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New (and Previous) Strikes for a Choreographer to Hip Hop’s Stars

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Robinson’s inspirations for Shug included Darcel Leonard, a lead dancer on the Nineteen Eighties selection sequence “Solid Gold” — “I’d imitate her on a regular basis” — and daggering, a crotch-forward Jamaican dancehall type.

For Shug’s showstopping entrance quantity, “Push Da Button,” at a swampy juke joint, Robinson turned off the lights in rehearsal, and located her snappy, Bob Fosse-meets-Lola Falana rhythm. The darkness pulsing with coiled our bodies wound up onscreen too; as a result of Robinson had recorded the follow classes, Henson stated, she already knew the best way to work the digital camera angles. And when Robinson was on the monitor throughout shoots, “she would see issues that Blitz wouldn’t see, as a result of he was watching one thing else, and he or she would simply are available and whisper” a strategy to amp it up.

“I’m not a dancer, I’m a mover-weller,” added Henson, who studied musical theater in school. “And she or he simply is aware of the best way to choreograph stuff to make you look good, to make you shine.”

Robinson had no formal dance coaching when she began popping up in Los Angeles golf equipment within the late ’80s and early ’90s. She was working as a shampoo lady at her mom’s hair salon and going to cosmetology college, then letting free at night time: “I at all times say, golf equipment are my classroom.”

Toni Basil, the singer, dancer and choreographer, noticed her and supplied her an audition for the rapper Younger MC. That didn’t work out however the gigs that adopted opened Robinson as much as the hip-hop stratosphere. “Once I danced for Large Daddy Kane, Jay-Z was our hype man,” she stated. “I’ve identified all these folks for years.”

After touring as a performer, creating dance naturally adopted, even when she wasn’t it as a profession but. “I keep in mind Rosie Perez” — then a dancer good friend — “calling me and saying, ‘It’s a must to cost cash, and you need to name your self a choreographer,’” Robinson recalled. “And I used to be like, OK. And after I obtained off the cellphone, I appeared up the best way to spell the phrase ‘choreographer.’”