Never underestimate the power of dance, when the body, mind and spirit interconnect. That power can often ignite the flame of life-changing inspiration. Whether modern, jazz, ballet or tap, dance is a universal language.
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Carrie Ann Inaba: The healing powers of dance
Carrie Ann Inaba is a dancer, producer, philanthropist and pioneer. She was one of the first Asian-Americans to perform contemporary dance on television in the U.S. She’s been wowing audiences for nearly three decades. In addition, this award-winning TV host has choreographed and appeared in numerous feature films for the big screen too.
Best recognized as one of the judges on the hit Emmy Award-winning American TV series Dancing With The Stars, she takes her job, and the work of the contestants, to heart. She also supports the Andrea Rizzo Foundation, which uses the power of dance to help children with cancer and special needs.
Carrie Ann joins May Lee in our Los Angeles studio to discuss her life, career, giving back, and how the power of dance can heal.
Nigel Lythgoe: Dance bridges cultural differences
English TV and film director Nigel Lythgoe is perhaps best known for creating the wildly successful television series Pop Idol, in the U.K. Then, bringing it to the U.S. and launching the mega-hit called, American Idol. But his roots in entertainment run far deeper.
Lythgoe began his career as a dancer in the British song and dance group, The Young Generation. He then went on to choreograph more than 500 shows in the U.K. and Europe, working with the likes of Gene Kelly, Bing Crosby, Chita Rivera and The Muppets.
He’s also the co-creator, producer and head judge on the Emmy Award-winning global talent show sensation So You Think You Can Dance. Lythgoe co-founded the Dizzy Feet Foundation, an organization dedicated to supporting, improving and increasing access to dance education in the U.S.
Recently, Queen Elizabeth even appointed Lythgoe to the Order of the British Empire (OBE) for his work in education, charity and the performing arts.
Nigel Lythgoe joins May Lee in our Los Angeles studio to discuss how dance has the power to bridge cultural differences.
Kayla Rowser: Breaking barriers
For centuries, dancers of European decent have dominated the world of ballet, but African-American dancer, Kayla Rowser, of Nashville Ballet, represents the changing face of today’s modern ballerina. Breaking racial barriers by dancing lead roles in The Nutcracker, Sleeping Beauty, Firebird and Swan Lake, she’s also been featured as one of Dance Magazine’s Top 25 to Watch, an honor given only to the most influential in the ballet world.
She’s outspoken about the importance of embracing all types of diversity in ballet, and hopes to inspire the next generation of aspiring dancers to achieve their dreams regardless of race, color or body type.
From Nashville, Tennessee, Kayla Rowser joins May Lee in our Los Angeles studio.
Dana Tai Soon Burgess
He’s been called a “national dance treasure”. Korean-American choreographer Dana Tai Soon Burgess has led his Washington, D.C.-based dance troupe, the Dana Tai Soon Burgess Dance Company, in performances on stages all around the world.
His recent work was inspired by photographs of the American Civil War.
In this week’s Full Frame Close Up, we talk with this American cultural ambassador who strives to use dance as a universal language, around the globe.
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