"Believe in yourself and others will follow." The Wisdom of Dancer/Teacher Scott Fowler

Scott Fowler is easy to love and is loved by many!! I’ve had the privilege and honor to have worked alongside him as a dancer on many projects and as a choreographer and creative being.  

His work as a dancer spans from the stage to the screen in six BROADWAY shows, national tours, a three year run with CHER in Las Vegas, to numerous Feature Films including the Oscar winning film CHICAGO and countless Television appearances.  The list is endless, and so is his passion and love for dance!  

Scott danced early in his career with the NEW YORK CITY BALLET and the BOSTON BALLET and shares his knowledge, passion and expertise with our younger generation of performers around the country.  What lucky dancers to receive his gifts!!   

I am so grateful to be inspired by my friend, and very happy he joined me for my Choreographer Interview Series.  Please enjoy the insight and gifts of Scott Fowler.

TNH:  How did dance influence your life as a young person?

SF:  Dance and the dance studio was my refuge, a place I could go where I was accepted and felt safe. It was my playground and learning space where I could explore, be creative, express myself and be with like-minded people. It was my reality, my fantasy, my DREAM and eventually my career and lifelong PASSION.

TNH:  What do you love about dance?

SF:  I love the dedication it takes, the friendships you make, the children you can INSPIRE.  The freedom it gives my body and the life it has provided for me. It hugely defines who I am.  It has been my life since the age of 4 and I was taught by my Uncle Bill Fowler, so it's a family affair. I, in turn, am passing it on to my 12 year old niece Julia. I LOVE EVERYTHING ABOUT DANCE.  The art form, the discipline, the people, the fun, the creativity......the LIFE!!!!

TNH:  You’ve had such a prolific, amazing and diverse career.  What advice would you give to a young dancer/performer who’s just starting out with big dreams?

SF:  Dream BIG and continuously. Be kind and have courage. Be open and versatile. Say yes to everything, yet honor your body and soul and be WILLING to stand up for yourself and say no when your intuition tells you so. The dance community is small.  Your REPUTATION is everything. Live your life with INTEGRITY.  Fasten your seatbelt and ENJOY the ride!!!

TNH:  The entertainment business can have lots of ups and downs and rejection.  How have you stayed confident and self-accepting throughout your career?

SF:  These are a few things I say to myself in regards to show business and the audition process...

  • Suit up, show up and stay out of the results. 
  • What people think of me is none of my business.
  • I'm powerless over people, place and things. 
  • Do your BEST.  Say "THANK YOU" and leave with a smile and your head held high.
  • One person can't be right for everything but completely right for some things.
  • Believe in yourself and others will follow.
  • Acceptance is the answer.
  • Everything that happens in my life, happens for my benefit! 

TNH:  What principles do you bring to your teaching and mentoring?

SF:  To inspire…

  • To pay It forward.
  • To have integrity.
  • To be kind.
  • To respect the art of dance and the dancers who came before you.
  • To work hard, have dedication, self respect and be disciplined. 
  • To be of service and share the art.
  • To tell the truth and go out of your way to nurture the potential.
  • To have FUN and feel safe to explore and take chances.
  • That we are the lucky ones and to be GRATEFUL.
  • To cherish the dance studio and the MAGIC that happens inside its walls.
  • That your EGO is not your AMIGO.

TNH:  Who and what inspires you to be creative and do the work that you do?

SF:  My Uncle Bill Fowler who is my mentor, teacher and inspiration to this day. He owned a school in Medford, Massachusetts for over 40 years and has touched the lives of countless dancers throughout the country and world, and at 75 years old, continues to do so. The children and the passion and desire I see in their eyes when I teach them inspires me. My fellow dancers and the commitment and drive I share with them to just keep it moving and working. My 12 year old niece Julia who has "it" and LOVES to dance... the joy I feel working and dancing with her is limitless. My 93 year old neighbor Barbara Perry who is a dancer and has lived a life and had a career that is BEAUTIFUL. The countless "gypsies" I'm friends with who completely give themselves to this life because it's in our blood and we HAVE TO DANCE!

TNH:  Can you share a career highlight?

SF:  There have been SO many highlights.  What a journey it has been and continues to be!

I'd have to say the opening of my first Broadway show JEROME  ROBBINS BROADWAY was an amazing and magical experience. Curtain up, cast walks downstage to a 5 minute standing ovation before the show even starts... first time on Broadway..........AMAZING.

The film version of CHICAGO.  Hands down one of the best experiences of my life and a film that will stand the test of time. What an absolute JOY to be a part of. Director/Choreographer Rob Marshall and John Deluca created a masterpiece and it won the OSCAR for best picture.

My last Broadway show MOVIN OUT.  It was life imitating art or art imitating life but like the show, I found redemption and not only survived but prospered in SO many ways. It was the best of times and the worst of times, but I'm a better man because of it so for that it's a highlight.

