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Interview with Choreographer Neil Schwartz

Updated: Dec 10, 2023

1.Please tell us what made Neil Schwartz want to follow dance? Neil - I wanted to dance for as long as I can remember. However, it was one specific moment that made me realize that Music and dance would become a big part of my life. When I was 7 I used to sit at the base of my order sisters door and listen to all the music she was playing. It was Tears for Fears Head over Heals and Depeche Mode Enjoy the Silence that connected me to Music and Dance. I found a connection to the music of the early and late 80s that would eventually lead me to my artistry and allow me to pursue my dreams. 2. What is something that you always wanted to do in your career but have not had the time to yet? Neil - I knew at a young age that I would pursue something in the arts. However, I was at the time not quite sure what I quite wanted to do with it exactly. It wasn’t until I was 21 and had been diagnosed with a blood clot in my left leg that I said to myself as soon as I get out of the hospital I am going to pursue my career in dance head on without ever looking back……. no matter what others thought. 3. Who are some dancers or choreographers that inspired you early on in your career? Neil - Some choreographers that really inspired me towards the beginning of my career and till this day are Luam, Tony Testa, Kevin Maher, Miguel Zarate, Rhapsody, Tony Czar, Brian Green, Amount Boyz, Jonte and Ramone, Dana Foglia, Laura Edwards, Candace Brown, and more. 4. You have been all over the world teaching. Name a couple places besides New York City you enjoy teaching and why. Neil - I have been to many places to teach all over the world and I am super thankful and honored to be asked and considered. There are so many special places, however it was my first trip to Lima, Peru that changed my life forever. The community helped me to heal at a very hard time in my life. I was just recovering from a serious leg injury and it was the dance community there that finally allowed me to heal. It will forever be my second home. Special thank you to Leslie Feliciano and D1. 5. If you didn't pursue dance what would be your next career choice? Neil - If I wasn’t a dancer I most likely would have been an actor but this is another goal of mine that I plan to pursue as well. 6. What are some other styles of dance you wish you trained in but never did? Neil - Honestly, I would love to start training in ballroom. I have always at a young age been fascinated by this style and art form. I would love to try this one day as well. 7. Give us some names of your favorite songs to dance and train to Neil - Oh wow I have so many songs that I love to train in and dance to but if I had to list my favorite it would be:

  1. Janet Jackson: Control

  2. Sneaker Pimps: Six Underground

  3. Depeche Mode: Enjoy the Silence

8. Top 3 Favorite Music Videos (Dance Wise) Neil - Top 3 Music videos for me would be:

  1. Paula Abdul: Cold Hearted

  2. Michael Jackson/Janet Jackson Scream/ Janet Jackson Pleasure Principle/If (Sorry I know that’s a lot lol…but its the truth)

  3. Missy Elliott Beep me 911/ Aaliyah We need a Resolution

9. Who is your favorite Choreographer and why? Neil - Honestly this is a really hard question for me because I’m so inspired by so many….. If I had to pick tho it would have to be Miguel Zarate and Luam. There artistry speaks volumes and holds a special place to me as I continue to develop my artistry and voice. 10. If you had to compare your dance style to a superhero who would it be? Neil - Wow this is hard but I would have to say Negasonic Teenage Warhead. Badass, and plays by her own rules. She beats to her own drum and I like to conduct myself in the same way….. Of course with clapping my hands for good energy.

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