The one and only – Tony Stone!!!

May 19, 2008 § 4 Comments

OK, this is just one of those must-read interviews. I loved Tony Stone’s classes in Slovenia (he was here twice already), but learning how such a great performer and choreographer started off is even more inspiring. Please meet one of the most exciting, top world hiphop, street, jazz etc. choreographers (and music producers) Tony Stone. I recommend reading till the end, cause we saved the best for last 🙂 🙂

A little bird told me you only started teaching when you were 35? How did that happen
Actually my sisters were already taking classes as a hobby to keep in shape. They had such a wonderful time at it they talked me into coming in and trying it out knowing that I loved dancing and did it as a solo competitor from time to time. I was able to catch onto and pick up choreography very well, I was noticed and then asked to start performances professionally. That happened when I was 35.

Do you still have fun on each convention you give?
I do. Of course, with the heavy touring schedule I have there are times when I’m very tired at a particular event or convention but that certainly doesn’t take away from my enjoyment. I have always promised myself that if I stopped having fun, it would to time to wrap it up and walk away. I don’t see that happening anytime in the near future.

You’ve worked with a lot of celebrities – which do you enjoy most: the challenges of working with stars and making amazing shows or seeing a crowd of happy faces on a convention?
Can’t honestly say I would choose one over the other. Working with artist is what got me to where I am in the first place and it’s constantly challenging to bring something fresh, unseen and untested for artist and celebrities. And then to see your vision come to light from imagination to reality is a feeling like not other along with people screaming with excitement and enjoyment while watching your creation. But the fact is that you do those events and rarely get the opportunity to speak or dance with those same people that appreciate what you’ve done. This is why it’s so very special to be able to do conventions and dance events. The fact that you get the chance to work and play with those that might not normally get the chance to do so.

Please share with us some anecdote from ‘working with the stars’ world?
Really my favorite is what gave me the biggest opportunity to get me jump started in the professional world of dancing. When I went on a world tour with MTV for live and televised concerts as part of the opening act of a show that had 6 different acts. As we were maybe 2 weeks into the tour dancers unfortunately got injured working with Salt N Peppa. The choreographer then asked some of us if we could catch onto the choreography quickly and if we could, we would step into those injured dancers parts. I was one of those that could catch on extremely fast and therefore was the first guy asked to replace a dancer. I couldn’t believe it! Then 2 of the other celebrity singers noticed just how crowd pleasing it was to have dancers as part of the act and Falco along with Jose Feliciano asked if we could make up something for their acts, which we did. The final thing that came out of it was when the dancers for Vanilla Ice (that’s right, Mr. “Ice, Ice Baby” himself, asked if we would be interested in performing with them as well!!! So what started out as a simple opening act turned into 4 and 5 performances each night we went on stage. What a complete rush. There is nothing like that first time you get on stage in front of hundreds of thousands of screaming fans!!!! Nothing compares to it at all.

Nike has a nice saying “If you have a body, you can move”. Do you agree that almost anybody can dance?
I most certainly do. Of course, there are those that it may be more suited to but that doesn’t mean others can’t. To many people make the mistake that simply because it comes easy for others and not themselves, they can’t do when that couldn’t be further from the truth. If it were so easy, everyone would be a professional or even great dancer. It’s not easy for all. Some have a natural talent where others much focus on learning it more. That focus is what separates those who truly want it and those that don’t really want it.

What do you get out of dancing and teaching (besides the obvious :))?
What’s obvious to some may not be to others so I really don’t know how to answer this question. Without going into any long exhausting answer I can say that it’s what I love and there is nothing in the world better than being given the opportunity to do what you absolutely love for a living. Where that may obvious, that opportunity is indeed very rare. I personally make a point of reminding myself of this fact as often as I possibly can in order to never lose sight of just how fortunate I am.

How did you feel in Slovenia (you’ve been here two years in a row now)? Will you come back?
I would most certainly come back and in fact I will be back next year! I’ve already settled it with Nike and put it on my calendar for 2009. I really enjoy the event and the treatment of Nike for the instructors. The dancers and fitness people alike in Slovenia are exciting to teach with such a high level of appreciation and enthusiasm. I very much look forward to working with Nike and people of Slovenia.

Where do you see the connection between dancing and aerobic?
First thing is that they are both movement based and they are motivated music. They require a good sense of coordination and rhythm. Also, they promote being in great shape in order to perform them well at the highest levels.

Which is the motto that keeps you going?
Great question, I have a few actually.
1). There is no try, there is do or do not.
2). Science is organized knowledge, where wisdom is organized life.
3). A creative person is motivated by the desire to achieve, not by the desire to beat others.
4). If you ask a question you don’t want an answer to, expect an answer you don’t want to hear.
5). Never argue with an idiot. First they bring you down to their level and then they beat you on experience!
6). Treat every class like it’s a performance and every performance like it’s your last.
7). The candle loses nothing if it is used to light another.


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