Arts·The Move

How far would you go to be the best? This choreographer uses a sports mindset to push his dancers

Scott Fordham brings out his dancers' greatest potential by testing their limits. Watch The Move: Season II now.

Scott Fordham brings out his dancers' greatest potential by testing their limits

Scott Fordham is a choreographer originally from Deux-Montagnes, Quebec. In this episode he shares his jazz-funk style and his take on what it takes to be the best in The Move: Season II.

As a Virgo and as a choreographer, Scott Fordham does not hold back. "I can be pretty intense. A lot of dancers would say full out." But very early on in his career, he developed this tough approach that begs the question: how hard would you push yourself to reach your full potential? "I think being hard on dancers over the years has helped them."

I think in pushing an individual, you are testing them. You're preparing them for not only dance, but for life.- Scott Fordham

I first heard about Scott while directing an episode on Tynomi Banks for the CBC Arts series Canada's a Drag. When asked how she got her start, Tynomi mentioned one name: Scott Fordham. Since then, his name has been connected to many of the dancers I've spoken to — and for good reason. He created a dance show called LIMITLESS, described as a 90 minute spectacle featuring 25+ commercial dancers moving through multiple pieces and genres. Many of the dancers change each time it has been mounted, which means that over the years Scott has provided a stage for literally hundreds of dancers to perform on.

Over his career he's worked with stars like Nelly Furtado, Janelle Monae and Shawn Mendes, and he admits his choreography can be difficult. "You'll see me run a rehearsal like a coach, and my coaches in my teens were very hard on me." In this video, we look into his structured and precise practice — and as the sweat falls, we can see the results that hard work brings on and off of the dancefloor.  

Eight of Canada's top choreographers share their astonishing moves — and the incredible stories behind why they dance in The Move: Season II. Find out more and stream the full series now on CBC Gem.

About the Author

Lucius Dechausay is a video producer at CBC Arts, as well as a freelance illustrator and filmmaker. His short films and animations have been screened at a number of festivals including The Toronto International Film Festival and Hot Docs. Most recently he directed KETTLE, which is currently streaming at CBC Short Docs.