TNH:  Do you have any other thoughts and insight to share?

SF:  We are a SPECIAL kind of people.  Sensitive, determined, driven, passionate, insecure, confident, colorful, generous, independent, neurotic, free and loving....we are DANCERS!!!! Embrace ALL of what we are and be OPEN, WILLING and most importantly KIND to each other. I'm SO GRATEFUL that I've been given this DANCERS LIFE to LIVE.  Thanks to my Uncle Bill and my mom who drove me everywhere and was and is my biggest supporter!!!!!

TNH:  I love you, Scott!  Your words bring tears to my eyes and remind me of the soul and fabric of a dancer and a dancer’s life.  Yes, a gift for sure.

Thank you to those who have visited this page.  For more inspiring Dance and Choreographer Interviews, subscribe to my Newsletter below!  And share with those who might be inspired by this.  Let's Dance! 




The Wisdom, Grace and Talent of Choreographer/Director Keith Young

I was captivated by choreographer Keith Young for years from afar.  His movement always felt otherworldly to me, and was uniquely, consistently and undeniably his.  Ethereal yet grounded, expressive yet intimately quiet and internal, like a secret held by the dancers.  Technical, yet strangely pedestrian.  Beautiful, beautiful movement!!!

I learned later that his movement quality, a feeling like you’re underwater and listening fully, was influenced by his hearing impaired sister and the sign language she used to communicate.  Yes, this makes sense.  Very expressive and occupying another sphere of space and time.

Keith’s history weaves from the concert world to commercial dance, dancing with notable dance companies in New York and eventually joining Twyla Tharp’s company as a principal dancer. He later became her assistant on the film Amadeus and served as rehearsal director in the staging of The Sinatra Suites, featuring Mikhail Baryshnikov and Twyla Tharp for American Ballet Theatre.

His movie credits are extensive, including It’s Complicated, Something’s Gotta Give, Rent, and the memorable dance scene with Mel Gibson in What Women Want

I’ve had the pleasure of working with Keith numerous times and his humanity and artistry is unmatched.  Very honored that he joined me in my ongoing Choreographer Interview Series.  


TNH:  How did you develop your unique style of movement?

KY:  I have developed my style of movement by marrying my discovery of what it is I feel a need to express, and embracing the musicality of that expression. I love, and employ the technique and architecture of ballet, the earthiness of modern, and the spirit of jazz.

TNH:  What first drew you to dance and then to choreography?

KY:  I played sports all through school, and I also loved art and music. When I once saw a friend in her dance class, I was amazed at how this activity seemed to incorporate all the things that I deemed worthy at the time...athleticism, sculpture, architecture, music and composition. It took my breath away.

TNH:  What does dance mean to you?

KY:  Dance, for many years has meant so many things to me. It is such an integral part of my life, and how I see the world around me.  It is joyous, revealing, enlightening, and especially healing. It has the ability to bring change, and encourage compassion; things I aspire to.

TNH:  There can be ups and downs and rejection in the entertainment business.  What tools have you developed to keep your confidence and belief in yourself?

KY:  The single tool I have developed within, to help deflect the rejection and callousness of this business is, I never let anyone else determine my self worth.  It is up to me to be honest with myself and do the work.

TNH:  When you are casting dancers, what do you look for?

KY:  When I am casting dancers, it is first of all paramount that I address the specificity of the particular job. Primarily, what I look for in the dancers is desire and willingness, their determination and tenacity, their ability to co-exist, and of course, their talent.  And to those that don’t get cast, I refer them to question 4.

TNH:  What advice would you give a young performer with big dreams?

KY:  My advice to young performers (dancers) with big dreams would be to remind them of the lifetime of learning, the necessity of perseverance, the importance of being susceptible to growth, the aches and pains of hard work, the frustrating financial disparity . . . and then I’d tell them there is nothing in the world as fulfilling.

TNH:  Who/what have been the biggest creative influences in your life?

KY:  Creatively, I would say my biggest influences have been George Balanchine, Twyla Tharp, Merce Cunningham, Alvin Ailey, Joni Mitchell, Louis Armstrong, Sammy Davis Jr, Maya Angelou.  But there have been many that have touched me and inspired my journey as I hope to do for others. 

TNH:  How has your sister influenced your movement?

KY:  I always look at my work without the sound, for two reasons.  To make sure my sister or someone who's hearing was impaired "got it” and understood the story and saw the MUSIC IN THE MOVEMENT.  And secondly, to keep myself honest, movement wise, and not reliant on the music.  That way both elements exist wholly on their own, like in a relationship.  You/I  don't want two half hearts that make one, I'd prefer two whole ones that, when are together, make a stronger more empowered one.

TNH:  Thank you, Keith!