Depending on the path you take as a professional dancer, you may end up working with some big names, and those big names might include your favorite artists. However, preparing for a performance isn’t exactly the best (or most professional) time to start fangirling and asking for autographs. We sat down with SYTYCD All Star and hip-hop icon Comfort Fedoke to get her tips for working with other artists (especially those you look up to).
Your Interactions Depend on the Artist
Comfort has worked with stars like Missy Elliott and Rihanna, so she knows every artist is a bit different to work with. When you are working alongside an artist as a backup dancer or as part of an ensemble, they will ultimately decide how they want to interact with you. Introduce yourself! A quick handshake and an introduction will help strengthen your professional relationship and help you realize they are a person just like you. Just hold back on the screaming and selfies. (You might end up with a selfie, but screaming is pretty much always frowned upon.)
It’s Ok to Get Starstruck
Meeting the people you look up to is exciting! Chances are you, will more than likely be nervous and a little bit (or a lot) starstruck, but this will fade over time. Comfort believes that the only way to get over this is to work with them. Focusing on your job and viewing the artists you are working with as coworkers instead of idols will help you find common ground with them. Over time, those starstruck feelings will fade and your work ethic will take over.
Focus on the Choreographer
Comfort’s biggest tip for working with your favorite stars is to focus on the choreographer. Realistically, the choreographer is the most important person you will work with because they are the person you will turn to for directions and guidance for the routines you are performing. If you need something to take your mind off of your nerves and distract you from how desperately you want to take a selfie with the artist, focus on the choreographer and preparing to perform at your best.
Comfort Fedoke is an Emmy-Award Winning dancer, choreographer, director, actress, and singer. After performing on So You Think You Can Dance Season 4, Comfort is now an All Star mentoring new competitors each season. On stage, She has performed live with LL Cool J, Rihanna, and Missy Elliott at the Super Bowl 49 Half-Time Show. Comfort currently serves as Assistant Choreographer Missy Elliot. She has also appeared in commercials for brands like Nike and Redbull.