the foundation of the business and arts world.
Alisa: Why is there a need for this kind of dance instruction and career path? What opportunities are out there?
Carl J: There is a need for instruction, for career paths because instruction and thoughts lead to the opportunities that are preset for someone who is hungry to get into the industry.
Alisa: With your experience in Atlanta and New York, what is the difference in the Dance markets? What impact would you like to make in Atlanta?
Carl J: Atlanta is a great start market and also a great market in general because it’s growing. The difference is just the size and what you want to do. New York is bigger so of course there may be more opportunity however for Atlanta's size there are opportunities here as well. Both are different markets. New York is big on models, fashion, TV, and really BIG theater scene because of Broadway. Atlanta is good for Music-Artists, Dancers, upcoming actors, and some film and TV.
Alisa: Well we think you are one of Atlanta’s best and are glad to have you part of our team at T2I Entertainment.
Carl J. is ready for you to sign up for his classes beginning February 11, 2013. This space is limited so call today. He is also available for private choreography sessions for artists and professional dancers. Enrollment is now open for ages 5 -24 at Time2Inspire Entertainment Store located at Northlake Mall. See our website at www.t2ientertainment.com for details on classes, services and upcoming events. The classes are for any level of performer and we also have a traveling dance team through auditions only. Like T2I Entertainment on Facebook and call us at (770) 939-7333 or (678) 861-1815.